Saturday was a day of sights and sounds and people all working together and against each other, but either way discussing. Human friction, human connection. The organization I work for was holding a conference for DC parents and teachers on Saturday. At 8:30am, we arrived to set things up at the charter school we’d rented. As we walked from the parking garage to the school, pro-lifers began praying and a pro-choice escort an in orange vest asked us if we were going in. I guess I hadn’t noticed that clinic before.
We set things up in a mad rush of teamwork. And despite a few sticking points, the conference went beautifully — I felt a little glow-y most of the day, even as I ran up and down five flights of stairs (the elevator was out of service.) Parents and teachers talked about how to get more parents involved in their kids’ education. I was expecting people to be a little resistant, or sullen, at spending their Saturday with us. But they loved it. At lunchtime, the sun came out and I sat on the roof deck with a teacher originally from Croatia, who told me how she taugh on a little Croatian island for six years before coming to D.C.
After the conference, Maria and I joined the Code Pink rally and met up with Meredith and Anna. All the protesters were holding onto one bajillion-foot long piece of pink yarn as organizers tried to get them to surround the White House completely — a few blocks’ radius away from the actual building.
I felt like I was in that scene of Almost Famous, where Penny Lane is dancing in the empty ballroom with all the pretty floaty pink streamers as Tiny Dancer plays. Young activist-y looking women, old women who’d dyed their hair pink with Kool-Aid, middle-aged women with children, everyone all in floaty pink things, roses in their hair, walking and encircling the White House with pink yarn. Of course, then the yarn broke, right where Maria and I were walking. We just stopped for a sec in shock. We’d killed the peace! Then we knotted it back together and tried to pretend it was all a big metaphor.