Posted by CODEPINK Staff
Last night, after an intense first day of actions—marching, bannering, singing, a group of about forty women and men from CODEPINK caravanned in colorful cars from our “conference center” at the wonderful Mercury Café to Mile High Station west of the Platte River. We proceeded do a direct action at a private party given by AT&T expressly for Blue Dog Democrats, a group of Dems who are traditionally able to side with more conservative forces when it is expedient to do so; for more on the origins click here.
CODEPINK was there to protest the immunity given to AT&T by the Democratic majority in Congress—with the strong support of the Blue Dogs—after AT&T cooperated with the Bush Administration’s command that the telecom companies spy on private citizens.
We were drawing attention to the way the majority of Democrats in Congress support the telecom immunity to the FISA legislation.
Although police and private security were out in force and forbade us from entering the premises (our brave Rae managed to get into the party itself!), the action was amazingly energizing and fruitful! We bannered and spoke out against the complicity between our elected officials and AT&T.
Led by the beautiful Betsy Rose, we sang CODEPINK songs, including a version of “This Old Man…Give a dog a bone!” We wrote our messages on pink paper – mostly emphasizing how we felt about our Fourth Amendment rights being so compromised--and tied them to large (real) dog biscuits, which we proceeded to offer to Blue Dog Dems , lobbyists and telecom people who hurried along the sidewalk into the party. We offered the bones to folks driving and being driven into the parking area. Medea Benjamin and Betsy Rose led us in singing and dancing when the action was over.
One of the most useful things might have been interacting with police on the site. The particular set of police seemed truly interested in protecting our rights as well as the rights of folks to pass (being CODEPINK of course we kept stepping right to, and occasionally over, the lines).
Janet Weil and I had an opportunity to educate three cops about the meaning of the original FISA and its compromising amendment. Not only did the two cops nearest to us not know what FISA is, they didn’t know what the Fourth Amendment is! (More info here.)
One of the cops, however, told us that if he weren’t in uniform, he would have joined us. We’re very excited about the rest of the week.