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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Awesome Protest: Congresswoman Gillibrand's office Saratoga Springs!

Saratoga Springs is another obvious tourist town – I wonder if most folks zip up here from the city. Large groups of mostly white tourists, their shiny new barbie doll clothes, perfectly manicured bodies, straight & fluffy hair, stroll from boutique to ethnic shops to expensive restaurants.

Gillibrand’s office here is on the main drag. I find parking and the organic coffee shop. Several young womyn find me. We talk, they are so happy to see me, take my picture. I give them flyers & ask them to join us at their congresswoman’s office in 30 minutes. They smile glittery and we both know they are not going to show up.

I approach her office to see a whole line of hot pink womyn, a couple of adorable children, and 3 or 4 white men already standing in front of her office holding signs. We greet each other and I pull out a few banners.

The press, photographer only, is there snapping pictures, as a group of about 10 young, very slender girls all with their hair tied back, gather around the truck in twos & threes to take pictures of each other & the truck.

People passing are happy to see us. Our mood is hopeful and expectant. Almost 20 people have showed up several with less than 8 hours notice, to hold our Congressperson accountable.

About 6 womyn and one fellow opt to go inside. The same staff, Regional Director, has come to this office to talk with us. Again, he spends almost an hour, talking and listening.

He explains to everyone the things he has already told me earlier. Womyn react the same way, several laden with such emotion it is hard to speak. These are some of the womyn who did the ground work getting Kirsten elected. These are some of the womyn most betrayed.

Every womyn speaks clearly and passionately. The staffer (I forget his name of course) convinces us that Kirsten is really torn about this vote, this ‘issue’, and she REALLY wants the troops home.

We convince him that we cannot believe Kirsten unless she VOTES to reflect her words. He lets us in on a press release that is coming out tomorrow: she is co-sponsoring a bill to begin bringing our troops home in 120 days and to have them home by April 1.

Several womyn point out that while this is a step in the right direction, this bill would not have been necessary if she hadn’t voted to continue the occupation in the first place.

It is like she has given the boys the gun, saying she really doesn’t want them to use it, but now puts forth a bill that says they can only use it until April 1.

He tries to say Congress has to come up with a plan for withdrawal. We cut that short quickly, asking what plan did Congress come up with to invade? Why would Congress haave to come up with a military plan? That is up to the military.

Congress has to de-fund war; it is up to the military to figure out how to end it, as they figured out how to start it.

We left, once again feeling successful! We felt heard, we had made brilliant points, everyone spoke eloquently and from the heart sticking to the subject, the young white man scribbling notes (with his boss every once in awhile checking to make sure he was getting all this down), and this pleasant, open staffer promising to deliver all our points to Kirsten – that this was the number one concern of hers.

We left promising we were coming back. This staff person has also promised to set up an appointment for us to speak directly with Kirsten as soon as possible.


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