Green Imagination

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A Great Protest Story

For the past several months, a group of brave souls have been holding regular protests down in DC, right outside the Smithsonian Metro station. And every week, one of the protestors sends a report to one of the Maryland Green Party listserves. Here's one that really hits home, and shows that being against the war doesn't mean you're against the troops. Indeed, the best way to support the troops is to bring them home.

“My sister graduated from the Naval Academy...”

The woman stared down at our anti-war placard spread out on PennsylvaniaAvenue in front of the White House.

“She got back from Iraq just a couple of months ago, but my brother is stillthere. And I myself am an officer in the military. We're a militaryfamily.”

She puzzled over the multi-colored placards aranged on the sidewalk, some in mysterious Asian scripts. She looked over at the Polish tourists taking turns with their cameras. The Poles held a placard in Polish that expresses a very rude sentiment against the criminals that have sent so many of this woman's colleagues off to die.

“My sister graduated from Annapolis...”

The woman continued:

“She was so very proud to be one of the first African-American women to graduate from the Naval Academy. She loved it.”

“But now she's back at Mom's house and she's a mental wreck. PTSD. She'squit the military, and had intended to stay in for life. She just sits at home now.”

Her voice was firm but still full of emotion.

She continued the story about her sister's involvement in a grenade attack in which many servicemen were killed. About having to order men on missions from which there was no return. I don't recall all the details, as tourists were snapping up our placards for their own White House protest photos.

But I do remember one thing she said:

“The worst part about it was the goddam propaganda. They bathe you in it day and night. Both my sister and my brother say that in Iraq, all day and all night, on the radio, on the TV, in the newspaper, in your eyes and in your ears every second, all you hear is a pack of lies, lies so blatant they insult your intelligence.”

And I remember her parting words:

“Keep up the good work!”

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