Catching the Peace Train to DC

Posted by on April 26th, 2006

Dear Women of Women Say Enough:

Like most (or all) of you, over the past terrible 3 years since the invasion of Iraq, I have thought: why don't people do more? Speak up? Take risks? Leave their daily lives behind? Do SOMETHING to oppose and help end the war?

Then in January, I attended a CODEPINK meeting and heard Suzanne Joi speak passionately about a planned series of actions in Washington, DC, beginning with a 24-hour vigil in Lafayette Park in front of the White house, from Saturday afternoon, May 13 through Sunday, May 14, Mother's Day 2006. Suzanne called this “Mother's Day Month” and she urged all of us at the meeting to seriously commit to going to DC for a month to honor the original feminist, pro-peace intention of Mother's Day, and to work for a full defunding of the war and withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. (For a full description, see www.womensayenough.org.)

She and another woman got into an intense debate over “DC vs. local” and various other points. As they were debating, I felt that, for the first time in my life, I had to go to DC. That I was “people.” That it was time for me to step forward, interrupt my daily life, and make the commitments of time, money, and energy that I have been waiting, anxiously and angrily, for others to make.

I immediately felt much better.

So I AM going to Washington, DC for Mother's Day… and John is going with me! After much discussion, we decided to make this journey the good old-fashioned way: by train! Our itinerary:

  • Depart Martinez, CA 4/30
  • Arrive Portland, OR 5/1
  • Depart Portland, OR 5/3
  • Arrive Chicago, IL 5/5
  • Depart Chicago, IL 5/6
  • Arrive NYC 5/7
  • Depart NYC 5/10
  • Arrive DC 5/10
We call this “Catching the Peace Train to DC” and we invite all of you to participate in the following ways.

One: Send us, by email or regular mail, or post below messages against the war and for peace that I can read at the Open Mic in Lafayette Park sometime during the 24-hour vigil. You may wish to dedicate your message to your mother, a woman in history who has inspired you, or to another woman (or women) you wish to honor.

Two: Come to DC! (Oh sure, you're thinking, like I can do THAT… but who knows, you may be able to after all!) Or you may know someone in DC or the local area who can commit to this action.

Three: Spread the word! Tell friends and family about “Catching a Peace Train to DC” but more importantly, about the Mother's Day actions. I am happy to talk to anyone who is interested. As far as the send-off party, the more the merrier.

Every week as I update the number of “US Combat DEAD” on the CODEPINK banner we hold at our Concord vigil (Galindo and Salvio streets, every Wednesday, 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.), I feel anew the sadness and horror of this war, the weight of the costs we can calculate… and the costs we cannot calculate. This week, as I read Seymour Hersh's article analyzing the possibility of a US air attack on Iran, including the use of tactical nuclear weapons (see www.truthout.org), I feel the fear of yet another nightmare of war. Like all of you, I feel the deep anxiety of our times.

But as I prepare for this journey, as I hold the CODEPINK banner and receive the honks, waves, peace signs, smiles and shouts of support, I feel something else, too. Joy, and a determination to help bring our troops home and to start rebuilding our country.

In different ways, you all inspire me. Thank you for your support!

End the war in 06,
Janet