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Courageous women in Lawrence, Kansas PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Thursday, 14 October 2004 01:58
There has been over the last two years a group of women I am involved with called "Women in Black". periodically they have stood silently in a group in down town Lawrence Kansas.  We wear all black with veils holding signs that states the current death toll of American service people in the Iraq war.

Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 09:51:31 -0500
To: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
From: "Lesley Forrester" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > (by way of Mike
 Nickerson)
Subject: Courageous women in Lawrence, Kansas

Thx to Maureen for this
LF

Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2004 11:10 AM
Subject: Saturday at a football game in Lawrence, Kansas


Courageous women in Lawrence, Kansas

Sent: Tuesday, October 12, 2004 9:44 AM
Subject: A message from an activist friend - an American experience many
have shared

There has been over the last two years a group of women I am involved with called "Women in Black". periodically they have stood silently in a group in down town Lawrence Kansas.  We wear all black with veils holding signs that states the current death toll of American service people in the Iraq war.

A month ago myself and a group of women (some of us part of Women in
Black),
started a sign blogging group. We wanted to reach people outside of our
insular circle of left leaning liberals friends and community.  We
painted
signs denouncing Bush and  Bush administration policies and posted them
in
high traffic areas.  We tried to post them at times and places of high
traffic.

Football is big in our college town and we thought "Game days" were the
perfect time.   So o­n Game Days, along the side of the hi-way, or at
major
intersections we put big banners that say things like "Bush Lies, 1000's
Die", or "Re-Defeat Bush" etc.

Then we decided to take it a step farther.  I am not a sports person.  I
have never been to a football game in my life.  It's true.  I just am
totally uninterested. Because of this I have never experienced the
"tailgating" phenomena. Tailgating is a pre football game activity where
hours before a game fans bring barbecues, RV's Tents and Drink, cook and
party, up until the game.  It's huge.  Here in Lawrence the stadium is
in
the middle of campus with a large parking lot around it. 1000's of
people
are there pumping up and partying for the soon to be football game.
Yesterdays game was a big deal because it was between Kansas University
and
Kansas State.  A big rivalry.

We were wearing black and veils and carrying our "Bush lies 1000's Die"
and
other signs. We slowly walked through the crowd. It was the most
frightening
experience of my Life!! Thousands of screaming angry people yelled
obscenities at us like "Cu**'s Bi***'s Whores, Suck my D***, F*** you,
Go to
Iraq, traitors, whore's!"  For about 40 minutes ( It felt like hours),
we
walked through the most hostile environment I have ever been in. I
realize
that's not saying much because I live in a pretty safe world. But this
is my
town.  These people hated us.  o­ne group even had a microphone where
people
took turns calling us "C***'s!" and asking us to perform oral sex for
them.
At o­ne point I feared for my life.  I thought Jesus,  in this mob if o­ne
person instigates throwing a stone at us were dead. Was this what it was
like to be a Jew in Warsaw in the 30's? These people were scary and
these
are Bush's people.

We were silent,  we walked silently through. A couple of macho guys
stood in
front of us trying not to let us by and harass us.  We walked around.
Because of MS, I walk with a cane.  Even though we had no Kerry Signs,
one
guy was holding his flip flop and waving it in the air yelling "flip
flop,
flip flop". As he stood in front of me holding his flip flop, he stepped
to
block my path.  I was looking down just trying to move forward.  I
looked
down at his bare foot blocking my way and it was all I could do to not
slam
down the end of my cane right through the bridge of his foot, but I
didn't.
These people were making me angry.  I am no saint but I was scared.
After
that I started to just chant in my head, "I am strong, I am strong".

There were lot's of "Get a job!" "get a life!".  It was Saturday and
they
were at a football game. Go figure.

We didn't react verbally.  While people were yelling thousands of
obscenities over the microphone, I felt it was best to just let them
hear
themselves echoing down the street.  I wondered whether those silent and
watching had doubts about the crowd they were with.  Watching these big
bulky men yelling at these 8 little women walking silently through a
jeering
crowd.

Of the thousands of hostile jeers I had o­nly 3 positive comments.  o­ne
women
walked along the side of me and said, "you're so brave, thanks for doing
this."  I appreciated that but boy I didn't feel brave.  Another guy, a
black guy, took his hat off as we walked passed. He said thank you
ladies
for doing this.  As he said that another man ran up to us swearing and
telling us to "get the f*** out of here". The black guy held him back
and
said something like, "I'm a Vet, and you don't know about war man, these
people are trying to help us." He continued to talk to this guy as we
walked
on. He was my hero. Another guy yelled "way to go keep up the good
work."
Other than that, I feared for us. We got through it. Our friend was
waiting
for us in a van, we got in and drove away.  It took several hours and
two
drinks for my heart to stop racing. The good news is I might have lost a
pound or two through the whole event.

One of the things that impressed me most was the hostility toward us as
women;  the sexual threats and the many references to our anatomy. Most
comments were very misogynistic. There are some very unhealthy men out
there. Not that there wasn't some women out there yelling out at us.
Percentage wise it was 98% men 2 % women.  That's just a guess but most
women just watched.  I did see o­ne elderly blue haired lady making
obscene
gestures. (That's a little disturbing).

Looking back o­n that day I can't help but think that if this is "George
Bush's America" or "George Bush's people", they can have it. I'm going
to
keep working o­n my own America.

That was my Saturday at a football game in Lawrence, Kansas.

Lilly

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 October 2004 01:58
 

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