by Toby Blome
Mothers, daughters, sons, fathers and grandmothers celebrated the roots of Mother’s Day on May 10, calling for an end to war. We converged in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge on our annual CODEPINK Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, standing in stillness for a short while, holding our signs with peace messages, invoking contemplation of the bigger issues of the holiday. Many motorists honked, and passersby flashed smiles, peace signs and nods of approval. Several of us passed out flyers created by East Bay CODEPINK organizer Eleanor Levine, educating people about Julia Ward Howe's 1870 Mother’s Day Proclamation, and inviting them to join us in our call out to 'DISARM, DISARM' at home and abroad.
As we processed together to the San Francisco (south) end of the iconic span, we stopped at the bridge tower, to "mic check" the StandingWomen.net statement for the well-being of all children, proclaiming our vision of that better world we want to create. Francis led us afterwards in a beautiful song with his guitar.
In the plaza, while holding our banner: "We will not raise Our Children to Kill the Children of other Mothers!", we declared in unison the Mother’s Day Proclamation, with "mic check" and megaphone. One gentleman heard our shout out for peace and joined us. We shared refreshments and mutual joy and appreciation for the peace-loving community that we embrace.
As we were getting ready to go, one young father came up to me with his pre-school-aged child, and asked if his son could hold my heart-shaped sign, "MUSLIM LIVES MATTER," for a photograph. I learned that the family was from Libya. A few moments later, a young girl enthusiastically ran up to me with the same request. Her father informed me that he is from Afghanistan.
It's these precious moments that reinforce in me the incredible connections that we are making across the world by coming to the bridge each month. Based on the people that we surveyed (a small percentage of all who saw us), we know we made contact with: Kenya, Libya, Afghanistan, Mexico, China, Russia, Poland, India, France, Germany, England, Canada -- and in the US with Chicago, Philadelphia, Arcata, New York, San Diego and more. We will never fully understand the seeds that we are planting, but the ground for peace is certainly being fertilized by our presence.
For a creative reading of the full Mother's Day Proclamation, please see this video.