Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Peace Signs on Parade

Five valiant Code Pinkers -- Medea, Des, Liz, Sam, Midge -- and Sam's friend Jake camped out on Constitution Avenue all night to secure us a great spot for the 4th of July parade. Back at the Pink House the next morning, the DC crew assembled tasty home-cooked food (thank you Ena from Maine!), props galore and other equipment, while putting on pink tutus and other costumes made the night before.

About 9:30, the National Archives Building was the setting for one of our themes for Independence Day: "Support the Constitution." Joan, Marie, Des, Liz, Medea and Dave Barrows (aka "Devilish George Bush") marched in formation from our spot across from the IRS headquarters to the beautiful Archives Bldg, singing and chanting. Once there, these Code Pinkers joined in with participants, including redcoats playing fife and drum. Actors dressed as Founding Fathers read the Declaration of Independence and the names of the signers. The reactions of spectators ranged from "take my picture with you" positive to neutral; no negatives.

Back at our campsite on the parade route, Terra organized photo ops for over 30 passersby who wanted to have a Kodak moment with Code Pinkers, particularly Samantha (CA) and Ena, who shared "I Miss America" honors and the Radical Cheerleaders.

Shaking their plastic-bag pom-poms and swinging their hips, the women chanted:

Not if but when!
I'll say it again!
That's rev, rev, revolution!

As the parade came slowly down the wide boulevard, several Code Pinkers stood on cement flower pots holding up the "Dissent is Patriotic" banner above the heads of the crowd. One of the first floats presented the Military Order of the Purple Heart; a boy sitting on it gave us the peace sign with both hands and blew us a kiss, to our delight.

For the entire parade, we cheered, waved props, and called out: "Give us a peace sign!" In virtually every contingent where folks had a free hand (not bagpipers or marching bands or baton twirlers for obvious reasons), at least one marcher gave us the peace sign. I was amused to see the sly little smiles and glances of young men in the bands as they tried to play music and check out Code Pink at the same time. A Peruvian musician, dressed in magnificent costume, managed to play his pipes AND give us the peace sign twice!

Highlights for me included:

Our holding up the banner with this quote by Benjamin Franklin, "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither," as a float with Abe Lincoln and Ben Franklin figures passed by. "Ben" nodded graciously, smiled and gave us the peace sign in response.

Liz running out into the street with a twirly ribbon stick and dancing as a band from Surprize, Arizona marched by. "Arizona, give us a peace sign!" she yelled.

And at the end of the parade, Medea, Sam, Ena, Rae and Marie running out to join the Hari Krishna contingent.

As the crowd began to disperse, Medea got on the "womanhorn" with the Code Pink message of defiance of the Bushites, and support for the Constitution. Final photo ops for our entire contingent for student and professional photographers wrapped things up, and we sang our signature song for the day:

"We defend the Constitution
We're the Pink Police!
We defend the Constitution
and we defend free speech!

Can you hear the people shouting
It's become a roar!
Can't you hear the people shouting,
Time to end the war!"


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that we saw you on the mall today and thought you did a great job! Thank you for helping spread the message of peace to all of America on Independence Day.

JimPreston said...

Sorry I couldn't be there yesterday. I was promoting Code Pink in the Takoma Park parade. See you soon,