Friday, July 11, 2008
My CODEPINK D.C. Trip
My name is Keisha Gemberling. I am from north east pa where I am a full time mother, attend a technical school and also work part time at my local Gap store. I arrived in DC to stay with the women of CODEPINK on Saturday July 5. That evening we spent much of the time meeting one another and sharing stories about what inspired us to take action. On Sunday we spent most of our time paiting banners for actions that would take place during the week. Sunday evening I had the opportunity to meet the people at the IVAW (Iraq Vets Against the War) house when we attended their weekly potluck. Then Monday came. Myself and the ladies of CODEPINK walked from that CODEPINK house to capitol hill. While there we visited the senate buildings to pass out letters encouraging senators to vote no on Senate Res. 580. It was really amazing to talk to people and learn about everyones different views. I met with my state Democrat Senator Bob Casey's legislative assistant named Ashley Stover, she was the meanest most hostile woman I have ever met in my life. She had no interest in even listening to what I had to say. Her being the voice of my representitive totally turned me away. Tuesday we returned to capitol hill only to visit house side and deliver them some letters and speak with representitives or their aids. We met with Congressman Ackerman's (NY) aids and they also were hostile and set in their ways, they had no intentions of chaning or even listening. Wednesday was my favorite day here. We set up a Peaceful Symbolic blockade of Ackerman's houseboat. We blocked him by land and by water. We then proceded to wake him up at 6 in the morning. He came out clapping and laughing 45 minutes later where he told us we were "the most creative protest he has ever seen." He agreed to meet with the Iranian people and I really felt as though I was helping to make a difference. Wednesday night CODEPINK held their weekly potluck and I was able to meet with people who shared similar views and hear about their lives and their actions. Thursday we did a sit in and teach in at Ackerman's office and then the Iranians had a meeting with him. I went to a meeting with my Congressman Chris Carney. I had this apt. for about 3 weeks. The scheduler told me I would have about 10 minutes to meet with him. I was extremely excited to talk with him. However, I was extremely angered when I got there. When Carney arrived we went into his office where he wore a fake smile and acted very charming. We took a picture and then I was practically shooed out of the office. I said "Okay, do you have about 5 minutes to talk?" He replied "I am actually late for some conference calls." I HELD AN APT FOR 3 WEEKS TO HAVE A PICTURE TAKEN?????????? I was angered and asked if I could schedule another apt. for when he would be at my hometown office. His reply was I do not know when that will be but you can email the scheduler and make an apt. I am taking action as soon as I arrive home tomorrow. I will be contacting all local media at home and explaining to them how I feel treated poorly. I believe this was unwise of Carney because he is up for reelection in November and I am very active in my area expecially with people my age (the youth) and I have an effect on the youth vote. Today is Friday and I catch my bus home at 2:20. I want to say that overall this has been an amazing experience. The women and men that I met this week have been inspring and amazing. I have learned so much here and am excited to take everything home! I thank CODEPINK for this outstanding oppurtunity and cannot wait to come back for another stay.