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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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

If I didn't want to get hurt (by police) STAY HOME - he growled...

A police officer snarled at me tonite if I didn’t want to get hurt (by police) I should stay at home. Really. He said that to me. Then he ordered me to go home.

3 maybe 4000 strong we were tonite in Oakland standing against the police/military industrial complex including the injustice system. Tomorrow 4pm Oscar Grant Plaza we’ll be four thousand and TWO if you and your dearest friend join us!

The protesters were amazing: fiercely determined, the righteous energy sparkling brighter than the lights shimmering around Lake Merritt, on point, and buckling down for the long haul. Everyone was out and represented tonite from Black people, brown people, First Nation people, Asian people, white people, young people, people with masks and people with children; people on bikes and some with canes & walkers; people carrying lots of “END RACISM NOW” signs, and Mike Brown and Ferguson banners.

And of course the police: heavily armed, mean reddish bloated faces, anger spewing off them as heavily as if they were carrying in nickels the tons of money they were being paid to be following us around – and hurting us.

We marched from Oscar Grant Plaza, thru downtown around Lake Merritt and up onto the Lake Shore on & off ramps of 580 first by Trader Joes, then on the lake side, and the third wave – which I was in – went up on the Grand Ave off-ramp and onto the freeway. Traffic was stopped in both directions!!!

And the anger of the police multiplied and blanketed us like dozens of cockroaches hatching their 10,000 eggs each scurrying for the garbage can. They began lining up 3 deep and across the length of the road, pushing us off the freeway. Pushing and batting people – like me – with their billy clubs.

I couldn’t believe the hate and vitriolic hostility grinding thru their clenched teeth and crunched menacing eyes. The front line of short cops including two almost sexless women, small but swollen wide with gear, were batting at me with billy clubs, grinding their teeth, throwing their heads forward with each blow, when a particularly livid taller white cop from the second row reached over them and tried to grab hold of my megaphone. Then his buddy squished shoulder to shoulder,  was inspired to also reach over their front line trying to punch me in the face, missing as I duck but knocking my hat off, my glasses tumbling down my face onto my shoulder.

I had to momentarily relinquish my megaphone to grab my glasses – why did I wear them? What was I thinking, I wanted to be able to see – shit, I almost lost them. Another cop grabbed at my cloth bag I had over my other shoulder – my bag with my water bottle and, yes, my cell phone. I swiftly rescued my glasses while trying to hold onto my bag and grab back the megaphone, but I lost that battle and my things disappeared faster than arctic ice.

I couldn’t believe the cops who couldn’t get a purchase on their sticks to cause much damage were then punching and slapping instead. They seemed to grow in number and ferocity but suddenly I was encircled by tall guys who grabbed me, wedging their bodies between me & the line of cops, yelling in the cops faces: “she’s a old womon, leave her alone”.

Geez, I had forgot I was an old womon but I certainly was ready to accept the help of 4 or 5 pairs of strong arms that pushed me out of harm’s way, and then hoisted me over the barrier and to safety on the other side of the ramp.

The barrier stopped the cops & I got to challenge them to take off their weapons and face me unarmed. I engaged in an enraged one womon monologue with them, shaming them, questioning their morality, searching for their humanity.

And empty fruitless search – at least tonite. Maybe when they’re alone and quiet, my words will bubble up in them and wipe the grime off their consciousness like windshield wipers on filthy glass.

We began marching back down the ramp and onto Grand Ave, and then up to Telegraph and finally back to Oscar Grant Plaza – and the cop who ordered me home.


On the BART, two white womyn dressed in their Sunday best covered with sparkly jewelry and lovely coiffed hairdos that fly around with carefully styled freedom, are sitting several seats away from but facing me and the rest of the passengers. First they’re taking selfies and I hope they don’t ask me to take their photo.

They don’t ask that but do aim the camera at the rest of us and coyly suggest we smile. I get to loudly say “we’re not smiling: a murderer went free tonite, we pissed”.

They didn’t understand at first until I said remember the white man who shot a youth in cold blood. Their smiles disappeared in unison and they said resignedly how awful, what a terrible night I was having. Me, I was having…none of it!

I got to state very loudly it was actually a great night, as thousands of us were in the streets, blocking traffic, shutting down the freeway, protesting this travesty of our country. Several passengers cheered loudly.

I continued, my voice carrying over the rumble of the tracks, how we HAVE to stop the police, disarm them, unmilitarize them as I gave witness to the brutality of the police tonite.

The two women with their now even longer worried faces leaned forward and shook their heads in unison as if they were watching a tennis match.

I asked people if they really liked their lives, the way we are living. Several people agreed saying no, and we DO need to change. I left at my stop with telling people 4:00pm tomorrow at Oscar Grant Plaza.

My arm is aching, I rub pushing my sleeve up and suddenly notice the police have ripped off the cuff of my shirtsleeve. Now is that really necessary? What will they think tonite when they lay down in the quiet darkness and safety of their own beds, maybe in the arms of another human being, my shirt’s cuff clenched in their cruel beefy fists. What could they possibly think about beating on an old womon who will probably wake up tomorrow with more bruises and aches & pains my adrenaline is masking.

But at least I will wake up tomorrow, unlike Michael Brown.

Nor the little 12 year old boy today, playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park, shot by police in his soft youthful belly, never to be able to work on his 6 pack or adjust the notches of his belt as he grows.