Kumbiyah and the Police
So Tuesday, I’m on my way to the recruiting station to be with the recruiters while the Ragin’ Grannies and Code Pink and The GI Rights Hotline folks are out front
telling their lies “speaking truth to power” to anyone who will listen.
My car starts making very scary noises BUT fortunately I’m very close to my mechanic’s place (best mechanic in Santa Cruz ~ Chuck Manning Auto!). So I pull in, explain the problem, have to leave it there, rent a car at the nearby rental place and head off to Capitola. Nothing is going to keep me away!
I had packed Soldier Angels t-shirts, pins and coins to hand out to all the recruiters who were there dealing with the
loonytunes protesters. They loved them!!! (One of the soon-to-be wife of one of the recruiters was there too with her 2 kids so I gave them t-shirts too. Little Ashley was running around the office with this bright red Soldiers Angels shirt on. heh!)
Peace Rally – Tuesday, June 26th – Military Recruitment Center
No More American Blood!
No More Iraqi Blood!
Bring the Troops Home and End the Occupation Now!
A Rally and Vigil for Peace!
Tuesday, June 26th
Noon – 2PM!!
in front of the Military Recruitment Center
2121 41st Avenue, Capitola
what is the real life effect of the “surge”?: the escalation level for American troops has now been doubled!* and the American military has warned the world of a ‘very bloody summer in Iraq’ with even higher casualty rates than before**
but the people say, NO MORE!!
No more dead and wounded of Santa Cruz County!
No more dead and wounded of our nation!
No more dead and wounded of Iraq!
Let us come together with continued resolve, commitment, and willingness to end this war now, and to work for a future of peace and justice for all beings, in all places.
bring family, friends, and coworkers!
bring a sign, banner, or flag, and we will have extras!
and please let others know!
this event is being organized by an ad hoc affinity group of local Peace Workers, including:
Rus Brutsche, Liz Chamberlin, Sherry Conable, Ellie Foster, Adele Gardner, Judy Geer, Phyllis Greenleaf, Jan Harwood, David Hofvendahl, Ruth Hunter, Cappy Israel, Peter Klotz- Chamberlin, Louis LaFortune, Don Larkin, and Mel Nunez
PLEASE JOIN US!
AND PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!
more info at xxx-xxx-xxxx
It is not given to us to know which acts, or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take “everyone on Earth” to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first,
second, or hundredth gale.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Second Iraq Troop Surge Starts
Attacks on US Troops in Iraq Grow in Lethality, Complexity
While I was talking to the Navy recruiters downstairs, the
loonytunes protesters came right up to the windows with their cameras taking pictures and scowling in at us. I now know how a critter in the zoo feels. It was eerie.
Up at the Army office, a good size group came and knocked on the door. Sgt B went over and told them he was ordered by his commander not to let them in as it was too disruptive the last time they had been let in. There was a
plant father and a son who stated that they wanted to discuss the brochures that had been sent to the boy (he’s 16). So Sgt B said he’d be happy to talk to them. But only they were to be allowed in the office. Not that that stopped the others from trying to come in.
See, what they did was to put the ‘grannie’ with the walker smack dab in the middle of the doorway (I call her Doorstop) and then they gathered all around her so the recruiters couldn’t close the door. When Sgt B said they couldn’t come in, they started reading the names of the Fallen. The thing that pissed off the recruiters the most was not the reading of the names so much as the fact that they couldn’t correctly pronounce the names of the soldiers they profess to care so much about.
We were in a siege!! Held hostage in the office by singing Grannies!
One of the ‘Grannies” did sneak in and wouldn’t leave. So, I went up to her and asked her if I could ask her a question. Oh, of course! she said smiling. I asked her “what are you all doing here at the recruiting station? Why aren’t you in Sacramento?” She said “I don’t know. I guess this is closer.” (WTF?) I then went on to explain to her in case she didn’t know, that the recruiters don’t make policy; that they are only doing their jobs. It’s the politicians that you should be talking to. She responded with the bit about trying to stop the recruiters from signing up kids for this illegal war etc etc. I told her that it was an insult to me, to my daughter, the military families and everyone who wears a uniform. I told her my daughter chose to enlist in the Army – freely, as she went up to the recruiters in high school. They did not go after her.
Then we discussed their demands of bringing the troops home now and I told her the soldiers just want to finish their mission and they don’t appreciate all these protests and the like. I said they feel insulted by your actions and the things you say which aren’t near the truth. And on it went and my voice kept getting louder because she kept saying all those untrue talking points they are so well known for.
Okay, I was shouting now. I admit it. I lost it. Sgt B told me to calm down and maybe take a break. So I went out on the balcony to have a smoke and just burst into tears.
Three years I have been fighting this. Three years I have listened to people here say the nastiest things about our troops. They are called murderers, baby and children killers, women killers, killing machines, and liars. Three years I have heard people declare “how could you let your daughter go into the Army??? That’s just awful!!” Three years I have been standing in checkout lines buying stuff to send my soldiers and listening to people berate them.
Three years I have been chatting with my adopted soldiers online ~ listening to them missing their families, talking them through being scared after a mortar attack in the middle of the night, listening to them talk about the buddy they just lost, listening to them tell me things they don’t want to tell their Moms and Dads but need to tell someone.
Yeah, I shouted.
And they sang. (They’re the singingest bunch of people)
I also called the police at Sgt B’s request when the recruits who had business in the office were having a hard time getting in. I was photographed doing so. lol Welcome to the Zoo! I waved.
(The soon-to-be Mrs. Recruiter was roughly shoved and elbowed by the ‘peaceful protesters’ as she was trying to get in. She was shaking by the time she did.)
The police showed up and the recruiters had things under control, so Soon-to-be Mrs Recruiter and I went out to the balcony to have another smoke and this young woman comes out and said she’s a reporter for radio and wondered if she could interview us. I asked what radio stations (knowing full well which ones) and she said a couple of local ones. I said sure, I’d be happy to. And I did. She asked questions trying to get me to buy into the crap the protesters were spouting and I kept giving her facts. I can only imagine how that will spin out on Free Radio Santa Cruz and KUSP ~ not the most military friendly medium.
But what do I care – I gave her reality. What she does with it is her business.
(My daughter called the recruiting office from Georgia in the middle of it all to ask the recruiters to make sure I didn’t get arrested. You see, it was also my birthday. What better way to celebrate?!)
So Sgt B is still talking to the
plant father and son duo but now their permit time has run out and he asks them to leave. They wouldn’t so the police had to come in and take them away. They were having a sit-in. Apparently, the father was recording and trying to hide it. As the police led them out, others came in and wouldn’t leave, so they too were escorted out. Even Doorstop. As the police took them away the other protesters all applauded. Ooooh! We have arrests!! Victory!!
The Airforce recruiter came up to see how we all did with the siege. He said he just locked the door and ignored them. The Marines had put posters outside their door and they were all ripped up by the protesters. Isn’t that destruction of government property? Hmmmm?
I gave the Airforce recruiter a t-shirt, pin and coin and he was so thrilled with them that he went back down to his office and came back with an AF t-shirt, hat and pins for me. Awww!
So here are some articles about the protest. We made the local news but they, of course mostly showed the protesters.
Photos too!! Read the captions!! (Best viewed on an empty stomach though…)
From the SC Sentinel:
(I was quoted! As “the woman who had business in the office”.)
There’s audio from the father of the son.
Oops! wrong protest! But listen anyway – quite humorous…
I can’t wait to put this town behind me. Though I am so going to miss my guys.