I'm feeling a bit blah, but promised myself I'd make 23 posts this month, as well as lacked some stuff from the last action, so I will push forward even if this turns out to be not my best work.
I feel like the ADAPT leadership dropped the ball Sunday. It wasn't like we were having some super secret action or anything. We were told to all wear black, but weren't told why. We didn't chant while marching towards Freedom Plaza, but weren't told why.
When we got there 50 people volunteered to be flag holders (most of them standing I think), including me, (can you spot me left? you can if you click on it, which'll make it bigger) and stood or sat while several people spoke about the abysmal state of community based attendant services in their state, and how 10s of thousands of disabled Americans are at risk of being institutionalized due to severe funding cuts. We also heard from several nursing home escapees, which, as someone who has never been institutionalized, is always very sobering to hear. It reminds me of how easily my friends or I could become stuck somewhere in an instant.
I didn't even realize until a friend mentioned, as we were tossing bits of paper into a coffin, with names of institutionalized people who were lost on them, that the whole event had been arranged to be a mock symbolic funeral. I didn't realize until I read something online Friday that the casket was carried all the way to Freedom Plaza at the front of the line and that we hadn't chanted because funerals are supposed to be somber. Neither did another friend of mine who had been there, until I told her. That is where the ball was dropped. It would have been nice if it had been clear.
Monday, I was impressed that my roomate knew where we were going before we even left the hotel. She said they only pass out the "jewelry" when we go to the White House. We were there to deliver a letter to Prez Obama -- that we all signed -- on the importance of long term care reform. I was not stationed in front of the White House gates, but in front of the Treasury, which is located next door. Very disappointing, but I have to remind myself that everyone has an important role.
The Secret Service would only let 25 people through because they said if there were more then that you have to have a permit. So the largest group blocked off both directions of an intersection just past the Treasury. I'm not sure what streets those are. Then, after awhile, we were told to keep the sidewalk clear (but they decided to use the street, which I think was wise, because of how many people there were). The tsunami was so quick, so exciting, that at the time it felt like it happened twice as fast as the video shows (you can see the giant letter in it). Is bum rush a real phrase? ADAPT bum rushed the White House and it was GREAT! SO EXHILARATING! JUST AWESOME! I don't need antidepressants, I just need ADAPT! THE HIGH! Who needs drugs? I sure don't. One of these days I'll be one of the ones handcuffed to the fence, and I can't wait! Although bum rushing would be cool also...
The Mayor's office visit was pretty tame, so you can just read the official press release, 2 posts below.