How ironic! As we "greenies", so nicknamed by one of the military types setting up, vacated the convention center, the military war-machine took over.
(To see a complete list of the "exhibitors" visit the following link
The next day, Sunday, October 7th, Blackwater, Alcoa, KBR, and hundreds of other corporate criminals put the finishing touches on their glitzy booths.
Giant slideshows flashed larger-than-life tanks, trucks, guns, and gear. Images of soldiers on a 10 x 20 screen sans sound effect flashed guys so bulked up in gear to make them seemingly IED proof zipping across Iraqi or Afghan deserts. Les, Jess & Arash posed in front of the screen wearing their NO WAR ON IRAN! t-shirts.
Tighe posed giving a peace sign and holding the sunflower given to him by our friend and Greenfest participant, Sierra, who heard about how he had a large softdrink tossed on him by one of the military staffers.
Sunday night , back at the CODEPINK house, we worked on a banner targeting those benefiting from this tragedy and catastrophe in Iraq. Using black fabric and pink letters we wrote out, "War Profiteers: Making a Killing." The word killing dripped with fake blood. We cut out the corporate logos from the expo's catalog and scattered them around the slogan.
So early Monday morning we, Les, Jess, Liz, Tighe and I, took the X2 bus up H street, the sun just rising as we neared Chinatown. Hopping out with our banner, "real faces of war" photos, a bullhorn and tons of energy despite waking up to our cellphone alarm clocks ringing in the dark, we readied to face the recipients of half of our nations GNP, the real grim reapers, the MERCHANTS OF DEATH!
As the morning progressed, Gael, Ariel, Kathleen and Rick the Poet joined us. We had chosen to attend the event on Tuesday since Congressional staffers were invited to a breakfast that morning.
"Hurry! Hurry! War Profiteers, Hurry! Hurry! Get that billion dollar contract. Hurry! Hurry!
Get your piece of the GNP!! I called out to the "circus of murder and mayhem". Entered the merchants of death and destruction, mostly all white middle-aged men. There a few women wheeling in huge posters of guns and weaponry. Soldiers in camouflage. Blackwater hired guns arrived and waved and smiled, recognizing us from the Oversight hearings of last week.
Taxis dropped off the international marketers and army agents from France, Japan, Germany and the Phillipines. Whole busloads of fresh-faced JROTC kids arrived proudly marching into the convention center.