Washington, DC - Mar. 8, 2003 - by Myshele
Code Pink Women's Anti-War Convergence

International Women's Day dawned in a bright, beautiful, cold morning. My friend Raj and I got up "butt-ass" early, because he was volunteering at the rally. I donated my pink bandanna to the cause, since we didn't have the right materials at the last minute to dye his hair hot pink. After a quick breakfast at his parents' house, we headed out to Malcolm X Park. After Raj checked in at the volunteers tent, I wandered around, checking out all the cool stickers and t-shirts and buttons for sale.... Nothing like a good cause to make you engage in capitalism! The day was getting warmer, and I quickly shed most of my layers. Maybe this time I wouldn't have to be "freezin' my ass off for peace!"

Due to family illnesses and other problems, the other Fans For Peace I was supposed to meet couldn't make it, but it all turned out okay. Once the rally started, I set up the banner with one side propped against a tree. I felt like a bit of a dork, standing there by myself, but having a stationary position allowed lots of people to come up and ask about our group.... I was interviewed by two high school students, a college student, Indymedia, and the Washington Post!

I didn't listen to the speakers too much.... Not that they were bad speakers, it was just more interesting to me to watch the crowd (I've already heard all the arguments against war!). It was a small crowd as far as protests go, about 10,000 people or so, but it was such a beautiful crowd! Everyone was wearing pink.... Ribbons in their hair, frilly little tutus, pink camoflage, pink umbrellas, t-shirts, jackets, balloons.... Even biohazard suits dyed pink! The attitude was full of hope. Women and men of all ages, races, religions, and social backgrounds, gathered for peace.

After awhile, a Radical Cheerleader came over to tell me how much she loved the banner. I told her that I was a little bummed because I had no one to help me carry it in the march, but she proved me wrong! She grabbed the banner, propped the PVC tubes on her hips, and showed me that I *could* carry it by myself! Between her enthusiasm, energy, and fabulous pink clothes, Lindsey absolutely made my day! With newfound mobility, I walked around the park a bit with the banner balanced on my hips.

Soon the march began, and Krissy, a woman I'd met earlier, appeared as if by magic to give me a hand with the banner. We slipped in right behind the Raging Grannies from Rochester, NY, who rode down the parade route in a giant black haywagon. They entertained the crowd with new lyrics to old songs, like "Georgie-Porgie, you're all wrong, bombs are not the answer, you can take your stupid war and stick it down your pants, sir!" After awhile, Krissy and I moved up towards the front of the march, and I got to skip and frolic down the street to the uptempo beats of the Rhythm Collective.

The march was even more beautiful than the rally.... A unified mass of pink-clad, joyful people flowing through the streets of our nation's capital.... What could be more poweful? Cars at intersections honked their support, people waved from street corners and balconies, and I got the feeling that in one of the many hotels we passed, the Goos were looking out the window at us, smiling. At one point, the march passed through a tunnel, with supporters lining the overpass and cheering. Inside the tunnel, our voices echoed and resounded, and emerging into the daylight again was like bringing our peace to birth.

Eventually, we made a big circle on the ellipse, in sight on the Washington Monument and other landmarks. In the center, there was a smaller circle with a symbolic performance by giant puppets. The three-headed monster of greed, hatred, and war, was terrorizing the more peaceful characters and tried to dominate them. But everyone started throwing colorful balls of yarn across the circle, weaving a web to bring the monster down. A celebration followed wtih joyful drumming, dancing, and singing. One chant we sang was, "if you want to know where true power lies, turn and look into your sister's eyes."

Then it was off to encircle the White House. Of course, we were not allowed to have a large gathering closer than two blocks away, so we had to make our circle blocks and bloks around it. I was carrying the Fans For Peace banner alone again, but several people helped me when I got tired. It took a long time, a lot of messages passed along the massive chain of people, but eventually we got the message that the circle went all the way around! Even though they told us we couldn't, even though even though they didn't let us get close, they only made our circle bigger! We held hands and focused our intentions of peace towards Resident Bush, who was actually there at the time.

When I next had access to a computer, the banner was mentioned in the Goo Goo Dolls Tour Diary, and a thank-you note from Robby was in my e-mail. Not bad for a day's work!

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