Where Were You?

This account–NOT by me but by a very courageous and eloquent participant in the MLKing Day Black Lives Matter civil disobedience action on the Oakland Bay Bridge–is so right on! As some of you know, my novel of the late-1960s antiwar demonstrations at Port Chicago now nears completion, and I am struck how alike are the challenges then and now for those who would, nonviolently,change the social structure.

mostly * danger

I was shaking as we loaded into the cars. I was shaking as we went through the toll plaza. I was shaking as the cars started to slow down, and when they stopped in the middle of the Bay Bridge. I was shaking when the cops pulled my arms behind my back and my voice shook as our voices lifted up the names of the dead. I was terrified, I was furious, I was inspired.

And by the time we got to the Highway Patrol office, I also really, really had to pee.

I was pleading with every cop that walked by to let me use the bathroom. They told me they had to find a female cop to take me, and that there were none on duty, though I could see several gathering outside our makeshift cell and knew they were lying. Finally the comrade sitting next to me…

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