by Toby Blomé
“There Will Be NO REST Until the Children of Gaza Can Rest!” CEASEFIRE NOW!
In the early morning on Sunday, January 14, between 7am-10am a very small group of Bay Area CODEPINK activists and friends gave a surprise Wake Up Call to US Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi at her SF home.
“Armed” with banners, small coffins, newborn-sized “corpses" wrapped in cloth, amplified bombing sounds, and noise-making pots and pans, we wanted to bring the tragic reality on the ground in Gaza to Rep. Pelosi. Our message: The children of Gaza can never rest until a ceasefire is achieved. With a death toll at well over 30,000, 90% of the population displaced, and severe shortages of food and water, the US continues to support Israel’s bloody campaign of extermination via indiscriminate bombing. Human rights officials are now saying every Gazan is hungry.
Upon arrival, we were happy to see Pelosi’s DC capitol police SUV’s out front, indicating that she was home! Using the first half hour to set up the "war zone” gave Ms. Pelosi some extra “shut eye” before the war raucous began. Across the street a huge banner was hung facing Pelosi’s windows: NO US TAX $$ FOR GENOCIDE!
Amid softly amplified bombing sounds, and lots of metal clanging, a group of 8-9 of us proceeded to carry out 2 1/2 hours of continuous chanting, "WAKE UP Nancy, Wake Up: We can’t rest until the Children of Gaza can rest. CEASEFIRE NOW!" with periodic reminders to Pelosi that, “There Will Be NO Rest Until the Children of Gaza Can Rest.
Every 10-15 minutes, Sheila interrupted the chanting reminding Pelosi that another child in Gaza was killed. A “mike check” name reading honored the stolen lives of some of the many young Gazan children, ages 0 to 1, killed.
A highlight was when a man stepped out of his car, walked over to our demo, thanking us enthusiastically, and videoed our chanting on his phone camera. We later learned he was Palestinian and hope that our humble little effort will somehow bring some hope to his family and friends in Palestine in dire need of support.
Not a single neighbor came out of their home to make a complaint, and many people passing our demo on foot and by car offered signs of support. The “surprise” Wake Up Action was complimented by a second CODEPINK vigil organized by the Golden Gate chapter of CODEPINK, starting at 10 am. Pelosi was still home. She indeed got no rest that morning.
After 3 months of relentless bombing on the people, hospitals, mosques, churches, journalists, aid and hospital workers of Gaza and after continuous weekly mass mobilizations and direct actions across the country to oppose Israel’s genocidal campaign on Gaza, the Biden Administration and the majority of our Congress continue to support and send weapons to Israel. Unbelievable!
Some people oppose taking protests to the homes of our political officials. But we say, what is there left for us? It’s absolutely shameful that we should even have to ask that our government stop aiding and abetting genocide. It’s shameful that our city governments don't independently enact CEASEFIRE Resolutions immediately amidst this ongoing mass slaughter in Gaza. It's possible that at least some of Pelosi’s neighbors are conscious to this disturbing reality. We can only hope so.
We celebrated small and large victories last week. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors (finally) passed a Gaza Ceasefire Resolution in an 8 to 3 vote, the largest U.S. city to do so thus far. We hail South Africa for bringing the charge of genocide against Israel to the International Court of Justice. But the genocide in Gaza continues, with the support of much of the western governments and most of our government leaders.
What do we have left? Time is running out for those still breathing in Gaza. The circumstances call for unusual and daring tactics. SHUT IT DOWN!
Media coverage included a short KTVU story/interview that was also picked up by Yahoo and MSN.