Thursday, October 27, 2005

"2000 Too Many" - report on yesterday's march/rally in FW

At our vigil on Wed, Oct 26th, we met at 4:30pm at the Federal Building, downtown Fort Worth. At approx. 5pm, we marched the two blocks to the Star-Telegram main building, carrying signs and a city-block-long banner (with the names of all the U.S. military dead who hailed from Texas), and chanting loudly our various chants. Several members of CodePink FW walked into the main lobby of the Startlegram, apparently startling some of the front desk staff--who weren't quite sure how to interact with us. Hillary spoke to the traffic coordinator, asking to speak to a Star-Telegram editor. (She, on behalf of CodePink FW and the rest of us, wanted to simply deliver a sweetly-wrapped, pink-bowed white gift box--containing a “pink slip”--into the hands of an actual editor.) After a flurry of anxiety and inelegant (FW-ST staff, not us) communication, an editor was finally summoned down to the front reception desk. Two of our folks, who had carried in a large and prominently-worded pink banner, were ordered to vacate the building—despite our assurances that we meant no harm or damage to anything or anyone at the Star-Telegram offices. A few of the staffers who were on their way out for the day, expressed consternation and agitation about our presence at their precious workplace. Oh, the nerve of us! To practice street democracy and to voice our outcry against the invasion of Iraq! What kind of hoodlums were we to leave the quiet confines of our tv rooms and office cubicles in order to voice opposition to the illegal war the U.S. is waging in Iraq.

After a few minutes, we marched back to the Federal Building for presentations of music, street performance, and poetry.
There were about 60 of us gathered there, in the shadow of the Fed. Building. I noticed three young Latinas emerge from the Traffic Court Building, nonchalantly walk over to a pile of protest signs, and pick a sign up each. They walked quietly to the curbside at Throckmorton, facing oncoming traffic, and held their signs up high. Turns out they had just finished doing jury duty, saw the hubub of our public action, and decided to join us. Really, I was very impressed by their sense of civic responsibility, and I told them so. Two of them mentioned that they were students at Castleberry HS, which had recently administered the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test. When I mentioned that they had a right to refuse to take this test, they said that they'd assumed it was mandatory because the school administrators made it seem so.

(The ASVAB is a multi-aptitude test which is given at over 14,000 schools nationwide, and maintained by the Dept. of Defense. The scores a student receives on this test helps the recruiters to determine whether he/she is qualified to enlist in the U.S. military.)

For more information, read on here.

1 comment:

sunlit doorway said...

oops! i forgot to credit my friend, the photographer Kat Shimamoto, for this foto here. sorry, Kat.