Yesterday was Women for Peace Day sponsored by CODE PINK and the National Organization for Women. Miss the memo? Don’t worry-you’re not the only one.
To check out this “holiday” I ventured over to Camp Democracy for the afternoon. Members of CODE PINK and NOW have been hanging out at Camp Fun since September 5th. How could I resist an event with such an enticing flyer:
“Can you name the one ‘free’ country on earth where a tiny group of extremists can steal elections, strip away basic rights, spy on citizens, and launch wars based on lies, but where the people do not take over the nation’s capital in protest?
“If you said the United States, you’ll be wrong after Camp Democracy begins on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
“At long last, Americans are preparing to say ‘Enough is enough!’ and to do what Ukrainians, Mexicans or any other people not drugged into acquiescence would do when things got this bad: occupy the capital city to demand peace, justice and accountability.”
A chance to occupy the capital city? No way was I going to miss THAT! It even sounded more fun than the NOW conference I attended in July. Plus, I never got to go to camp as a child.
So I headed down to Constitution Ave for the festivities. I was not surprised to find out that they were running way behind schedule. No complaints here, I enjoyed the organizers attempts to kill time until Howard Zinn arrived. Tom Pratt of Virginia gave a little speech about how American needs a new cabinet position for a “Department of Peace.” A women walked by wearing a “Men are Pigs” t-shirt. That might have been my favorite shirt if another woman hadn’t walked by moments later with a t-shirt that depicted a sickle and hammer morphing into a dove. Two ladies sitting in front of me were wearing trash bags as jackets. I took my picture in front of various Camp Fun monuments, including: an “Impeach Bush” billboard, giant heads of Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, Bush, and Rumsfeld attached to prisoner outfits, and, my favorite, a giant inflatable George W. Bush complete with a Pinocchio nose. Clearly, I was not at a loss for entertainment.
Finally Karen Bradley introduced Howard Zinn and reminisced about the 24-hour teach in she organized with Zinn back in the day (before she moved to Oregon to “eat granola for awhile”). I read Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States in high school, so I was curious to see him in person. I was not disappointed.
The crowd learned of the “enormous conflation of lies from the government.” Not to worry-Zinn told us where we could go to find truth in Washington, D.C.: go to the Library of Congress and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find truthful documents that the government is withholding from us.
Zinn said it isn’t enough to be against the Iraq war because the government will always cook up another war (next on the plate: Iran). We need to look at war in general and make this the century where war disappears all together. Zinn also compared today’s anti-war movement to the anti-slavery movement of the 1830s. Both, according to Zinn were ahead of the times and took many years to achieve victory.
Then to the question and answer segment. Col. Ann Wright asked, “What will be the tipping point in this dumb ass war?” Zinn was happy to provide the answer: the tipping point will be the inability of the government to maintain the loyalty of the troops. According to Zinn, we are well on our way to that point and there are growing signs of disaffection among the American military.
In the question and answer period I also learned that G.W. Bush is the “most dangerous leader in the world” and that the government’s interests “have nothing to do with the human rights of the American people or people abroad.”
I was hoping to catch some of the musical acts but “Emma’s Revolution” took too long to set up their equipment and I had to get over to Capitol Hill to celebrate the 15th anniversary of PBS’s To the Contrary. I also missed the “Young Women’s Drumming Empowerment Project.” Maybe next year…
I’ll post some Camp Fun pictures later today.