Greetings from the World Can't Wait Encampment in Washington DC.! Here are some photos of us holding our massive banner right in front of the White House on Sunday 10.16. We will be here EVERY DAY through November 2, from 10 am to 7 pm. (Since Lafayette Park is THE most restrictive place in the country, we are unable to pitch tents and sleep in the park.) We'll be posting on this blog every day from our encampment, giving you all a on site diary, sharing thoughts and experiences.
Why are we here? To directly face the White House with our lime green 3x20 foot banner, and BOLDLY announcing the number of days to the beginning of the end of the Bush Regime! Each morning when we arrive at "camp," we change the # of days left--counting down...18, 17, 16...til Nov 2.
Plus, the White House is probably the most visited tourist attraction in Washington DC. Hundreds of people come through a day from all over the world. Today we met people from Canada, Peru, South Africa, Venezuela, Colombia, Scotland, Holland, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Syracuse, Denver, Texas, San Francisco, Washington State, Atlanta, Cleveland, Akron, New York City, Florida, Alaska, Indiana, Louisiana, Chicago, South Carolina, and DC. And we had a special treat! A music group called The Impossibles were in town making their music video with Chuck D on Chuck D's label, and when they saw us they asked if they could include us reading the Call and serving notice in their video.
Just holding up the banner created quite a stir of contraversy and discussion! People would first come up to us and say, "What does it mean? 17 days til the beginning of the end of the Bush Regime." And we would tell them that we're launching a new national movement on November 2 to drive him out. Sometimes we talked to individuals, other times we spoke to large crowds. The vast majority of people, while having differing opinions on many things, overwhelmingly expressed their angst and outrage about Bush. But it wasn't just that people were talking to us--they also began talking and debating among themselves on the questions and challenges of the Call to ACT on Nov 2. This is also part of what we're trying to do here--to start hundreds and thousands of people engaging broadly in society. 100's of copies of the World Can't Wait Call were taken by folks to take home and start organizing in their home towns. And it was pretty cool that for almost all the places that people were from, there was already something being planned!
Some of the questions we got were: what will happen on Nov. 2, what will happen after Bush is run out of office, and what is the plan to accomplishing this. On the question of if this country is moving toward a fascist state, some people saw it very clearly and others wanted to hear more on why we thought this. Some of the things that people were really concerned about was the destruction of the separation of church and state, the attacks on science and evolution, hurricane Katrina, and the war in Iraq.
A couple of particular stories: A parapalegic man went by in a motorized wheel chair, saw the banner, and did a u-turn. He couldn't speak, but used a voice computer mounted on his chair, and we had a conversation about the Call. I asked him what he thought, and after a few minutes of pressing buttons on his computer, a computerized voice spoke up and said, "I hate Bush." At the end of our talk, his computer said, "I appreciate what you're doing," and "I'm going to try to make it on Nov 2." I thought this and compared it to the still too many people who make excuses that they're too busy, or only want to change things if it isn't "too much trouble."
The tribal operations director of the Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government in Venetie Alaska and Arctic Village Alaska, stopped by, and spoke with Travis Morales, an initiator of World Can't Wait. It turns out that since August 2, members of his tribe have been holding a vigil at the Native American Museum on the Mall, opposing oil exploration on the Arctic Slope. When we explained why we were here, he said, "we are part of the same movement." And when we talked about Iraq, he said, "I am a veterann of the US armed forces. I have a right to speak. They said there were weapons of mass destruction, and there were none. They said there were nuclear weapons, and there were none...as a Native American, I know about US occupation." Before leaving our camp, he hugged Travis and took World Can't Wait fliers to take back to Alaska.
If you are in the DC area, JOIN US! We are here from 10 am- 7 pm EVERY DAY. And at NOON each day, we cross the street, on the sidewalk in front of the White House, and directly
serve notice about the number of the days til the beginning of the end of the Bush Regime. At that time, we read the ENTIRE CALL, in unison. And WHEN, not if, you come to join us, whether for an hour, or a day, or a week, bring bagels, coffee, water, or any thing else to help keep us going. We will be posting more about what you can do to be part of this, and support this effort. But we want to get this off now.
The World Can't Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime! November 2!