3 November 2011
WASHINGTON, DC REFLECTION: History is knocking.
By JoAnne Lingle
A friend sent me an email with this
subject heading: “History Is Knocking, Stop The Machine! Create A New World!”
paragraph hooked me:
There comes a time when efforts to avoid
the truth begin to fail, when one can no longer go about daily life and pretend
that all is okay. If you are like
most of us, you are experiencing this.
There comes a time when one can no longer shut out the atrocities of
U.S. foreign and military policy: trade agreements that destroy farming; mass
unemployment; especially among communities of color; illegal detention and
torture; increasing drone attacks resulting in mass civilian deaths; and once
again a President who lies the United States into another war for oil and
I immediately signed up to be at Freedom
Plaza in Washington DC on October 6.
protested against corporate, governmental, and financial institutions. We did banner drops, demonstrations at
financial institutions, disruptions at a medical conference sponsored by Wall
Street investors, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum drone exhibits, General
Atomics, a manufacturer of drones, and in House chambers.
On October 13, eight of us were arrested
on charges of disruption while Leon Panetta was speaking in the House Armed
Services Committee Hearing. When
Panetta said, “6,000 had died fighting for freedom,” I thought about the
hundreds of thousands we have killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and other
places. I thought about our
complicity in the covert war against the poor in South and Central America,
Africa, the Middle East, especially in Palestine. On my bookshelf are empty gas canisters, bullets and rubber
coated steel bullets, all collected from the streets of Hebron that were made
in the U.S. and/or paid for by my government.
jacket, I had a folded-up sign that read “End the War” and on the other side,
“Stop the Killing.” I stood up
with my sign and shouted, “Stop the killing of babies and children! Why aren’t we counting the babies and
children we are killing?” The next
thing I heard was the gavel striking loudly and a call for order. Immediately, three Capitol police
dragged me out of the chambers and cuffed me in the hallway.
Of all the
events in DC, the highlight for me was the October 16 dedication Dr. King’s
statue. Cornel West came to
Freedom Plaza and said, “If Martin Luther King were alive today, he would not
be at that at that statue – he would be here with us!” In memory of Dr. King, he said it was a
day to be arrested and proceeded to the Supreme Court where he sat down on the
steps with a sign that quoted Gandhi: “The worst form of violence is poverty.” Eighteen others joined him on the steps
and were duly arrested.