Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gandhi Peace Brigade/ Clinton Fundraiser Disrupted

Dear Friends,

Jes disrupts Clinton Fundraiser:

Leslie, Medea and I enter DC's plush Omni Shoreham Hotel looking for Hillary Clinton's fund-raising event. We're in disguise, wearing mainly browns, blues and muted reds. Leslie has the banner in her shoulder bag. It says: "Obliterate" Iran? Apologize! We wonder how far we'll get before they ask us for the $250 admission fee. When we see how thoroughly they're searching people, we do an about face and I slip into the men's room to stuff the banner under my shirt. Looking unusually buff, I return and hold out my fanny pack as a distraction. The security person takes the bait, looks through it, and wishes me a good day. I couldn't believe it ... the banner is in!

The three of us stand in the rear of the large banquet hall and look over the crowd of approximately 1400 women and 100 men. Chelsea talks about not wanting to follow in her mother's footsteps and the Ebenezer AME Church Choir comes out next. Leslie and I plan on sashaying down the aisle together, each holding one side of the banner, but when Hillary is introduced everything changes. Secret service agents are everywhere and no one is allowed to go anywhere near the central aisle.

I'm concerned about safety at this point, so I tell Leslie I'm going to do this alone. I take the indirect route through the tables and get as close as I can to the stage. Just as Hillary begins to talk, I climb onto a chair and then hop onto a table. At first people are just surprised and think I'm unfurling a Pro-Clinton banner. When they see what it says, they start getting a little testy. One woman grabs a corner and gives it a good tug, but I hold on. I stretch the banner above my head and rotate slowly toward Hillary. Someone else grabs a corner and wine glasses and plates go flying as we play tug of war. She was a worthy opponent, but I still have the banner. Up it goes a third time, until it feels like it's being slowly wrenched from my hands by a crane. I look down and see a HUGE secret service agent at the other end. He offers me his hand. It may have been my imagination, but his expression almost seems to say, "Way to go man!" As I'm being rushed down the aisle, I talk about having been to Iran and how wonderful the people are. Before I know it, I'm outside.

The five Secret Service agents tell me to sit down as they talk quietly among themselves. They ask me for my name and I ask them if they're placing me under arrest. They say no and I tell them I'm not going to tell them anything. A security man from the hotel comes over and says,"You know, you can't arrest him because he didn't do anything illegal. He just stood on a table and held up a banner." The agents wait for him to leave and tell me they want to talk with me "around the corner". I tell them I'm not going anywhere with them and I call out quickly to my new friend, "Officer, can you please stay with me until they're gone?" He tells them, "Don't worry, "I'll take care of this," and asks me for my driver's license. I give him my Library of Congress card and he plays along. Before they leave I tell them I want my banner back. "You have to give it to him, you know," my friend says. They did, but I could tell they were feeling a bit disempowered.

Medea and Leslie appear soon after. Medea had been shouting about the children in Iran and Iraq, and demanding that Clinton apologize for her "obliterate" comment and her Iraq vote. She raised a peace sign as she was escorted out. Leslie cried, "I want you to apologize to the Iranian people" as she was led out too. Leslie, the inspiration for all of this, is on the 10th day of another hunger strike. She began on May Day to protest Hillary's horrible statement. Leslie has fasted for a total of 40 days since February in her quest for impeachment and peace with Iran.

We want Clinton to apologize to Iran, and to the world, for her "Obliterate" comment. By the way, Hillary, in response to your query about whether or not we paid to come in ... No, we didn't.

Peace and Freedom,

Jes & Leslie

Ode to Clinton

War with Iran Might Be Closer Than You Think

The Silenced Majority;
No one wants another war - so why does it seem inevitable?

Crude Jolt for US as Iran Scraps Oil Trade in Dollar

: The Elusive Iranian Weapons

CodePink: Iraqi Refugee Crisis

Jes & Leslie ... A Journey for Peace and Freedom:

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