Thursday, December 22, 2005

The NY Times reports that undercover police have been infiltrating protests and vigils to monitor anti-war activity (and occasionally instigate conflict.) Not to get paranoid, but between this news and the recent wire-tapping revelations from Washington, I wonder if any of my own conversations have been monitored. Probably not--I am certainly small potatoes in the big scheme of things, but I have been in the news as an activist, and of course have spoken out against the administration in any number of ways. I can recall a couple of phone calls where I heard some strange clicking sounds, and I said jokingly "We're being bugged. Let's say something scandalous." I can't remember what scandalous talk followed, but no federal agents ever broke through my front door; I imagine those clicks were just mechanical glitches.

Still...I know that peace groups are being infiltrated; if not by the police, then by the right. In doing some online searching about CODEPINK, I found that one conservative blogger signed up for CODEPINK alerts under the name of "Lilith Vagina" or something of the sort, so he could keep tabs on our actions and blast them on his blog. A few years ago, I received a slightly menacing email from someone from a local Republican politician's office, referencing information that he only could have known by subscribing to the local peace group's listserve. But we can't let such creeps dissuade us. We still have freedom of speech, we still have freedom of assembly, and we need to take full advantage of these beautiful freedoms. Speaking of which, if any of you are in the Riverside area tomorrow night, please consider joining this candle-light peace vigil:

Peace on Earth Now

Sponsored by the Inland Communities Fellowship of Reconciliation (ICFOR)

A quiet, respectful memorial for all victims of recent and current warfare and a call for No More Victims.

Bring candles if possible.

Signs will be provided. Further info: 951.204.0818

Location: in front of downtown public Library, Riverside; Mission Inn Ave. & orange street (near the pagoda)

Time: 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Date: Friday, December 23rd.

Hot beverages & holiday snacks for all at nearby Universalist Unitarian Church following event


Donna said...

Gayle, they've been doing that here in Colorado for years. I can't believe the NY Times is just now getting around to reporting this.

The president has got to be stopped. He thinks he is above the law. He is not. That's precisely why we have an elected president and not a god-appointed king in this country.

gayle said...

Hi Donna--

It's frustrating to know how wide-spread such surveillance is. Has the media reported on the issue in Colorado?

And yes, I hate how Bush continues to act like a god-appointed king. I'm feeling more hopeful that he will be stopped. So many people, right and left, are up in arms right now. I think we have the momentum to make things happen.

At the peace vigil tonight, we received an overwhelming amount of support from passers-by. No one screamed or spit at us. No one wanted to debate. Most people smiled and held their fingers up in peace and said "thank you." Very heartening. The only dramatic thing that happened was when my hair dipped into my candle and caught on fire! Just a quick sizzle, nothing too dangerous, but it still smells horrible. I didn't realize how bad burning hair smells. Still, the vigil was lovely and inspiring. May 2006 bring even more inspiration and more change!

Donna said...

I can't remember if I read about it in the local paper or in the Colorado ACLU newsletter.

I hope this comes to a head in 2006. It's not a partisan issue. I wonder if anyone now would admit to voting for Nixon, and yet obviously he won. I wonder in 20 years how many of the vociferous supporters of Bush will admit that they voted for him.

Just rambling. It's Christmas Eve, I'm turning off the political brain cells for the weekend.

Peace & Joy!

gayle said...

Peace & joy to you, too, Donna (and may that peace & joy spread to the rest of the world!)