Monday, January 29, 2007
Multi-Banner Drop in the Hart Bldg. after talking with Gabby's staff.
29 JANUARY 2007
NOTES FROM GABBY’S folks.
Marched from the Pink House to Cannon.
Actually I was supposed to go with the Pinkers to Rayburn & the Shoe distribution.
My shoe has Ashref Katjhem Gasem name attached. She was 5.
Got to 502 Cannon after navigating the corridors, construction and ---- and ------ were already there. I wrote out a hasty note as Maura hired a new staff member – a young gentleman hired just minutes before. There was pleasant chitchat until Daniel Graver arrived and I realized he was the gentleman I’ve given the pink balls of courage to to give to Gabby at a bar in Tucson where there was a heckle the tv state of the union watching party last year.
We shook hands and agreed we’d met before….and I sensed a bit of not altogether comfortable anticipation . We went with Daniel to Gabby’s office to chat. -------opened on a political campaign note.
He began writing a few of the UFPJ points down that we’d put our own spin on.
Troops home now. Iraqi people against us. Cut funding.
Also she ran as a progressive , why hasn’t she joined the progressive caucus?
What is she doing in the next two weeks to stop the illegal nuclear weapon use of the US on Iraq in three weeks? We have to observe the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.
Jill & John from KBRP Bisbee came in part way into our mtg and began taping.
And Maura switched with Dan to field questions.
Walked with them to the Hart bldg. Met Ellen. Walked back to the Rayburn bldg. Got coffee and talked to Robin and Julia about their lobbying in the afternoon.
At noon we joined a white rose action at the inner court yard fountain . I laid a card down and a few roses as the names of Iraqi dead were read. The frozen water and flowers were as stark a testimony to the dead as any I’ve seen or in which I’ve participated. Didn’t want to be arrested so I left for the Dirkson Bldg. Which is where I met up with Sam and Maureen (newbie) and walked to the Hart Bldg.
The atrium of the Hart Bldg is perfect for banner drops. From various tales told after the event., I’ve reconstructed compatriots stories of being followed to floor 5 then going to 3 via the elevator and walking back up to 4. I was doing similar diversion between floors. Finally the signal came as I was taking pictures of a shoe action from a fifth floor overview. (I will upload as soon as I get to the house. ) There were at least 100 women throughout the building . Banners were being unfurled from every floor. One would go over the rail and unfurl a message of peace only to be grabbed and eventually taken away by police. Some of the many banner bearers with whom I spoke said they asked for 30 secs for a picture, various first second and third warnings were issued by various uniforms and suits. After Gael had a few problems with a suit who was gruff at first, I and others. ran over to help her & get the banner stretched out. It said Peace on Earth. The big 40 foot pink slip was unfurled but had twisted, So Medea who was on the main floor of the atrium leaped up to straighten it and it was lifted off the floor a bit when police on a higher floor tried to take the banner. Individuals with N, O, W. A, R. letters lined up on five different floors for a multi –floor multi-part banner. Of course songs and chants were being sung and shouted from every floor into the atrium. “Out of Iraq.” “De-fund the war. “ “War is over if you want it.” “No more money for war.” It was so great to see banner after banner unfurl after each confiscation. The banner and floor I was involved with actually had three banners. The first big pink one was confiscated . Then Nell pulled out her rainbow Peace banner. We dropped it. It was confiscated. Gail unfurled her scarf. It was confiscated. Then we began waving our scarves -- PINK of course. We saw one slip across the way …… just a simple unadorned pink slip We later learned it was not confiscated because of one woman ‘s quick thinking. An officer was trying to take it when she said… “I have a pink bra too!” and he said,, “OK, OK.” At about that time we had run out of banners and decided to chant our way all the way from the fifth floor to the first. Then the cops tried to corral us. But they changed their minds. (If I find out more I will let you know.)
The exhilaration wasn’t as strong as the first actions I did, but it still feels good –to speak our minds in the halls of our Senate offiice bldgs. And the joy of the UFPJ lobby folks who stumbled across the pink action was palpable. They thanked us, joined in the chants – as did a few staffers.
Eventually we made our way out after a few chants of , “THIS is what democracy looks like. “
We managed to get most of the banners back.
My only regret is that I didn’t get a clear shot of the big banner that LA Sam and Jodie ( I think) dropped – the big 40 ft. long one that said, No More Money for War.
Then it was off to the Dirkson Bldg. For a late lunch.