It is not an easy business, standing on a street corner with a pink foam crown on your head, waving a cell phone and a passel of leaflets, trying to talk jaded New Yorkers into calling up their members of Congress. Maybe its the time of year, maybe its an Endless War combined with an Endless Election, or maybe its a shaky economy — but a whole lot of folks just aren’t interested. But then there are those other moments:
Three men from three different generations. Each one against the war, one a veteran. Each one articulates his position with passion. The veteran recently home from Iraq thanks us. The father of the soldier now serving in Iraq thanks us. He tells us his son wasn’t thinking about the war when he enlisted. “Eighteen-year-olds don’t think ahead.” The seventeen-year-old student, calls his representative, “Did you ask us if we wanted to go to war?” He tells us that although he is against this war he plans to enlist.
A young woman – right off the pages of W – stops at the table. She wants to buy a button and wants to know if she can take some of our fliers back to her office. We are, she tells us, an inspiration. She presses an Andy Jackson on us, “for your work.”
Random gaggles of high schoolers who stop to talk — in particular the group that swarmed Eva Lee for information – dropping their studied ennui to engage in spirited discussion.
Those hard-working New Yorkers – cab drivers, bike messengers, and delivery guys and gals – who work so hard to service all the ‘swells.’ Most of the time, they are too busy to stop for a call, but they smile, give us the thumbs up and tell us to “keep on keeping on.” A lot of them take our fliers, they always leave us with a smile. When they tell us they are going to call later, we believe them.
To all of these folks, thank you so much! And for those fellow citizens who walk right past us, be warned, you’re on our agenda and we will be back! We’re not going to stop until we get everybody talking.
– Fran Sears
P.S. The Granny Peace Brigade joins the Raging Grannies (to sing) and Grandmothers Against the War (to vigil) and we welcome women and men of all ages to work with us for peace. Check the Granny Peace Brigade website for a calendar of events.