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, October 08, 2016

Day 2: Nosh, Jews; hitler, 'rump

Leaving the wall to return for the tale-end of the Jewish nosh gathering, my thoughts return to ‘him’ as I pass the Nogales repub ‘headquarters’, a small building overwhelmed in red, white, and blue with ‘his’ signs and other republican campaign signs.

I remember my grandmother’s panicked call to me, after Bush stole the election, after the planes crashed into those other mammoth tyrants of u.s. hegemony, after people reacting more like robotic killing machines than real humans, urging me to leave the country, to grab my daughter, my lover, my friends and flee.

One of the few stories my grandmother told me about her time in germany during hitler’s rise to power was the one about how very early on she tried to convince her husband to take her and the children and the rest of the family and leave the country. He refused.

She would have gathered the family and escaped by herself, she announces, but she agreed to stay with him ONLY if he brought money out of the country, which, being a salesperson with permission to travel abroad, he did. I think this stash is what they were able to forfeit to buy the way out of Germany for four of them in 1939.

Her frantic voice, usually the bright, confident tenor of wise age – she was 99 years old at the time – was thin and breathless with strident instruction: leave, leave, leave – leave everything, take nothing but your lives and run away.

I know ‘he’ has been compared with hitler but more menacing than ‘him’ is the people and their hatred and inhumanity he is releasing and elevating from the sewers and cesspools of the u.s.ofa.’s very foundation.

As I walk down the sunny sidewalk, marveling at the bluest skies with small contrasting fluffy white clouds, I wonder if groups of Jews met together before the ‘election’ of hitler, if they worked hard to combat the hate and bigotry, and I know the gas chambers were later filled with such sheras and heroes – as these border crossings and these ‘boundaries’ on either side are the graveyards of such sheras and heroes as well.

Day 2: Puente y SOAW Nogales

After leaving my ‘spill’ behind, I find my way to the hotel in Nogales where activists are gathering to march to the border. I realized last night that I left home without my passport – how crazy was that? I thought about bringing it, but not in conjunction with the action, but in case I wanted to fly somewhere. Not wanting to be tempted – by my daughter or anyone – to leave the country during my truth-spreading mission, I left it home. Grrrrr which means I cannot cross the border and support or participate in the actions happening on the Mexican side.

It is already over 80 degrees when I pull into the steamy crowded hotel parking lot. I drive around to the side and secure that last space that is probably only semi-legal, but where the sun will keep my solar in fine shape and the truth will still be visible to passers-by.

I see many folks that I recognize, but none that I’m ‘friends’ with. Today, this morning, will begin with a march from the hotel to the border wall right down from the border crossing. There will be a rally and speakers again, but this time both sides of the border will be connected by amplified sound. Then there will be a ‘nosh’ for jews and allies around noon, and workshops from 1-7pm at the hotel. The day will end with another concert at the border, both sides again.

Weaving thru the crowd, someone calls out my name. It is a professor from Wisconsin who marched on the same 95 mile anti-police brutality and anti-drone march from Madison to xxx airforce base last year. About 7 or 8 students are gathered around in a semi-circle when I’m asked to repeat the Salmon story.

So I do, ending up telling these eager, young, white-appearing faces THIS (sweeping my arm to encompass what we’re doing this weekend) is the only work that is important in their lifetime, no matter what they are studying, THIS and ending violence of war, racism and misogyny, and protecting the Mother Earth while we heal her – THIS is the ONLY thing they should be doing.

Maybe one or two will believe me, drop out and become full-time activists.

By the time we begin to march, I’m sure the temperature is pushing 100. Although I’m wearing the t-shirt I painted at the rest stop while pumping that challenging veggie oil that says “DEATH to Racism” on the front, and “ABOLISH Police, Prisons! DISARM ALL MEN” on the back, a friend has pushed a sign into my empty hands: “NO to Trump’s racism! NO to Clinton’s war machine!” in English and Spanish. It’s not until I’m stopped for several photo opps later do I realize it is the Workers’ World Party presidential candidates’ poster.

We are instructed to stay on the sidewalk, to walk two-by-two, which I of course complain about – there must be a thousand people here, at least half or more at people of ‘faith’, who should be taking over the streets. Grrrrr. But I haven’t been involved in the work to make this action happen so I’ll begrudgingly stick at least close to the sidewalk.

There are no police on foot – probably way too hot for them – but several in vehicles behind dark tinted windows sporting darker still mirrored sunglasses. We chant and sing all the way to the crossing, where the march splits: those crossing into Mexico continue on the left, those staying on the ‘u.s.’ side, veer off to the right.

We march a few blocks further and get a close and personal view of the wall. Although we’ve been told the police want a three foot barrier – actually demand such from others hanging the threat of death or at least arrest onto their commands – we stumble incredulously up to this unbelievable 20-some foot structure of iron and cement to gape thru the slats at our compañeras on the other side.

It is surreal how the stripes of the wall transcend not just the vertical barrier but are reflected on the surrounding ground, trees, cars, houses – a constant slatted reminder we lucky privileged ones on the right can skip thru the lines the whole length and back again. It is impossible to see how far the ‘wall’ goes but its rigid harsh callous form malevolently taunts anyone to try, try, try to find the end.

I have seen the wall on the border in California – although not its ‘new’ extension out into the ocean – and when driving I10 from New Mexico into Texas, I’ve seen from the raised height of my front seat the twisting checkered mass snaking below the highway and have proclaimed its unfathomable existence to many deniers, this is the first time I’ve been able to touch the monstrosity, to peer thru and see life happening on the other side, to hear and smell Mexican existence but not to dare reach out and touch those humans on that side.

After a couple of rousing songs and even more inspiring speeches, once again, individual names are being announced over the loud speaker: this time, the humans who have been killed attempting to flee violence in their homes – whether the violence of u.s. trained and armed soldiers, of u.s. corporations, of the ensuing poverty and desperation laying ruins to their lives and families – to be met with continued violence of u.s. trained and armed border police, sheriffs, vigilantes willing to shoot and kill rather than risk sharing a glass of water or a loaf of bread.

We hold our fists high and chant fiercely “presente” after each name, for as the speaker says, these people are still with us, we can feel their beings, and we will pummel this wall into dust as well. Hundreds of names are read, but hundreds of thousands more are left unspoken, many many too many unknown but dead. The speaker again says fuck a minute of silence, ROAR for a minute for the bravery of these humans, for the courage of their lives, for recognition of their tremendous struggle, to acknowledge their presence on earth and still with us now.

I can’t stop weeping, spotting the unbending lines of shadow and light, as I think about these human beings, the ones so easy to forget about, to not know about, to turn away from, as most of us in the u.s. go about our frantic pursuit of the amerikkkan nitemare, uncaring that our nitemare is inflicting such hurt and destruction on so many. But worse, unwilling to ‘give up’ our pursuit of the amerikkkan nitemare for the good of those and all people including ourselves, for the love of the Mother Earth, for the survival of the 7th generation.

Carry on.

Yikes! Oil spill!!!

I have a real oil 'spill' this morning....grrrrr. Thank goodness the security truck that had been parked 3 spaces down from my truck took off moments before my tank overflowed!

I have spent the night at the rest stop about 25 miles north of Nogales where I am going to join the march to the border in about an hour.

Before leaving, I decided to paint another t-shirt, this one sleeveless in deference to the 90 degree intense heat, but the same message: "Death to Racism" on the front, and "Abolish Prison, Police" on the back with "Disarm All Men" as an added message underneath.

At the same time, I know I only pumped about 50 gallons of veggie oil into my main tank and I've traversed close to 500 miles. I don't want to run out before arriving at Nogales so I decide to pump another 50 gallons into my main tank while painting my t-shirt.

Of course, the minute I'm done painting, I leave the back and go to the side door in order check the solar system is still operating at maximum potential, which it is. As I return casually to the back, I see to my horror the tank is full and pumping veggie oil onto the ground...YIKES!

Fortunately I remember where the shut-off switch is and stopping the torrent of thick oil puddling on the ground. I use a towel to wipe down my truck and sop up some of the oil on the ground. I find a large plastic bag to shove the soaked towel into, screw the lid on the tank, close the valves, lower the door, and take off.

I was planning on returning to this rest stop after today's actions but now I think I better not.... oy vey...