Remember Mike from Day 146? You may recall that he works as a Physical Therapist at a Rockville, MD PT clinic. He shared my story with his boss Bill. They graciously offered for me to come in to their clinic at no cost for some PT sessions on my neck and back to see if I can improve the pain that I have. Isnt’that incredibly nice of them! It means a lot to me. Thank you guys! I look forward to the day when I no longer have pain and numbness in my neck, arm, and hand.
After my first session, I was feeling good. I went out that day with a little more pep in my step and my posture a little better.
Some days I find myself walking around the city…seeing potential recipients but never thinking that they are the right person for that day. I passed all kinds of people who I debated giving my $10 to, but for some reason I kept on walking. I walked all over the city, 67 blocks in total. The light rain was just enough to keep my umbrella up the entire time, but I didn’t mind. I started to get hungry though and decided to make my way over to John’s burrito stand. On my way over my cousin Cheryl called and we talked until I came face to face with a large protest that had taken over the intersection of 15th and K Street. The mix of angry cries for justice and police bullhorns trying to control the situation was making it difficult to talk on the phone, so we hung up and I went to find out what was going on. This is when I ran into Joan.
Joan, a retired small business owner living in DC, was holding one end of a banner that read, “WE WANT OUR $$$ BACK!” Although I hadn’t taken her money, in fact, I didn’t even know Joan, I hoped that my offer to give her $10 back might help her and her colleagues out. Thankfully Joan wasn’t mad at me. She was fed up with big businesses and lobbyists owning our government. She feels that they have taken all the power away from the people.
As a CODEPINK activist , Joan actively participates in protests that the grassroots peace and social justice organization puts on. The organization emerged out of a desperate desire by a group of American women to stop the Bush administration from invading Iraq. On November 17, 2002 CODEPINK was launched when a group of women set up for a 4-month all-day vigil in front of the White House during the cold of winter. I wonder if they went over and spoke with Connie and Thomas at the Peace Vigil. Anyway, they inspired people (mostly women) from all walks of life, and from all over the country, to stand for peace. Now the organization has grown international.
On this specific day she was a little disappointed because CODEPINK received information about the protest very late which limits their ability to mobilize and produce a large turnout. She cites messaging and timing as areas that need improvement in these types of protests. Despite falling short of her expectations, the protest still managed to attract an estimated 1,000-1,500 people. Plus it shut down a major corridor of transportation. Their location at 15th and K was no coincidence given that K Street has long been home to a sea of lobbyist offices.
As Joan and I started to talk, the mass of people began to march South on 15th Street. I tagged along and pulled my video camera out and started to record.
The march came to a halt near the White House and I parted ways. Later they went on to Capitol Hill to voice their disapproval of BP at the Homeland Security Committee Senate hearing where BP America President Lamar McKay testified. CBS News later reported that “only three Senators – Joseph Lieberman, Susan Collins, and Mark Pryor – of the 17-member Homeland Security Committee showed up to ask any questions at all.” In fact, Lieberman and Collins reportedly praised McKay for his cooperation and dismissed him in less than 45 minutes.