Cindy Sheehan’s magical mystery bus tour.
Billed as a tour of the war criminal’s hideouts and part of the “Spring Rising” protest events in DC, 3/18-21- , our tour started at 1 pm on 3/19 just blocks from the Capitol- now swathed in construction frameworks and looking like a sore thumb. It is a blustery day- with bare hints of spring.
Men in black suits carrying black briefcases, women in black suits with black stockings to match criss crossed the square in front of the capitol building. They all look like serious agents. Agents of what?
Code Pink had been “spring cleaning” earlier- lobbying to cleanse the capitol of its evil war germs- visiting such offices as Senator Corker’s, McCain and Cotton- to accomplish said cleansing.
The bus was full, with Cindy’s sister De De and Malachy Kilbride key organizers, “holding the reins”. We must leave right away, since a capitol policeman is threatening a ticket. On board are folks from Canada, California, Vermont, etc., 30 +
Our first stop is at, as Cindy calls it from her mike at the front of the bus , “Mordor”- the evil Pentagon. Peacemaker, Col. Ann Wright gives an introduction to and facts and figures on this monstrosity- the largest building devoted to war in the known universe. Will Smaug be there?
Upon arrival, police cars swarm the bus with unnecessary flashing lights- telling Malachy we cannot take protest signs to the memorial. We take them back to the bus and proceed.
At the memorial, Bob Mcilvaine gives a moving testimonial, having lost his son on 9/11; his description raises more than a few eyebrows as to what actually happened, I’ll leave it at that- you can google him and you will see that he does not buy the accepted narrative, particularly given the details of his son’s death.
One protestor tells me that Hani Manjour, who hijacked the flight 77 into the Pentagon, “couldn’t even fly a Cessna!”.
On we go “over the hills “ and back across the Potomac; next stop, the FBI and Dept. of Injustice. Eugene Puryear- ANSWER-organizer gives a good talk, and as well, local peace activist Paul Magno, concerning the interrelation between the FBI, Guantanamo, Snowden, spying on activists. Others point out previous Director J. Edgar Hoover’s sordid history of counter intelligence and disruptions of progressive causes- dating from the Palmer raids to Cointelpro.. As before we are surrounded by 10+ “FBI police”.
The security business- has it ever experienced such a boom? How many policing agencies exist in DC? Answer- an absurd number!
Alli McCracken of Code Pink described the Spring Cleaning efforts on Capitol Hill.
Due to time constraints we must skip stops at the Monument to the victims of Communism, the Carlyle Group and Dyncorp headquarters (we could well have included the Heritage Foundation and Grover Norquist’s office, as- you could tell me- so many other locations.
And so-on to AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) Medea Benjamin takes the bull horn over with a fine and detailed roasting of AIPAC- its influence over the House and Senate.
Housed in a modern building with no words upon it revealing its existence, like the Bureau of Prisons, another missed spot- it tries to remain anonymous.
“Brick by brick, wall by wall- Israeli apartheid has to fall.” “Free Palestine”.
Our tour ended at the White House, with a group photo and boisterous chants and banners and signs upheld reading “No Endless War for Empire”and “No War with Iran”.
Media coverage was scant but for TTG- DC’s Channel 5. Did I expect NPR? ? deemed by Cindy- “Nat’l Pentagon or Nat’l Petoleum Radio”.
Between Cindy’s humor and the wrath of Medea- I pronounce the tour a smashing success.
Optional : poem read by participant, Baltimore poet: , Dave Eberhardt
- a “peace movement poem”; did you know that upon his death Tom’s blood was frozen until it was used to deface buildings at Oak Ridge when the Plowshares 3 took their action against nukes there?
Originally read in honor of my dear friend and accomplice-in the Baltimore Four blood pouring, Tom Lewis- at his memorial service from
“Hi from the Unknown Soldier. I threw away my rifle and went swimming.
You may have seen me slipping away from the column. Shsssssh.
If in a desert "theatre" I leave to go look at the night sky with all its stars- Aldeberan (sp?), Rigel, Spica, Eta Carinae.
I am a statue to the Noble Deserter in the park.”
I was inspired by artists like Tom Lewis! He had the "duende"- the spirit, the moxie. He had the will to continue in risky action after action of civil disobedience- from our blood pouring to forward into the Plowshares movement.
Want to join us? Then practice non-violence, resist war, and don't forget to move to the left.
Forgive them mother for they know not what they do.
Heroes to follow? Tom Lewis, war resisters, Dan and Phil Berrigan, "Plowshares" activists, M. Gandhi, ML King, AJ Muste, Dorothy Day, Quakers, Norman Morrison, Rachel Corrie, Brian Willson, Medea Benjamin, Cindy Sheehan.
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs