peace, participation & immigration rally

c.i. called earlier to say 'i'm still in demonstrations.' i said don't worry about it, i'll do 2 entries tonight. and people can just deal or not.

seriously, you're dealing with a community that's active. we're not sitting in front of cnn waiting for it to explain the world around us to us.

and we all bring our own unique thing to the table. which is true of all community members as well. both bringing their own unique thing to the table and also getting out in the world around them.

friday, we all got together in nyc. by plane, train or automobile to be dinonne warkick about it. ('planes, trains and automobiles.') i didn't go to dc on sunday. i was wiped out from saturday's peace activities and working on the third estate sunday review. c.i. did. and today? is still at the immigration rights demonstrations.

so if some 1 in the community feels robbed, don't. (i think it's mainly nonmembers who complain now.) if you want people who just watch the news and tells you about that, then you can get that anywhere.

we're not doing that.

we're not 'arm chair warriors' who fondle our remotes lovingly.

so what's the trade off?

that you're not going to have dozens of posts. live with it. cedric called me to see if i thought he should post tonight? his regular days are tuesdays and thursdays. he's doing volunteer work, he's got a job, he's got friends (including 3 cool old guys) and family. i asked him why he felt he needed to post and he brought up that every 1 was tired after nyc and he thought it might take some pressure off. great idea but he needs to take some time for him.

me? i'm in courtney love mode. i'm smoking my cigarettes raging on the internet. (i've always pictured courtney doing that since the mid 90s. i may be wrong but if i am don't spoil the illusion for me.)

my next post is going to be a 'what the hell is every 1 thinking?' post. treva, ruth's friend, is wonderful. i love her. i saw this weekend why ruth thinks we are so much alike. she really doesn't care. she's going to speak her mind.

i have to force that sometimes but we do have speaking our minds in common.

so what did you do today? t and me were at demonstrations. we were so tempted, after, to get some drinks but not spending was also something that was advised. so instead, we went to her apartment where all she had was soft drinks. we really could have used something stronger to celebrate but, for the cause, we stuck with that.

as i noted before, she closed her shop down for today. hair and nails would just have to wait.

what did we see?

people who gave a damn.

in the united states of apathy, that was pretty damn amazing. young and old. we saw people marching to support the cause and people marching because the cause was their lives.

it was pretty powerful and i ended up with goose bumps during a few of the speeches.

here's a section of "Music Roundtable"' (third estate sunday review):

Ruth: You know, I want to toss this to C.I. I heard a story about something earlier this week.
C.I.: Are you talking about the conversation I told you about?
Ruth: Yes.
C.I.: Okay. A lazy ass, I won't say "friend," bothered me on the phone. Ruth, I've forgotten the conversation so give me a moment or jog my memory.
Ruth: You'd stated something about the immigration protests.
C.I.: Right, thank you. Okay, so it's a call from out of the blue from someone who attends no anti-war, peace rallies. Someone who does nothing but sit on their ass and complain. I was commenting about the diversity at the rallies, with people speaking in so many voices and from their own personal experiences. To which L.A., "Lazy Ass," replied, "I know what you mean! I can't believe we're focusing on this issue!" That wasn't what I meant and I corrected that. But LA's feelings were that the immigration protests were drowning out the peace movement, of which LA is not a part of. That's not the case and people need to get over that. This, the immigration rights movement, isn't this top-down movement. It's a case of something very important that effects so many on a very personal level. The driving force is a different thing. It's not a threat to the peace movement. If there's a fault with the peace movement, it's the inability to connect more people on a personal level. But it's not a competition. I think what L.A. and anyone else feeling that way fails to grasp is the factors that distance the war, factors that the peace movement is working to overcome, which are less in place with immigrant rights. On the most basic level, broadcast media, in English, can distance people from the war, and does. It can try that with the immigration issue. But it's less successful there because you just have to look around and there's your friend it effects, or your family member or you. The media can't lie on this issue and get away with it. There's no need for a fact check online or anywhere else because you have your own eyes and your own experiences. It's an immediate rejection of the mainstream's portrayal of "the Senate proposal is good." No, it's not. It may be good for big money, but it's not good for the people. Those attempting to use the mainstream airwaves to sell this crap to the public forgot that this isn't the unions that they've demonized forever, or some government program or government agency that they've long attacked. This is very real and very immediate. And very personal. Add in that the mainstream media has long ignored immigrant concerns and issues so there's no "base" they can build on. You watch whatever chatty fool say, "This is the good proposal" into a mike and you know they're lying. It took how many months for the public to face up to the fact that both the Bully Boy and the media lied to them [about the war]? It didn't take that stretch of time with regards to immigration because, though the media rendered that portion of the population invisible, it is a fabric of life in the United States. There are connections between immigration and the war -- Camilo Mejia has done an amazing job giving voice to the connections -- but this issue [immigration] wasn't a 'wait and see' one. A lot of people could, and did, sit out before the invasion and in the early months of it. "What if I speak out and it goes wonderful?" Or, "What if WMD is found!" Or planted. What if? You can't play what if when lives are at stake and it was immediately clear that we were talking about lives, even if the mainstream wasn't, when this scape goating of immigrants started up. For the people taking part in those protests, it is very real and very immediate.
Dona: So what does that mean for the peace movement?
C.I.: Well, I'm not sure that's the right question. I understand what you're getting at but I don't want anyone reading that question and misunderstanding it as these protests that are going on are something that gets done and "Now we focus!" I know you're not saying that, but I want to be clear on that because I know a lot of people giving their everything to the immigration issue and I don't want to do or say, or not say, anything that devalues their incredible contributions, work and heart. In terms of any movement, when people speak out, it leads to more speaking out. That's why you have clampdowns and compromises. Which is really the only choices that governmental powers have [other than addressing the concerns]. They think they can ignore, and try to, but that's rarely the case. So -- and this is why it's important for musicians to speak out to make sure everyone's not saying, "I thought this was a musical roundtable!" -- any time people come together to fight for a cause, it helps other causes. The civil rights movement helped sparked a number of movements. The questioning and speaking out in recent past and more distant past, impacted the peace movement today as surely as it did, and does, the immigrantion protests. At the protests, to compare and contrast with the peace movement, you're hearing stories that are spoken of with the same sort of intensity that Cindy Sheehan speaks. And, like her voice before Camp Casey, these are voices and stories that the media hasn't given voice to. Take the nonsense about the Mexican flag. Talk to students and they'll tell you, "So what?" As they should. Why wouldn't they bring a Mexican flag or any other flag to a rally on immigration? There hasn't been a lot of second guessing from the movement itself. Now people outside of it, including that hideous man who was on Democracy Now! trashing them for using the flag, second guess it. But it got attention. That wasn't the goal, the goal was to honor heritage. And though some on the fringes and some outside clucked over the flag, the ones involved that I know, have no second thoughts and no, "We better ban flags!" attitude. There is very much a sense of ownership of the movement. Not singular ownership, but a group ownership. And the support that is given to one another participating is amazing. That's because it is a personal issue, and I'm speaking of what's going on in California, I can't say that it's the same elsewhere. I'd hope it would be but I don't know that. It's very personal and very real. The challenge for the peace movement, and Naomi Klein has pointed this out for over two years now, is to bring the war home. You say that and some freak out. When she was debating the issue of protest on Democracy Now!, Toad freaked out and went to Chicago '68 immediately. That's not what she's talking about and people would do well to lose the Nervous Nelly quality. She's speaking of a very hard task, which is demonstrating that it's not "over there" and it's not something that only effects some people. I wish I'd heard the people that Elaine, Wally and Jayson spoke with or the one that Rebecca did because I'm not sure this is what they were getting at. The movement is successful and growing each day. But for it to really drive the message home, the connections need to be made, the war, like the troops, needs to be brought home. That's not a cry for violence. That's saying we need to connect what the media and the government don't: what goes on "there" is here. This is effecting everyone. Not just Iraqis, not just troops, not just the families of troops. That connection is still not being made. And until it is, the numbers will continue to grow but not to the size that is needed. By the way, I've gone on way too long, but screw it. I had an e-mail from a woman who felt that no one was noting the children of the fallen. She's one and it's her issue. We have noted it at The Common Ills before and we will work it in as soon as I can again. But that's her issue and she was very straightforward about it so I want to toss that out now since I don't know when I'll be able to get to it. Each death in Iraq of a parent, Iraqi, British, American, what have you, does impact. And for children, and Cedric and Wally lost their fathers at young ages so they could speak to this better than I can, it's a different level of impact. It's awful when anyone loses someone they love but to lose someone when you're still getting to know them or before you are able to is a disaster, I can't think of a better word, sorry, that isn't always noted. I'm not minimizing the effects on a parent or a spouse, or a friend or lifetime partner or anyone. But with children, there's an added level.

consider that a rough draft because i spoke to ava today and she said that she wanted to go into it with the notes and fix the typos. i said 'not tonight!' she was participating in the rally in nyc.

people need to slow down and take time for themselves.

(i'm the warrior woman - roar! - i can handle anything!)

i put that in because i really saw it today. i'd visited with every 1 in california last month. but i could only stay the weekend (i had to come back for a christening). i got to meet a few people involved in the immigration movement and they were wonderful. but today, it wasn't just hearing about it, it was witnessing it. and it was pretty damn amazing.

by the way, while i'm talking the third estate sunday review, if time permits, the upcoming edition should be pretty amazing. there are some really wild ideas being tossed around and i'm really excited about it.

the peace events in nyc?

the thing that still stands out to me is this cage that was pulled around to drive home the point about guantanamo and the way the prisoners there are treated. we need a lot more of that kind of creative, in your face, theater.

there were some wonderful speeches. you can always count on that. but what stood out to me besides the energy and passion from the crowd is the the cage. it drove the point home.

where's goldie?

i called her this afternoon and she told me, in a very grown up voice, 'rebecca, we're not supposed to use long distance today. we have to show solidarity with the immigrants.' i replied in an equally serious voice, 'my bad. i'll call back tomorrow afternoon to get the update.'

goldie is the future of our nation. forget condi, hillary or any other woman some 1 wants to toss out. our future president is alive and well and in middle school. she's going to change the world.

she's so much more together now than i did at her age. and i bet more than a lot of adults do today.

i've got a glass of wine, a cigarette going and otis singing from the speakers so let me stop here and work on the 2nd entry. 2 entries tonight. so don't feel cheated if c.i. doesn't post. it's been a busy day for all of us but it's been a killer 3 days for c.i.

forget president, goldie's the future c.i. that's how amazing goldie is. i'll call her tomorrow and get the news on how her and her mother's house party went this weekend.

be sure you read c.i.'s "NARAL advocates the rest cure" that went up early saturday morning. it's amazing.