|UNAC march NYC April 9, 2011|
My apron also holds my camera and phone and lip balm and everything else I need to march for 1.7 miles helping to hold a banner in one hand, a pie chart on my outside hand (54% military for FY10 draws the comments: "It's more now.").
I was honored to march yesterday holding a banner with Pardiss Kebriaei who advocates for prisoners in limbo at Guantanamo, and two school age girls in headscarves whose mom and dad walked behind and popped snacks into their mouths like birds. The UNAC banner we carried said: Stop Government Attacks On Unions, Muslims, Immigrants and Communities of Color. On this day the NYPD was on its best behavior, and the legions of officers were polite and respectful in their attempts to keep us on one half of Broadway while the hipster shopping crowd had their phones out snapping away, looking at us like they had never seen a protest march before. Maybe it was the legions of moms, dads, kids, grandmas and grandpas that had turned out to represent for the Muslim peace community. Such a variety of clothing, languages, chants and messages. One handmade sign read: Islam Means Peace.
A hug from Ann Wright is always welcome, and I was able to shake Cindy Sheehan's hand and thank her for her work. Both were among at least 50 speakers who had 90 seconds at the mike to deliver their message. NYC Codepink coordinator Cristina Castro and I went up together while Denise and Starr held BOW$H banner on the steps down front.
Lots of dot connecting in the remarks. The war against the poor at home and abroad, the war against the environment that is our collective home, and the insane waste of resources all around. I cannot even count how many times I heard or read a reference to the need to bring our war dollars home. On my very early morning drive home after the convivial bus (thank you Steve Burke) dropped me off in Portland I was parsing our demand like this.
Bring: resolutions, op eds, speeches, teach-ins
Our: public forums, big tent marches like this one
War: Libya, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, aid to Israel, aid to dictators, 800+ military bases around the world, drones, recruiting budgets
$$: taxes the working poor and middle class pay, but corporate "citizens" don't -- cause they're not part of us