Voices of women in protest
I spent several hours talking to women about why they attended the Bush Protest. The interviews were done before the protest action. Here are a few of the voices.
Young Middle Eastern descent American women
I talked to three young women whose families were orignially from Egypt, and Iran
ME Woman #1: We're here today because we want to end the attack on the Middle East. Everywhere there is war and it is growing because this Bush is a terrible man. He hates everyone who will not give him oil. He wants to own everything and kill all the people in the Middle East. He is evil. We want to stop him.
ME woman #2: I want to help stop the war on Palestine. I want the people of America to know that the Palestinian people do not deserve to die. Israel is not a real country. It was created by the Americans and British and others because they did not want responsibility for the Jewish refugees. These Jews were mistreated by Europeans and by Americans. They did not want to help these people so the came into Palestine and took the land away from the Arabs. Now because Bush will give them bombs and guns, Isreal is killing everyone who is not like them.
ME woman #3: I don't know what to expect. I don't know if we will do any good or if we will get beat up, I just want to be here.
Tess is part of a nationwide video project to collect the voices of Americans after 9/11. She is traveling with her partner and has visited 47 states so far:
E: I notice that you are interviewing people. What's this project all about?
Tess: My partner and I are collecting information on what Americans think about America after 9/11. The video project has taken us all over the U.S. We started documenting American voices on September 12th, 2001 and we have not stopped. We're on this very important road trip across America. We're trying to document human thought and action in America during the aftermath of the New York and D.C. terrorist attacks. We're here today to listen to voices. We feel that corporate media is not doing a good job of talking to all Americans about 9/11. We don't take sides on how Americans feel or think, we just try to document the many voices of Americans. We have talked to the young and the old, many ethnic group members, workers, and the retired. We have talked to people in cities and small towns. We have talked to business people and the unemployeed. It has been an incredible journey we hope to share with America.
We have important questions to ask like: "How will America deal with what is before us? Will we come together as one nation?"
We have been really surprised at how many Americans don't support Bush's policies and how hidden this is from Americans. We hope to sell this documentary to someone who will let America hear Americans.
E: Do you guys have a website that people could check out and follow your journey.
Tess: Yes, the web address is http://www.project1nation.com We have been updating it as we go. There will be many updates in the coming months.
Elisabeth.- an elder lady. She walks with a cane and talks with the strength of 20 women.
E: Hi, can I ask you why you are here today?
Elisabeth: I have been marching for over 60 years. War is the worst way to solve problems. I am here today to support the effort to end this assault on America. I have been trying to make sure that in my lifetime we don't succumb to these warmongers.
The first person I voted for was a candidate for the socialist party who ran against Roosevelt. I knew then that he would not get enough votes. But I voted for the best candidate. I come to these protests sometimes knowing that not too many people will stand up. I don't care. I decided a long time ago that I would be a person of conscious. I vote for what I believe in, at the ballot box and with my feet.
E: So, are things getting worse? I mean if you have seen 60 years of protest and politics, how do these times compare with what has happen in the past to people's rights and the degradation of the environment?
Elisabeth: I think these times are the worst I have seen. I think it is worse because it's so unctuous and disdainful. Business people treat Americans like children telling us how to think and what to consume and how to vote. I wish we had a leader for this movement. Someone like Martin Luther King, Jr. who cared about all the people. Someone who could speak to us and bring us together. We haven't had a real leader since Truman who had a real job. Most of these people we elect don't know what it is like to go to work everyday and worry about how we will care for our families from day-to-day.
Bush is running around acting like a child throwing a big tantrum. He's tearing up treaties that protect human rights, the environment and everything we need to survive together peacefully on the earth. I am here today to stand up no matter what the odds, against this madness.
Women with children present
I talked to several families with children. Most of these mothers did not want to speak. Only two women with children spoke to me.
E: Aren't you afraid to have your children in the protest today? Do you think it is safe?
Mother#1: I think that if we don't all stand up right now, the world will become unsafe for children everywhere. Americans and the corporations are taking over the world and have already made it unsafe for millions of children all over the earth. My children are not safe. They did not become unsafe by coming to this protest. They became unsafe by the rise of the Bush regime. What will they have? Their vote no longer counts. Our family may not have an income soon. The Earth is being polluted at a massive rate. If they become sick tomorrow with cancer, the medical world will say "that's too bad your child has cancer, you know one in three will get cancer, it's genetic you know". I, as a mother cannot fight this insanity. I have to come here and show my children that other people care about them. And, I have to show them that they have a voice and should stand up no matter what corporate media says. I know that what I do will affect them, not what I say. I show my love for my children by being here today. That's why I am here. To show my children there is hope and we can do something if we stand together.
Mother#2: I am here today with my kids because I feel there is something not right. None of it is right. We did not elect Bush. He is destroying Democracy and leading the world to war. My kids are becoming less and less safe.
Three women in black.
Three young women dressed in black. They are pierced and walking arm-in-arm.
E: Can I ask you why you are here today?
Women in black #1: To get rid of this guy who was not elected, he just took over.
E: So what do you expect today?
Women in black#2: We expect to stand strong with these thousands of people today. We expect that we will not run and we will protect each other. That's what it's all about ... .nothing more.
E: Why are you here today?
June: I am here today to be sane and stand quietly in solidarity with others because Bush is a shallow, uneducated and unwise person. I took time out from work to be here and I really did not care if anyone else showed up. I just decided it was time to get up and stand up, and hold my head up, and say "no more".
Teen Girl: I am here today because I don't believe what my parent's society is doing. They are rich. They sent me to a private school last year and thought they could keep me from thinking about all this. I know that rich people in the country are killing other people to get their money. When I ask my parents about why the trees are being killed or why people in other countries are our slaves they get really mad and send me to a private school. So here I am. And maybe someone here will answer my questions and maybe I have to run away and find other young people who don't believe in having money made in the wrong way.
It's all connected you know. The way women are treated and the way people in other countries are treated. They treat us like children and say we should not ask questions. Then if we do ask questions they reject us. I used to try to be accepted by everyone. I tried to be cute and pretty. I starved myself, I was bulimic and anorexic. I had to go to this private school to learn to eat again. Now, I am back in Portland and I want to feed myself the truth. I hope that I find other people who will speak the truth.