Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Guantanamo Bay and Habeas Corpus

By January Coleman-Jones

Today June 26, 2007, I was present at the Habeas Corpus, Guantanamo Bay Rally and it was a beautiful experience. I was able to listen to Reverend Yearwood, he especially sticks in my mind because he shared such powerful words. He pointed out the fact that he has been to many rallies and he was so optimistic because at the rally today their were people of every race, and that in itself is progress. He also shared words from Martin Luther King Jr. and it was a joyess moment.

Later I attended the hearing about Guantanamo Bay and it was certainly interesting Congressmen Franks a stern republican from Arizona made me as well as the rest of the code pink members in attendance furious. He made Guantanamo sound like a Resort instead of the hell hole it truly is. His remarks were so infuriating I don’t understand how he himself can live with himself. When Congresswomen Jackson- Lee from Texas came to speak he would not allow her due to the fact that she was not a member of the sub-committee, when in reality it was due to the fact that the republicans were in an intense minority. As she was leaving I had a moment to speak with her, (I was wearing a shirt that said “we will not be silent”) She looked at me and said, “Sweetie, WE will NOT be Silent, and don’t think that I will be.” I let her know that there were Texans in the code pink house and she told me that she was doing all she could, and that she supports us. After Franks atrocious actions and a beautifully outspoken remark from Liz Arizona, I went up to him and let him have a piece of my mind. I told him that although I am not from Arizona, I believe him to be a completely inhuman person and that I don’t feel he represents the State of Arizona OR the United States Citizens and that I am ashamed and shocked that he could be a representative. He remarked with a heartfelt sorry you feel that way. And I let him know that I was sorry he was here. All in all it was an invigorating experience.

Also being here has been so far a beautiful experience. I am 17 years old and the younger women in the code Pink house, and I feel like not only have I gained friends but also mothers, comrades, grandmothers, and sisters. This is a wonderful experience.


JimPreston said...

I am so sorry that I was not there with you all yesterday. It sounds like you had an exciting, interesting, and challenging time. I look forward to meeting you soon, January. Every day that I am not on the streets and in the halls of congress with my sisters in peace is a day that I miss an opportunity to make history and to make the future better.

Last night I went to a "Town Meeting" type of thing in Maryland with Senator Ben Cardin and Andrew Duck, who is running for congress in Maryland (against Republican Roscoe Bartlett). The meeting was partly an opportunity for Democrats to beat up on Republicans on the Iraq issue in friendly surroundings, but was also an opportunity for citizens to challenge the senator and congressional candidate to make their deeds match their rhetoric on Iraq. Mr. Duck is a retired military intelligence officer. He left the military during the early stages of the occupation, after witnessing first-hand the fact that the US was not accomplishing anything worthwhile in Iraq. He is a great candidate for this large, mostly rural, district and is a really nice guy. I spoke with him extensively both before and after the meeting. During the meeting, I explained to Sen. Cardin that the informed public would not be congratulating the Democrats if they simply reduced the US footprint in Iraq and returned to a garrisoned force, and that we were glad that the Democrats were standing up more against the war, but that we were carefully watching to see if this was just a political calculation or a real move toward a peace-and-diplomacy-oriented foreign policy. After the meeting, Mr. Duck specifically asked me if I had "passed his test", since he was well aware that I was coming from a strongly anti-war position. I found him to be extremely honest, intelligent, and well-informed.

So that was last night's little solo adventure in the peace movement. I prefer working with my sisters. As Piglet said to Pooh, "It's much more friendly with two."

So much more to talk about and sing about, but I will have to wait until later in the week to see you all.

Much peace, more love, and let the magic be the multiplier,

CODEPINK said...

It was great to read this and catch up on the wonderful work CODEPINK has continued to do on Capitol Hill.

Jim thanks for asking tought questions @ the town hall meeting you mentioned in your comment.

~ Midge