Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Speaking Truth to Power... Or Trying To

OFA and Indivisible and Planned Parenthood all wanted me to visit Senator Flake's office to weigh in on health care.  Then I heard President Trump threaten to fund a campaign against my Junior Senator because he's not yet come out in favor of the BRCA.  I was ready.

Under overcast skies, I drove down Oracle, put on my turn signal, and waited at the divide for the traffic to subside.  Waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and then I noticed a big guy in a bright yellow shirt standing in the middle of the entrance to the parking lot.  He was going to be smashed by The Uv unless he stepped out of the way. I checked and my turn signal was blinking away.  He had to know I was coming his way..

The traffic eased and I hit the gas.  He moved just enough for me to get through and raised his hand as I drove in.  I braked, rolled my window down just a bit, and heard him ask Can I help you?

No, thank you, I replied.  I didn't need help.  I knew exactly where I was going/

Why are you here? he wondered.

I swallowed my rage; it's a public parking lot, with a credit union and professional offices and there's never been a security guard questioning my existence before.  I smiled through gritted teeth as I said, To see my Senator.

Why? Are you here to protest?

I'm here to see my Senator.

Oh.  Okay.  Park in the back and when you are done, leave the premises immediately.

What if I were here to protest?

I'd ask you to park off the property and stay on the public street.

I drove on, found my OFA contact on a bench outside the office, and I loitered for a while.
I made my comment, had my picture taken for a We Were Here collage, and talked about the major protest that the owners of the property feared.  None of the organizations with which we connect had announced any plans to converge; OFA was scheduling people for 10 minute segments throughout the day, but that was all we knew about.

Something struck terror in the heart of the Senator's landlord and he hired polo shirted protectors for his tenants.  Poor fellow.  All he got for his efforts was a stream of white haired voters expressing their opinions in the context of civic engagement.  There was not a screamer or a rioter to be found.

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