Thursday, March 01, 2007

THE OCCUPATION PROJECT

Yesterday I spent the day camped out in my congressperson’s office. Mainers are planning to stage sit-ins every Wednesday until Tom Allen agrees to refuse to fund the War.

Last Wednesday, a friend’s friend Natasha was arrested and spent the night in jail. You can read all about it HERE. What you won’t read is that Tom’s Communications Director, a big burly man with black hair, burst into tears when the police came to haul everyone away. Natasha said that made everything all worth it.

This “Occupation Project” is spreading across the good ol’ US of A. So far, in addition to Maine, “sit-ins have led to arrests at the local offices of U.S. Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.”

About thirty of us packed like sardines into Tom’s little waiting room. Five read prepped statement to the big, burly black-haired Communications Director, who stood patiently and silently facing each reader with a resigned look in his eye.

An old white-bearded man named George used scotch tape to stick 20-30 pictures of him and his grandkids all over Tom’s freshly painted walls, along with flowered silkscreens filled with husky magentas, lime greens, yellows, and anti-war slogans.

I sat next to Looki from Holland, about 80 years old, her grey hair pinned back in a bun and held there with a barrette, her eyes rheumy. Looki looked like she might weigh all of 80 pounds.

Natasha and the other 12 arrested last Wednesday are not allowed within miles of Tom’s office, on pain of death.

The head of Peace Action Maine was with us: big guy in his thirties with his hair tied back at his neck and pulled into a bun.

Another of our fearless leaders was a young guy, thin as a carrot and with a halo of curly red hair. His wife was also thin as a carrot but she had black hair and glasses with thick black rims and manages the best Goodwill store in the area, the one across the Million Dollar Bridge in South Portland.

We all sat on the floor, read poetry and talked.

Tom’s staff refused to give us the key to the bathroom. But we outfoxed them; went next door to the Immigrant Legal Aid Fund and got their key.

Around 5 pm, a camera man from Ch. 13 News, and a slinky young reporter with long black hair came and interviewed four people
out in the hall, a Sociology Prof from USM, two other guys and a woman who sneaked over from New Hampshire.

At 5:30 we unwilling to be arrested left, and six stayed. Among them were three old men with white beards and moustachios who, as we left, were lined forlornly in a row on Tom’s off-white waiting-room couch beneath an oversized, neon-orange Georgia O’Keefe flower.

My friend Jan poked her head back into the room and said, “Don’t worry, it’ll be alright.” (Jan’s been arrested three times). One guy said, “Don’t you worry about us.” I.e., you’re giving off fear vibes in our direction, don’t do it. Jan looked appropriately chastened, and we punched the elevator down button and left.

Nothing in the paper this morning about our six heroes. Hope they’re okay. And I hafta wonder if the big burly guy managed to get through the ordeal with shedding tears this time.
__________________
thnx to maineinfo.net for the pic of Exchange Street where we picketed, and where Tom Allen's office is.

10 comments:

Anne Johnson said...

We at "The Gods Are Bored" highly commend this project. We are quite sure that here in New Jersey, our congressman would have us dumped into the Delaware River if we tried to stage a sit-in.

Feel good about what you did. You honor the Goddess of Life.

lizz.duff said...

Re sexualization of war and Goddess:

I'm having trouble posting. Pls. bear with me.

Thanks.

Duff

lizz.duff said...

Seaxualization of war (con't.)

The WarGod rages in Seattle. The Occupation Project sits-in.

I have helped the occupation folks
sit in at Sen. Maria Cantwell's and Rep. Jim McDermott's offices.

Yesterday, I took a solo trip to Senator Patty Murray's. On her front office wall, she has a huge, and hugely obscene, banner. It was a gift from the Seattle National Guard units in Iraq and Kuwait, thanking Murray for her support. In the middle of the banner, a color picture shows American troops shooting a mortar. Yup, the pix captured the exact moment of orgasm--oops, firing--from the phallic steel tube. From the main office wall of Washington's most liberal female senator--the one who voted against the 2002 war resolution-- we have the WarGod belching his seed of fire and death on the Iraqis.

What happened to Murray, our best bet for female life-giving energy and common sense? What made her cave so utterly? And what will her staff say next week when I return and ask about the 'stiff steel prick' hanging on their wall.

Sexualization of war? You bet. Is Goddess needed NOW!! in Murray's office and the world? Bring Her on!!

No arrests of occupying protesters in Seattle yet. But Google 'citizens arrest Patty Murray for a good video.

May Goddess recapture all our hearts --before 2025. We need Her.

Duff

Athana said...

Anne, I agree -- some places are safer for sit-ins than others. New Jersey might not be on the safer side. I can't take credit for Maine because I wasn't born here and my ancestors didn't come from here. My own personal theory is that Maine is a human state because, unbeknownst to white Europeans, hundreds of Abenaki Indians came filtering back into the state when the coast was clear from the Indian wars. You wouldn't believe how many blond, blue-eyed Indians there are on Indian Island, one of the reservations here. The Abenaki blend right in -- physically, anyway.

Athana said...

You go, Duff! Alright!! Here's my guess on what happens to people like Murray. Big Money knocks on their door and sweettalks them. Says whatever will work. Maybe in Murray's case it was "Murray! We're going to give your campaign so much money that no one can ever take away your seat in Congress! Murray, just imagine how helpful to the state of Washington you would be if you could stay in Congress for year after year after year.... Oh, btw, Murray, don't vote against the War. We're making too much Big Money off it...."

pignut said...

Nice one. Next time, take an old oil drum, cut holes in each side and put lengths of drainpipe through it. Fill the oil drum with scrap metal and cement. Wrap the drum in chicken wire, coat in tar. Dump on pavement in early hours of morning. Put chains around your wrists and link arms through drainpipes. Lock chains together with carabiners or padlocks. You will be very hard to move, and the police will need a lot of equipment to cut you out!

Drainpipes alone beats just linking arms. I have successfully bluffed the police by just holding hands through a drainpipe when we ran out of chain.

Why the protests at Obama's office? I thought he was anti-war.

pignut said...

Aaaarrgh, I thought Barack Obama was strongly anti war, but reading between the lines of his statements, I think he will have compromised into Tweedledee before he gets near the White House.

lizz.duff said...

Athana-

You were so right about Murray. She received $97,000. in 2006 from missile contractors. Good enough for 7th in the Senate.

I'll be in her office again this week. Myabve leave some Goddess literature.

Duff

Athana said...

Great gunny sacks, pignut, you were serious! Fabulous idea!! I passed it on to higher authorities in the peace movement here. Keep watching the U.S. news; I expect to see your tarred oil cans popping up all over the place in the near future.

Athana said...

Duff, Yah, Big Money's gotten way too Big lately. Whoever becomes BM's slave is the dudette or dude who'll get into Congress. And if they vote any way BM doesn't approve, BM drops them like a hot potato and finds some other patsy willing to play slave. I don't see how anyone can get elected to Congress anymore without voting the straight Big-Money ticket. It's got to stop.

If your Murray does listen to you, and she does stand up against the War, BM will just shove her out and find someone else to put into Congress -- someone who *will* vote to keep the War going.

This is why people are always going on and on about clean elections, and election reform. We have to get BM out of our election process. Until we do, what we have is not a democracy, but a corporatocracy -- rule by corporation. Or, using the old fashioned term, a fascist state.

But that's not to say that our protesting isn't worth it. It's very, very worth it. What it does is call attention to the fact that BM is running the show. It calls attention to the rot. It makes people sit up and ask why.