Monday, August 22, 2011

Protest-Eve Day

All five of us got together at Belinda's for lunch and spent the afternoon together in her leafy green backyard talking politics and getting to know each other better than ever before. 

In the evening, we went to the training, which was held in a church.  This has got to be the absolute best organized action any of us have ever seen.  The training was run by five or six luminous, brilliant young people whose energy and enthusiasm, leadership and organization were absolutely extraordinary.
 Bill McKibbon, the main leader of this whole action had just gotten out of jail after being there for three days.  He came by and thanked us all for not being intimidated by the harsh treatment the first people received.  He said everyone in jail had very high spirits, and they were supported by knowing that more and more people were coming after them. 
Several people who had been arrested in the second and third days of the action told what had happened to them.  Other than the first day, people have been simply taken to the jail, booked, given a citation, fined $100 and released.  That is what they hope will happen to us tomorrow, but there are no guarantees. 

We actually practiced how we were going to line up and get in position for the sit in.  There was legal advice, practical advice, social advice (they even had us buddy up so no one would feel like they were going through this unsupported). 

Then they fed us and we all sat around in the church pews eating and getting to know one another.

Before we left, they taped a video of us together speaking about why we came. The press coverage of this has been quite good.  Apparently the New York Times had an editorial that said, "Mr Obama, say No to the Keystone Pipeline."  The mood here is exultant. 

We managed to find our way home, back to Kay and CB's house, exhausted and wound up at the same time.  Tomorrow is the day.  Time for a good night's sleep.

We're All in Place and Ready to Go

Margie arrived in Washington DC on Saturday.  Joanie, Linda and Margarita arrived Sunday afternoon.  Tantoo arrived Sunday evening we are all here and ready to go.

Joanie, Linda and Margarita are staying with Kay and CB, old friends of Linda's from her karate days in Seattle.  They took us out to dinner our first evening at the New Deal Cafe, a wonderful restaurant with a leftist political feel, great mediterranean food and live entertainment,  in Greenbelt, MD.  Greenbelt, a city that was one of Eleanor Roosevelt's projects, is described in their city web page this way, "The City of Greenbelt has gone into the history books as the first community in the United States built as a federal venture in housing. From the beginning it was designed as a complete city, with businesses, schools, roads and facilities for recreation and town government. Greenbelt was a planned community, noted for its interior walkways, underpasses, its system of inner courtyards and one of the first mall-type shopping centers in the United States. Modeled after English garden cities of the 19th century, Greenbelt took its name from the belt of green forestland with which it was surrounded and from the belts of green between neighborhoods that offered easy contact with nature."  It was a fitting place to start our adventure here.

Margie and Tantoo are staying with Belinda, a friend who lived for awhile in Livingston, but now divides her time between her home in Washington, DC and Santiago, Chile. She will serve as our support person to hand off personal belongings to during the demonstration.  We all feel so fortunate to have such wonderful friends to support us and give us a place to stay while we take part in this action.