Thursday, July 30, 2009

been almost a month

I guess i should say something...
I am in process of writing an unpublished blog. One just for me to process thoughts and ideas that float in and out throughout the day. Ramblings others prolly dont want to see
Emma's 1st bday is coming up and i am not quite ready for her to turn 1. Anyway, hope the summer is going well for whomever reads this. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My 1st Protest - a Perspective

I havent posted here in a while so i figured i should post what we did today (already posted as a note on facebook):

Today was my first ever physical protest. Why I chose this time to be physically present, I am not entirely sure. I guess I felt the need to show those supporting the proclamation (see below) that there are many of us that do NOT support the fear-based hatred written therein.
Before we left, I explained to Aden, in 4 year old terms, why we were going. He said "Mommy, I am scared. She sounds like a very bad person." I told him that he didn’t need to be scared and that everything was going to be okay.
Luckily (for me and my issues with crowds), several of my friends met there. I got a bit nervous at the metal detector because Aden went through without a beep but I set the thing off (twice). Of course it was the rings of my sling in which Emma was securely stationed and the guard was supportive of that. The airport people are far less so and will make you take a sleeping baby out of the sling to make SURE it’s the rings. Anyway, I was ever so glad that my friends were there so Aden had someone to be with while I was scanned with a hand scanner.
Once in the rotunda I observed many people looking similar in suits near the 'front' where there was evidently a table and Ms. Kern and camera people surrounding. There were others milling around in 'back' and looked like a pretty diverse group of people so I figured they were protesters. One woman handed some flag ribbons to several people and I asked what they were for. They were for those there with the ACLU/protesting. We got some and mine was promptly displayed on my sling (where Emma couldn’t reach). As far as I know, no one counted protesters vs. supporters but from what I could tell it looked like there were equal or more protesters than supporters.
Ms. Kern started speaking. The first words I can remember her saying remarked on the fact that this was a proclamation, not a bill or any legislature. I wanted to say "DUH! We are not idiots!" but I figured I should keep most of my comments within my group of friends. So then she mentioned the 4 or 5 'leaders' that were there in support of her hatred and said that when it came time to sign it, they would and then the other people who were there in support could also.
Then she started reading it...I wish I had kept the paper I was given about discrepancies/lies but I handed it to a friend and forgot to get it back (thanks for holding it Hyphen, sorry to stick u with it). If you hadn’t noticed this is a LOT of reading, especially for those who already know what it says and don’t want to hear it. Some people held up signs (which evidently you have to have a permit to do). One sign said "We Stand in Silent Witness" and another was Kern's picture with a circle and line through it. One man had a couple of posters of 2 men on their wedding day with date and location of wedding (San Diego, I think...beautiful couple btw), there were others but I couldn’t read them from where I was. Each person was escorted out of the circle and either signs were taken or asked to be put away.
After Ms. Kern finished reading I started "Booing" I couldn’t help myself. It was just something that welled up inside of me and just came out. Others booed as well... The supporters started singing "God Bless America" and the protesters joined in because ummm, it's EVERYONE's America and it’s a pretty darn good song. There was some protest chanting of things like "Church and State Must Separate" and "Hypocrites" and other things I can’t remember. There was support singing of church hymns...great voices!
At one point, I couldn’t handle the hate energy that was prevailing. I had to exit the middle of the circle as it was becoming overwhelming and Aden was covering his ears due to the noise level. So I stood just outside the circle. Stood there with Emma in the sling, Aden holding on to the sling's tail - my eyes closed and arms outstretched; focused on surrounding everyone, supporters and protesters alike, in Love and Acceptance. I *had* to, it was the only thing I could do. I would like to think it made a difference…towards the end both sides were singing their own version of “We Shall Overcome” and the version I could hear was “Peace shall overcome” so at least the energy started to change toward more positive on the protester side.
I overheard that there was to be a press conference on the 4th floor for the ACLU but it was too hot (inside) and the kids too tired and cranky to stay so we left. I also was approached by a couple of women. One told me she was raised Methodist and was NEVER taught this hatred and doesn’t understand it. I kinda got on a soap-box and told her it is fear-based and sad. We are all One and we were all made by the same God and are loved just the way we are unconditionally. She asked me what I was doing with my eyes closed and arms out and I told her. She said that my picture was taken and asked if I had talked to anyone. I told her no and that it’s not about that, it’s not about publicity or even about me. It’s about recognizing that we are all One and that we are not as different as these people would like to think in the midst of their fear. About that time, a new friend who had mentioned she might be there approached me and we started talking. Then another woman approached and mentioned something positive about having the kids there and that hers are grown but luckily the lessons of diversity acceptance and tolerance stuck with them.
All in all everyone was very civil from both sides and for that I am grateful. The underlying intent or message of hatred and negativity that started to develop on both sides was not very comfortable for me or Aden. He told me afterwards that he didn’t like me closing my eyes because he felt like he was going to get taken (I could feel him against me the whole time so I wasn’t worried). I am sorry that he felt that way and in retrospect probably shouldn’t have taken the kids BUT they were there for a reason, their presence was required for some higher purpose than we know right now.
I hope whoever took my picture got a good one and left out my chins. I also hope that if they use it, they do so in a manner that reflects a positive light. I am not sure if I will protest again or not…will have to see if I am so moved. I really had to decompress after this experience and still feel a bit jittery. I think some meditation time is in order this evening after Chet gets home/kids in bed.Here is the proclamation in case you haven't read it yet: