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
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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