Thursday, September 13, 2007

First Day in DC- into action!

Dear Friends, well, nothing like hitting the ground running.

Arrived in the evening and before long we were crammed in the tiny living room singing -great sound, great women. We began planning actions for the next day, as we watched Jon Stewart IDaily Show) dis Code Pink for disrupting the Petraeus hearings. Too bad, John. Funny, how someone who makes his living pilloring public figures and spoofing the powers that be doesn't have more respect for WOMEN, women's voices and ways of acting. I admire the risks he takes on camera, but there is another level of risk in standing up in a Senate "hearing" (charade- rubber stamp) and essentially pointing out that the Emperor not only has no clothes but is depriving people at home and aborad of clothes, food, shelter, and their very lives.

Today we went to a panel at the (right wing) Heritage Foundation, presenting the usual array of conservative pundits ( some of whom were instrumental in initiating this war.It was a live broadcast on CSPAN. Meda Benjamin (co-founder of Code PInk) Carlos Arredondo, the father of a soldier killed in Iraq, and myself took over the stage after the panel was introduced. Medea spoke eloquently, Carlos spoke of his son, and I sang. We were, of course, ejected, but felt we had made a strong statement. Later in the program another of our members, Desiree, took to the stage again in a powerful speak out about the human cost of the war. I cried watching it later on video. To hear passion, truth, heart, and power so combined moves me deeply. You can see it on CSPAN 2 (online hopefully), and clips will be on UTube any minute- google Code Pink+ Heritage, or go to the and click on blog.

Tonight Bush delivers his endorsement of the Petraeus report (which I believe is really the Bush report in the mouths of his military spokesperson). We will probably be leafleting and singing outside.
Tomorrow we are having a farewell party outside the Justice Department to celebrate Gonzales' last day on the job.

I"ll try to mount some pictures soon of some of the faces with the names.

Being involved in this way is a challenge for me. I am not a strong believer in confrontationl approaches that create more discord and enmity. I would like to be able to speak clearly and compassionately with any human being- and after we were ejected I did my best to do just that in a conversation with a very angry organizer of the Heritage event. I keep asking myself- who am I really trying to communicate with? The politicians and pundits? Or my sisters and brothers here and around the world, who I want to energize and inspire by being a witness and a voice in a very visceral and direct way. My belief is that the "powers", the government, etc derives its power from us- they will continue in their business as usual mode as long as they feel the majority of the people won't REALLY make life difficult, interfere with the daily economic life of the country. If enough of the public can be moved to action- a National Strike, a shut down of some kind, some version of Gandhi's salt march to the sea- or perhaps, if enough representatives really feel their job is in jeopardy if they don't bring this war to a speedy close, things can change.

What do you think? How do you feel about the kinds of actions Code Pink is doing? Any suggestions for how I can be of use while here?I really welcome you comments-

Peace and blessings- Betsy


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