The same old stuff from Congress; a sabre-rattling resolution threatening Iran. A new marriage. A cell phone borrowed from a protester to call Congress. And Code Pink.
An auspicious start for that new marriage. And an Iraq Moratorium event to shake things up a little in Brooklyn.
As the Iraq Moratorium prepares to start its second year with actions across the country on Sept. 19, here’s a report from one of the many held in August:
THE GRANNY PEACE BRIGADE: CONFRONTING THE UNSPEAKABLE, SUPPORTED BY THE UNCONSCIONABLE, ONE PHONE CALL AT A TIME: House Congressional Resolution 362 – sponsored by Rep. Ackerman and co-sponsored by NYC Reps. Towns, Fossella, Weiner, Maloney, & Engel – evokes disappointment, fury, and phone calls from constituents.
Let the word go forth: the good people of New York City aren’t one bit happy with the language and intent of this nasty piece of business*. On Thursday, August 7, several Grannies, CodePink women and members of Brooklyn for Peace set up shop at Brooklyn Borough Hall to sound the alarm and ask constituents to call their representatives and the response was so terrific, we went back for an encore on August 15th. Once again, Brooklyn welcomed us. Calls were made, conversations were started, voters were registered, and here are a few of the moments we’ll certainly remember:
On the 15th, Iraq Moratorium day, our first call is made by that Politically Endangered Species, a man in a suit! As faithful followers of the phone-a-thoners may recollect, this is not our strongest constituent base and we hope this is the start of a trend.
Two women from Yvette Clark’s district, giddy with excitement when they discovered ‘their girl’ missing from the Wall of Shame. “You just tell her we love her to bits and we’re proud of her,” they tell her office.
A man shakes his head over Rep.Towns’ support of H. Con. Res.362. “The man came to my church,” he says. “He seemed like such a good man. What’s happening here?” We wonder the same thing.
A young couple, just married in Borough Hall, pose for their wedding portraits right near our table. We offer them our congratulations, Granny buttons and we register the bride…to vote!
A young mom from Anthony Weiner’s district drops by. Her small son has autism and it is a full-time job getting him the support he needs. She calls Weiner’s office, tells the staffer she wants to register her distress at the congressman’s support of H. Con. Res. 362, and wants to see him front-burner domestic issues for ‘real people’. The office hangs up on her. Note to Rep. Weiner: you’ve got one very angry constituent on your hands – and she is not about to keep quiet.
We are told that Rep. Edolphus Towns and members of his staff were covertly checking out our table. If indeed this was the case, we sure are disappointed he didn’t want to engage us in some discussion.
– Fran Sears with Phyllis, Caroline & Joan P
– photos by Eva-Lee Baird