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

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Nite 7: Middle of Texas

We leave El Paso later than what we had planned but so full of love, good food, inspiration, we feel like we can drive forever!

But first we stop for fuel. As I am fueling up, a white woman gas attendant worker comes running up to my truck, demanding if the credit card I'm using is mine.

This is interesting - I was expecting her to engage about Marissa or Black Womyn's Lives Matter, but instead she's challenging me about my credit card.

Now we do have 2 credit cards for our caravan account, one in my name and one in another womon's name - a womon who is not on the caravan. But both credit cards are ours. I happen to be using the card that is in my name.

I look at her in disbelief - and around at all the people standing by their cars, pumping gas. I haven't seen her ask anyone else about their credit card.

I ask her why she wants to know. Does she really expect me to say no, this is not my credit card? Hmmm

I tell her of course it's my card.

She wants to see my card. I look at her like she's lost her mind, because obviously she has. I tell her again, I am using my own card.

She tells me there's lots of people ripping off gas stations using other people's credit cards. I tell her the gas station doesn't pay for that, the credit card company pays.

She doesn't believe I am using my own card - or she just wants to harass this womon in that truck. She shouts at me the police would like to look at my credit card.

I ask her if they work here too or is she the only credit card police?

Then she orders me to stay put at the pump, stomps off toward the shop, claiming she's going to call the police.

Oy vey.

Like I'm going to stick around even if the police were interested. We leave, head to Target to get some hi-tech merch we need and off we go into the netherlands of Texas.

It is a beautiful day to drive thru western Texas. We have the rest of today and most of tomorrow to make it 550 miles to San Antonio for our 6:00pm report back!

We drive almost 300 miles so we can be closer to San Antonio. It is dark and fuckin freezing when we stop. Gas stations, rest stop, visible homes or towns are miles and miles away. We decide to hotel it tonite, if we can find a cheap hotel - our first for the trip.

Day 7: El Paso Press Conference to Texas...

Cemelli appears at our lovely house with her 5 year old lovely daughter before 8:00am - loaded down with tons of breakfast food. She begins to cook for us, even though we attempt to dissuade her, as we've planned to return to Cafe Mayapan for the press conference and to eat there once again! She insists, saying we can take whatever is left over on the road with us.

Once again, we are overwhelmed and touched deeply by her warmth and generosity. It gets closer and closer to press conference time. Womyn are trying to pack up, grab food, finish preparing for our press conference.

It is time to go and we can not find Jasi nor Amayalli. One minute they were chasing each other around the house, playing with the dog, laughing and screeching! The next, they're gone. Disappeared. No evidence - like the girls and womyn of Juarez...NOT!

Cemelli is stricken, panicked, thinking her child has disappeared - she's been to Juarez, she lives here, she knows the dangers of El Paso; but most of all, she knows where the pedophiles live in this neighborhood - how many houses down, what color the house is, how many steps to our front door.

She has had to walk children from the bus past his house to this house where we are staying, where there is a school for young children - blocks from where a convicted pedophile is allowed to live.

Her panic increases exponentially with the seconds that tick by. We search the house, we search outside, Cemelli is close to calling the police. I know it is impossible that Jasi would go out by himself in a neighborhood he doesn't know. I know that will not keep him safe.

After many harrowing moments, the children are discovered in the closet, hiding - first they say they were playing hide & seek. Amayalli sees how upset her mother is and she weeps sorry, sorry, sorry Mama. Jasi says they were just hiding, they didn't want to leave, they wanted to keep playing.

We have to leave - the press has arrived at Cafe Mayapan and is waiting for us. We rush into our vehicles and race off, children safe in their car seats.

This time, this press conference is very successful! These womyn with La Mujer Obrera know how to get out the press. Gina and Cemelli also speak. We have TV cameras, radio, and written press.