Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

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, January 23, 2008

Stories from the Station: To Steal or To Kill

We certainly did have a full day at the recruiting station today, despite the frigid air and windy streets but no rain!

Norma and Zanne began at 7:30a.m. to the steady enthusiastic horn honks of passers-by during morning rush hour. Three of the new, young recruits appeared, the males freshly sheared, by 9:00a.m. The Social Justice class, young with boundless locks, from Saint Mary’s came at 10:00 to share the protest and talk about what we are all doing to end the occupation of Iraq now.

The recruits refused to stop and talk with their peers, choosing instead to give them wide birth yet duly noted everyone. Several CodePINKers also came to engage with the students and their teacher. Many promised to spread the word about the upcoming debate on the 30th and to bring friends and peers!

Diana brought the New York Times article about yet another veteran of the Iraq occupation who has been charged with drowning a womon who was his wife and the mother of twin girls.

Several ex-Marines either came by on foot or drove by, all heaping their gratitude and praise on us. One man bought a pink crown that Eleanor made to help cover expenses – which we incurred almost immediately when we discovered we needed batteries for the megaphone.

At noon, Lajuana came to lead about 12 of us in song, including a CodePINK visitor from Portland and a candidate for Senator on the Peace & Freedom Party ticket. We sounded GREAT, although we missed Betsy and Carrie!

The city council members didn’t make it, but we continued to broadcast our dissent. Travis, a veteran from the Iraq war, came with quotes from Major General Smedley Butler, a 30+ year Marine veteran, that included his views against war profiteering and fascism. Butler wrote “War is a racket” in the 1930’s, a book whose message is still being echoed today.

Even though we had a permit for sound, the neighbor (who wouldn’t believe we had a permit) from the upstairs school called the police to complain. The police arrived on their bikes, challenging the existence of our permit, which was promptly produced, and then proceeded to inform us that he believed our megaphone was over the allowed megabytes. He was going to send out someone to measure the sound, but never did.

We are urging this neighbor and all of the tenants to complain loud and long to the landlord about ridding the building of this tenant that is disturbing everyone’s peace, especially Iraq peace!

The Daily Cal photographer came and took pictures, as the paper is doing a story on the upcoming debate! A KFSO red, white, and blue bumper sticker that said “support our troops”, appeared on the side of the truck over the ‘o’ of the CodePINK. Usually I would leave it up and write on it “Bring them Home” across it, but it was covering a letter – and it wouldn’t come off in one piece so we could move it.

For our Dance For Peace, Dolores brought an Etta James album and we moved to a snappy “Blowin’ in the Wind”, warming us up as the sun retreated.

The saddest point today was the appearance of a new recruit – a sweet, beautiful toasted-honey brown boy with the most gorgeous eyes and smile who told me the Marines saved his life – rescued him from a life of crime, for he would be on the corner right now, plotting what to steal if he wasn’t in the Marines.

From stealing to killing, this is an improvement? I asked him if he wasn’t a college student, as Lund claims he only recruits college students. The short, young man wouldn’t answer but hurried down the street.

Lund waited until everyone left this time to wash down the messages on the sidewalk, but he did hasten to remove evidence of our presence before he left for the night. He even removed the picture of Maria Lauterbach again, that told a truth we are sure he doesn't mention to young women he's recruiting: The military reports one in three women report they have been raped by fellow soldiers.