Reportback from a rebellious woman: S24-Seattle
You are a rebellious woman.
I will talk to your husband but not to you. You are a rebellious woman.
On the way up to Seattle we passed the time filling in madlibs packed by the spirit of creation, a mother with fire and love in her heart. Mothers must terrify the pro-Bush "Christian" death worshippers who called me a rebellious woman as I passed their contingent of two by Westlake Center. Females need one seed, then create on their own... life in all its uncomfortable, uncontrollable glory. To have your own power, your own voice, to seize your life as your own insults the death cultists, threatens their existence, gnaws thru the shabby veil of their reality construct and shows them their uselessness, base cowardice and petty, peevish, shoe-licking opportunism. They must silence all but the 3rd tier death-worshipping zombies from which they draw the small amount of spark it takes them to somnambulate and try to spread their filth. And forget the Christ they say they worship. A man if not a god who died for what he believed and shared a compassion which threatened the already parasitic power structure.
So anyway, madlibs. Portland Zipperistas find in language the most amusing utility. In Sacramento, it was haikus (5-7-5) to afford a non-money-based observation window in which to enforce the posted rule above the door: No Agents. No Assets. No Assholes. On the way up to seattle, madlibs provided a funny way to pass the time and an inadvertent exercise in relational psychology. We laughed we cried. We learned about mung. Small windows into secret, near places.
At the small feeder rally the next day, we encountered a splintered mirror of the left. Queer revolutionaries, anti-imperialists, friendly & wonderfully prolific Pepperspray videoistas, Philipina human rights advocates, obnoxious, articulate Haymarket boys with their zines and donuts, anger at the power structure and tentative resistance to a sure but sometimes covert threat. Heartening to find friends we had and had not known, in another town, of a kindred spirit, strengths and weaknesses of their own. And perversely nice to note that Portland radicals can organize as well or better as their larger sister-city. On Capitol Hill, we took to the sidewalk and obeyed the lights. Sometimes that's just what you do.
The ANSWER rally was bigger ... and cheesier. But, it's always heartening to see people out trying to amplify the truths and lies they've located and stored. Together, we covered a lot of bases, saying out loud what needs to be said in our own, living voices... about the looters in the white house, the remorseless attack on our people by our ruling class on 911 and thereafter, the sheer lunacy of those in power now, the faithlessness of those who pose as the loyal opposition... the need to look to ourselves and each other. There was no lack of creativity and attention to detail, stoking my love for those gifted at transforming message into image. Some messages were hard to decipher, but one person standing with modest pride, bearing a sign crafted to convey their heart's truth is its own ineluctable character, shaped before the first flood of light and continuing past the last sound.
As we drove back to portland, packed in and decompressing, the youngster among us shared his knowledge, his story of first and continuing enlightenment and struggle and drilled us for tales of the recent past. What was Mayday 2000 like, has there been a portland riot that wasn't just the cops attacking people, how many people showed up at the church to break the silence to say that all was not right in the city when mothers with children are targeted and thrown down... what was our first protest? The last question was tough for me to answer. I'm getting old. My first protest began long before i showed up, the day I learned the word no.
The first protest at which i showed up was an act of slacktivism. My boyfriend and i were living on 9th & spring, two blocks away from the Catholic Cathedral where thousands of people were gathering, lighting candles, preparing to march in protest of the 1st Gulf War. Hearing the din, we decided to tag along, me bearing our cat Zippy under my coat to his consternation and lifelong grudge. It was a large but uneventful march on Capitol Hill. When the group broke off into a couple of factions who disagreed about direction, we followed the one that circled back south and after a few minutes wandered off.
Life often seems a series of aimless walking, regular tasks and seemingly unimportant revelations that somehow sprout wings of epiphany, dropping seeds, vining, growing. The moment from that march was a very old man, a passerby, from whom i expected hostility, but there was none. He stopped to speak to the people closest to him who seemed to hear him, us two tagalongs. And he thanked us for being there and said with a wronged man's righteous anger that they had said World War I was the war to end all wars. That after that war there would be peace. There would be no more wars. They promised. That's how they got a lot of those young men to go over and fight that war they didn't understand. And, they lied.
And they've kept lying. Those fuckers. And we don't know exactly what to do. But we keep trying. We're tired but keep trying. We look at our paths and realize we have to make our best guess, based on where we are and what we have and where we've been. Sometimes you just must go on.
The young among us are brave and they are not tired. We will continue.
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