Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Library that Lies Built (DeTour de Peace) by Cindy Sheehan


The Library That Lies Built
(DeTour de Peace)
Cindy Sheehan

“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience.” Howard Zinn
"But remember, this power of the people on top depends on the people below. When people stop obeying, they {the top} have no power." Howard Zinn
“But we also know something about George Bush the leader.  As we walk through this library, obviously we’re reminded of the incredible strength and resolve that came through that bullhorn as he stood amid the rubble and the ruins of Ground Zero, promising to deliver justice to those who had sought to destroy our way of life.” Barack Obama honoring George Bush at the dedication of the Bush Presidential Center at SMU, Dallas, TX.
 
“The greats, you can’t touch: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, FDR. But yeah, I’d put him {Bush} up there.” Bush advisor Karl Rove at dedication of Bush Center

Tour de Peace was in Phoenix a few days ago heading up to Winslow and points east when I picked up a USA Today and read a report about the upcoming dedication of the George Bush Presidential Library (Lie-Bury) on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. 
Months ago, Tour de Peace had made the decision not to divert so far off of our route down to Dallas to join the protest, mostly because we believed (wrongly, it turns out) that we would have way more people riding with us and it would be a logistical nightmare, because cycling so far south would really throw us off of our schedule to be in WashedUp, Deceit on the 3rd of July.
Anyway, I read some quotes by George Bush that enraged me. First of all, he claims that he doesn’t have to “defend” his decisions, because (MAJOR COP-OUT ALERT) “history will judge me.” Mass-murderer George is probably justified in thinking that “history” will be kind to him because people that look like him, think like him, act like him, and live like him are the ones who mostly write history. I thought to myself, “Damnit, how can I let the prime-murderer of my son Casey off the hook so easily?” The Obama administrations works overtime protecting the war criminals of the immediately proceeding administration because Obama is perpetuating the war crimes and murder and he is also counting on this professional courtesy from his predecessor. Evil self-serving war criminals should never be allowed to forget that they are evil self-serving war criminals. 


Also, included in the article, George Bush, the destroyer of countries and lives, says he spends his days “golfing,” “painting,” “getting fit,” and he is “happy.” I thought it would be good to head down to Dallas to show the war-elites in attendance, that, yes, they have harmed so many people, and me personally, but we are not defeated and won’t give up pushing for accountability and justice.
How could Tour de Peace not go? Plus there are only three of us on the Tour pushing towards DC to give Obama another accountability moment, so logistics were a little simpler—we made the decision to take a few days off the Tour and join the “People’s Response” and protest the dedication of a Lie-Bury dedicated to revisionist history and the glorification of war, the “health” of the state.

Dede Miller, my sister and Casey’s aunt and an important component to Team Tour de Peace and the Camp Casey family, decided to join us, so she drove to Winslow, AZ to meet the Tour. On the way to Dallas, we dropped the Tour de Peace van off in Gallup and the four of us squeezed into the tiny rental car. We left Gallup on Tuesday, the 23rd of April for the protest on the 25th and we needed to be back in Gallup on the 26th for an evening event. It was a grueling trip, but we believe it was definitely worthwhile.
Team Tour de Peace (Dede, Malcolm Chaddock, Dan Levy, and I) arrived at the protest site which was across a busy divided street from the back of the Lie-Bury—we could see the massive bleachers erected to hold the thousands of "Good Germans" (note: historically referring to the Germans that ignored, or pretended that Hitler's crimes against humanity did not exist--not Germans today who are working for peace and justice) that would attend to cheer the crimes of Empire. Many limos and cadres of richly dressed attendees had to run the gauntlet of protesters while going in and out of the proceedings. I found it very interesting that the worshippers of war were allowed free access into the street, but we poor protesters were banned from the street and, to make sure we didn’t mix with the snobs, a row of dozens of cops faced us to make sure we stayed in the properly appointed protest area. Further proof that most law enforcement are there to protect the rich and not protect the poor from the wars and exploitation of the wealthy. 
It was so delightful to see so many of my old friends from all over the country gather to protest, but what was even better was that most of them, even though they may have supported Obama at first, now realized that people like me were correct all the time: it’s the system not the person. The crimes didn’t begin with Bush and they won’t end with Obama unless more of us wake up to that fact. One of my dear friends Bruce Berry from Minneapolis wore a sweatshirt that said, “Arrest OBushA” and he told me that after that protest in Dallas, he was taking off that sweatshirt and wearing a straight, “Arrest Obama” shirt. That’s what I call principled protest!
Bruce


The day was great and two puppet heads (one of Bush and one of Cheney) wearing prison stripes violated the “no street” order and were arrested by the Dallas PD while we chanted, “Arrest Bush, Arrest Bush,” and our dear VVAW friend from Philly, Bill Perry, was also arrested because he refused to stop taking pictures—Dede and I went into the streets to help the Dallas Po-Po arrest Bush and Cheney and we were roughed up, but pushed out of the way and not arrested. I understand CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin received a whiplash in the melee. Dennis Trainor, an old friend of
Arresting Bush and Cheney
mine portrayed Cheney and Iraq vet (and new friend of mine Gary Egleston portrayed Bush. After 13 hours in jail, charges were dropped for all of them and they were released.

Even though I feel that the event was good; there was that instance of true street theater and Tour de Peace did make a good showing in the activities and media, I feel the group as a whole missed a golden chance to push the envelope a little and break out of the polite protest paradigm.
Cindy and Dede being "naughty" in the street

The organizers had fought to get the protest as close as we were and apparently the permits banned the protest from leaving the side of the street we were on. During the march (from one corner to the other), a few of us, maybe seven, went out into the street to “take the street,” there were no cars coming as both ends of the street were blocked off (and it was a one way street) and if everyone joined us, we could have demonstrated our unwillingness to play by the games of the Police State and its thugs. If we are “peaceable” then our rights are not to be
Conor Hearington, Me, Dede, Mike Hearington 
inhibited…however, we few that did try to take the street were quickly overcome by the cops and by our own polite protesters that reminded us we had to play by the rules of the oppressive Empire. Sigh. No wonder we keep repeating the same disasters over and over—the Empire counts on us to stay within the boundaries they assign us and we rarely disappoint them.
Along with Bruce, I really think this last protest closes the Bush chapter for me, too. I almost feel sorry for the monster because Obama has been a huge disaster for peace and justice and we only get a handful of people to protest him. Bush must be sitting in his posh home thinking, “what the eff?”  (If he thinks at all). The shadow rulers of this country definitely pulled off a masterstroke of brilliance when they selected Obama to be Chief CEO of the Empire; protest was essentially derailed. I am continuing to focus on the current crimes of Empire and looking back with longing at the days we could draw hundreds of thousands to our “parties.”
Tour de Peace arrived back in Gallup safely, except I was in agonizing abdominal pain, so we decided to take a day off so I could rest and the Tour could recuperate. I feel better today and we head back out by bike towards Albuquerque tomorrow.
For information on the Tour and our ROUTE please check out the website:
CLICK HERE TO READ COVERAGE OF THE PROTEST



4 comments:

  1. We continue to fight for Justice and Peace in Portland, Oregon and yes we do find ourselves almost alone many times--but then when things seemed so sad, Occupy and the Middle East revolts happened; now people come to our city hall to say hello to a small group who have been fighting for 14 months to lift the camping ban. I criticized Thom Hartman coming to Portland and was looked at as the Lonevet has lost it; Thom is a Cocktail Liberal. He makes money off of the misery of others and when it came time for him to stand up for a real progressive news colleague who was fired, taken out by security---he said nothing and would not answer questions about why. We have a long way to go, back to the basics, we will fight this madness called Empire and we will win. You are my heroes, fuck the rest who think marching around where, when and how the shits tell you is OK. "Storm The Bastille."

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  2. Cindy, you are right when you say "it's the system not the person. The crimes didn't begin with Bush and they won't end with Obama unless more of us wake up to that fact." My father, Dan Iyall, was 3/4 Native American, as they say. He was enrolled in what are now called the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation, probably at his birth. In recent decades, when the Cowlitz amended our Constitution, prohibiting tribal members from being enrolled in both tribes, he chose to keep his enrollment in the Yakama. They are both tribes who historically lived in the Northwest state that bears the name of the first president of this federal political entity, called the United States. The Yakama signed the treaty with this country in 1855, which gave up a huge area of land, but allowed them to retain what is considered a large reservation. The Cowlitz helped the U.S. Army and the U.S. militia in the war of the 1850's, but did not get federal recognition until the year 2000. We are still waiting for the federal government to finally allow us to have a small piece of land to be our first trust land, or reservation. One of my ancestors was a war chief named Leschi, of the Nisqually. He led the warriors in their fight against the U.S. and their militia in the "Indian wars", west of the Cascade mountain range, including waging attacks against the town of Seattle. But he was wrongly arrested for a murder of a "white" man, while Leschi was a legal combatant in the war. He was not involved in the murder. When he was not convicted in the first trial, they held another trial, withholding evidence from the jurors. He was wrongly imprisoned because he was a leader of his people against those who took away their lands and so much more. After two years in prison, he was hanged. The military leader and even the hangman disagreed with the action. But it was carried out anyway. There were other ancestors of mine, Qualchan, a great warrior, and his father Owhi, a chief, who also were subject to the injustices of this country. Qualchan was tricked with lies, while trying to save his father. When Qualchan turned himself in, he was hanged within fifteen minutes. His father Owhi was shot in the back, with his hands tied behind his back, trying to flee on horseback. The Cowlitz people were given intentionally disease-infested blankets. The disease killed about 20,000 of them or about 90% of them in about a year. There were whole villages wiped out, with nobody left to even bury the dead. It is all part of a system that has killed and controlled people for a long time. I would like to send you or post a long poem I wrote, called "Where Is the Freedom?" May you find love and strength in your effort to get the truth out to a populace that is manipulated by the system in so many ways.
    Richard D. Iyall, Fresno, CA

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  3. I posted a comment earlier tonight. I would like to add the following information: The formal name of the Yakama is "The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation". In my previous post I had not included "and Bands".
    My email address is: richarddiyall@yahoo.com. I couldn't get this system to post my post as who I am, so I posted as "Anonymous".

    Richard D. Iyall, Fresno, CA

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  4. Cindy, you made my day with that photograph that puts our war criminals in jail and let me quote Buddy Holly: That will be the day that America can, once again, become a beacon of democracy. I'm not there, in person, to join you, but my heart is with you all the way.
    It's of wise people to know thy enemy and I'm sorry to say, the true people who love the Constitution like you are a dying breed, for the America of today is nothing more than an old recycled USSR. We might not see victory, the Constitution shining once again, in our life times, but I surely hope that one of these days that will be the day, although I won't hold my breath. Keep on biking and God bless you.

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