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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

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

#59 La Crosse, Wisconsin

Wisconsin #59 Report Back

The next time someone moans where are the youth? & complains about young folks not being involved, tell them about Zoe and Katie-Mae, two awesome 12 year olds, from La Crosse Wisconsin.

Zoe and Katie-Mae came with Zoe’s mom Anita, today, to do a “Peace-In” in Congressman Ron Kind’s office.

Congressman Kind is a democrat, living in the progressive state of Wisconsin, and representing many progressive communities from La Crosse to Madison and then some. Yet Congressman Kind just voted to give Bush $100 billion more dollars to extend the military occupation of Iraq until September.

Furthermore, Kind was one of the 59 Dems who voted against a timeline to get out of Iraq, saying 90 days was too soon to begin pulling out the troops. When asked how much longer – and how many U.S. and Iraqi lives will the Congressman be happy with sacrificing – his staff responded beginning in 6 months and then bringing them out over the following year!

So, given the rate of death occurring in Iraq, he’s content with another 1500 dead soldiers and who knows how many hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis?

Zoe and Katie-Mae were horrified to hear this – and they were determined to stay in his office until Kind came to talk with them, or until they got arrested: whichever came first.

Although we had originally been told that Kind was out of the district today, when we went to his office we were told he was at the boys & girls club down the street!

The girls exclaimed: “How can he pretend to care about children when his vote to continue the occupation of Iraq is going to kill hundreds of thousands of children? And how about the moms & dads that will never come back home to their children here?”

The staff reluctantly called the police. First they informed us we could stay the whole nite for all they cared. Then they realized we were all going to stay, 5 adults and 2 young people, they called the police.

The police arrive, all three of them, and attempted to negotiate with us. Their first question was what would make us leave peacefully? One of us said when Congressman Kind comes to speak with us. Another womon Gail said when Congressman Kind votes to de-fund war & bring our troops home.

The officers turned to ask staff to do this – staff said it was impossible. So the process of arrest & citation started but after Gail insisted on them arresting the staffers for aiding and abetting war criminals, specifically Ron Kind.

One young white officer, sweat dripping down through his stubby blond hair in the very air conditioned office, kept saying “I don’t understand why you want to be arrested. We’re allowing you to walk out of here, free. I don’t understand why you want to be arrested.” as he shook his head and wrote out the citations.

I said I guess you don’t know your American history and what it means to live in a democracy then.

He shook his head and said “you could go to jail”. We said we’ve been to jail, so what? Then he said it’s not doing any good – to which we all laughed and said like hell it isn’t!

But our proudest moment was when two 12 year old young CodePINK: Women in Training refused to leave after ordered by the police to do so. In fact, Zoe and Katie-Mae were the ones who really spearheaded the whole civil disobedience.

Anita and Zanne had thought we shouldn’t go through with the cd part of the action because we were the only adults at first and the press had not shown up but the young women insisted THEY were going up to his office and THEY were going to get arrested NO MATTER WHAT!

The local newspaper finally showed up but no TV. The young women were ecstatic to take this stand, yellow ticket folded in their pockets, and expressed their further determination to go to a jury trial!

We all promised Ron Kind’s staff that we will be back – with more and more constituents.

So PLEASE stand with these two brave 12 year olds as a voice for peace in Ron Kind’s Office. We need a presence there EVERY DAY! At 4:30p.m. Call earlier; ask to make an appointment with him, and then just show up.

He needs to hear from all of us that we will NOT tolerate his voting to give Bush funds to continue the military occupation of Iraq.

Remember, one office visit is worth 100 phone calls, 400 letters, and 1,000 emails! So take the time to visit Ron! And let Anita know you’re going! She’ll probably meet you there with 2 twelve year olds!