Awe in DC
Every day is an adventure. This day started with a walk to the Capital where we chanted to welcome staffers back to work. Some demonstrators were wearing Chimp hoods designed by Bill Moyer. Most folks smile, some looked away, some looked embarrassed. Was it for us or because they are stuck in a job that they do not believe in? We will never know why people reacted the way they did. That is not what is important. What counts is that they reacted.
Next, we joined about 20 people in support of the Iraq Veterans Against the War, and their parents in a silent protest in the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid was speaking. When he brought up Iraq we all stood up. We were told to sit down or leave. So we left, silently and respectfully. We were escorted to a holding area, where we were briefly detained. They took only Des’s and my ID info. It was just harassment, as we complied quickly, without any disturbance. It seems to me the anti-war movement has someone paying attention. When we four CODEPINK ladies enter the House there were just a few police, but we were told by the time others arrived the hall was lined with officers ready and waiting for a disturbance. We were escorted out of the building five at a time. Allison stayed with me, talking the entire time to our escorts. Two of the veterans were detained longer. The best part was that the press was waiting outside. Our Vets were able to get their message out.
As we walked the halls of Congress the gals would peek their heads in the open doors of Senators offices to greet the staffers with a “Hi” and “Tell your boss to end the war. It is a flawed plan.” They are poetry in motion.
We had lunch in the cafeteria where Des & Liz greeted every one they recognized, and many they did not know. What a kick. Later we stood in the hall to catch Senators as they went to an Armed Services hearing on treatment of detainees. It is pure pleasure watching Des and Liz as they chase down Senators appealing to their good since in regards to the issue. Anne kept saying, “Close GITMO. Stop the killing.” I stood by, a sign and camera in hand, and in awe of the energy and commitment they all display.
The thing that strikes me is how friendly everyone is especially when one is wearing an IMPEACH BUSH shirt as Anne does. The police, the people on the street, shopkeepers, and even the people serving food in the cafeteria express approval for the CODEPINK message. It seems there is no question what we the people want – an end to the war – yet Congress and Bush do not hear it. I am leaving this amazing place soon with a better understanding of the depth of frustration the organizers of the anti-war movement are expressing. What can we the people do? Call, write, email, and fax relentlessly. Put feet on the street. Get others to join the fight. Any other ideas?