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Poem about 2nd & Burnside on Thursday

a poem
from martha:



2nd & Burnside from inside the copsquare

It takes a lot of gall

to sit and sit and sit

and know you'll be

arrested

knowing

you "have to work in the morning"

but knowing also

that the better choice

is standing up

for what you believe in

and sitting down.

Only a restful night later,

after finally sleeping in a soft place

did I realize why we were shushing

the yellers in our solidarity circle.

Because when we got arrested,

and charged for the crime

of disorderly conduct

which I call civil disobedience,

we'd have a defense-

we were orderly,

we were calm,

and we were certainly conducting ourselves in an orderly fashion.

People in the windows above--

children with "no war" signs,

a jock without a shirt,

and many many in and on apartments

watched

and we waited

and waited

until

it seemed

the cops were sure

that everyone they owned

was there

so that we would come

without pepper spray

and without tear gas

and without beating

they had pushed in on the standers

before,

and now the standers were gone.

If they had been sitters, they would have helped our numbers in jail

and maybe we would have gotten out sooner...

I mean, they only have so much room in the jails.

As people get arrested, one of the protesters picks up trash.

In fact, all through the sit-in, we've had

trash picker-uppers

food-bringers

and a sense of togetherness

I have not often felt.

We have become "its"

to the cops.
I became a stander, here's why. 25.Mar.2003 02:27

Doing it for the Earth!

I had to make a decision, as a student journalist, and write, whether I should have stayed in the circle, or stand, and become a presence, both with my pen and paper, my editor close by with a video camera, and as a person. It was a difficult decision, but I want to let you know, that I feel the presence that we were able to make, on the sidelines, by writing down the names of the police, by video taping them, and asking them questions, that if they were to do something violent they would be less inclined to do so, as we were writing down their names, talking to them, and videotaping them. I hope this justifys our leaving the circle, as we were also there to the end, and yes we are less likely to get arrested, but perhaps that is the trade off for creating a presence which can document what I feel to have been defamation of our your humanity, and apathy to the Iraqis. As far as the officers viewing you as "its," we must fight to change that. That is the police objectifying you, as an enemy. They must realize that we are not the enemy. How do we accomplish that? Show the humanity within our words and actions. Keep drumming, singing, smiling: anything that will help them to not dehumanize us so their jobs can become easier.
Thanks.