On Tuesday, July 10, CA Senator Boxer gave a magnificent, detailed and passionate speech calling for the end of the Iraq nightmare today WHERE IT COUNTS: on the Senate floor. I hope it represents a historic turning point in the Senate as they debate amendments to the FY '08 Defense Authorization bill. Her speech, fiery and sarcastic, sometimes mournful but mostly blazingly angry, certainly represents the views of the American majority and of her California constituents. She denounced the violence against Iraqi civilians and the total inability of the Maliki government to protect them: "What a situation!" she exclaimed, sounding both very pissed-off and maternal. She painted a vivid word picture of the devastation in Iraq. Beyond the deaths of US troops, she talked about the psychological and social harms -- PTSD, alienation, divorce -- that are afflicting the veterans and which will cost our society "for decades."
At the conclusion of her oration and on our way to lunch, we Code Pinkers stood up in the Senate gallery, applauding. I called out, "Thank you, senator!" and Heather (from SF, of the League of Young Voters) said, "What a speech!" or something like that.
For this, Heather and I were singled out, arrested, booked (a process that mysteriously took 3 hours though we were the only defendants in the facility and were completely cooperative) and then sent for one horrible, unforgettable hour toa small cage in the cellblock in another jail. Heather and I supported each other through our mounting panic and claustrophobia, as we feared that somehow our paperwork had been messed up and we would be forced to spend the night.
But we were released into the steamy DC afternoon and later spent a relaxing evening with Heather's boyfriend Julian and our sister Californians Kara and Lindsey at a local bar watching the All-Star Game and talking politics.
Thank you calls/emails to Boxer's SF or DC office for bringing our message to the Senate floor would be much appreciated --
Bay Area Code Pink