Celebrating International Women's Day
We do a ritual, facing each of the four directions. The police presence is limited but obvious. We have mostly always been treated fairly by the Washington D.C. police.
One of the Iraqi women has made a hot pink banner saying ‘end the occupation’ in English and Arabic; another holds a hot pink poster that says ‘peace’ in many languages – except Hebrew.
I meet women from all over the country and a few women for other countries: one woman is from El Salvador; another women is living in Italy; and yet another comes from China. We walk across the street to the Iraqi Embassy.
The women from Iraq call upon the ambassador to come to the gate, where the police line prevents us from entering, and take the our petition with the over 100,000 signatures. After a few moments, someone does come out to talk. When he realizes what we want, he refuses to take the petitions but does wave and welcome us. Hmmmmm – more than what the U.S. Mission folks did!
We continue through D.C., around Dupont Circle, thru Lafayette Park and to the White House. People along the route take the flyers and cards we hand out – for International Women’s Day and for Mother’s Day and for CodePINK. Some bystanders actually join us. I think our numbers swell to close to 1000, maybe.
We arrive at the White House & begin another rally. Women from the U.S. who have lost their children speak; and women from Iraq also speak. We end with an open mike where women – and a couple of girls - speak about how to end this war.