SAN ANTONIO PROTEST

The Yellow Thief of Texas
He steals from you and me.
He stole our votes in Florida,
So-cial Se-cur-i-ty.
We used to have a surplus,
but now we have a debt!
The Yellow Thief of Texas,
He thinks we will forget!

When you go out with Home of the Brave's Anna C, get ready to march into the lion's den singing and chanting until you're hoarse! Driving through the downpour of rain in Anna's SUV (environmentally friendly) in San Antonio, another storm is brewing inside -- a brainstorm to create new words to our beloved Texas song, "The Yellow Rose of Texas." We sing the new stanzas over and over and over until we can belt out the song spontaneously. There's no planning of ground strategies. We already know where we're headed -- as close to the pResident-in-Thief as authorities will allow -- closer if Anna has her way about it. Our song echoes throughout the parking garage as we step out of her SUV.

San Antonio police stop traffic to escort us across the street laughing and enjoying our little parody. We walk about a half a block to where the reporters are gathered waiting for something to happen. They catch up with us as we walk by them and ask us to sing the song for them and for interviews. We are soon joined by the Austin environmental group anxious to get their message out that Bush is no friend to our earth.

We are also joined by a wonderful woman and her granddaughter from Washington, D.C. in singing, "The Yellow Thief of Texas" as more reporters step up to tape the song and interview us. Continuing down the street towards the intersection of Market and South Alamo where Fuerza Unida is permitted for their two-day protest, we are followed by reporters who interview various activists there, including Jim Robinson of FreeRepublic.com from his wheelchair. Anna attended Jim's leadership seminar just days before in Dallas and received a packet of their "leadership" materials and a t-shirt stamped with the words, "Global Warming, It's Not Happening."

As a reporter begins interviewing Jim, Anna starts yelling, "Tell 'em, Jim -- tell 'em how you don't believe in democracy!" Jim answers that we are a republic not a democracy. Fuerza Unida members joined the chanting, "You're a fascist, Jim!" The reporter then asks, "Is it true, Jim, that you don't believe in democracy?" Jim's awkwardness gives way to irritation for being unexpectedly forced out in the open with his fascist beliefs.

A gentleman standing next to me in the picket line mentions that Bush has left the Convention Center for a scheduled visit at the San Jose Mission. Anna and Kari quickly get the directions to the mission to go protest Bush there since his motorcade avoided passing the protesters downtown. Onward to the Mission! Anna and I head for the portico where Veterans are exiting the Convention Center to sing our little song to them on the way back to the parking garage. We manage to sing our way the entire length of the portico among the Veterans before being told to leave by a policeman. We were warmly received by the Veterans headed for the line of buses and their vehicles in the parking garage.

We stopped our singing in the parking garage to ask four active military men if they loved Bush. They were ambivalent. One mentioned that he likes Bush because he gave them a pay raise. I asked, "Are you sure that it was Bush and not Clinton that got the raise for you?" He turned to his friend for confirmation. His friend answered that it was Clinton, not Bush, that gave them the pay raise. Yeaaaas! I asked them to learn the facts and stay informed. They were very pleasant and receptive to what Anna, Kari, and I had to say.

We arrive at the mission and park across the street. Anna jumps out and races across the street to get closer to the mission, which was surrounded by unarmed Park Rangers. Just behind the stone wall, Bush is visiting with a *select* crowd of park visitors in the *closed* mission. Anna quickly notices the Secret Service posted on the stone wall are moving and reasons that Bush must be positioned accordingly. So she follows their movements to sing the parody song to Bush on the other side of the rock wall. The Secret Service then tells the Park Rangers to get rid of her. The Rangers tell her she is disturbing the peace and to be quiet or leave. "Are you going to arrest me?" Anna fires back. They answered that they weren't there to arrest people but to please stop the singing. She continued singing and chanting loudly to Bush until he left as Park Rangers informed the Secret Service that they didn't know what to do about this woman who wasn't going to leave.

As the motorcade leaving the mission passed where Kari and I were standing by the road, Bush was about seven feet from us waving from the presidential limo as if we were fans. I was holding a sign that said, "Bush's Budget is a Shell Game." His pleasant demeanor made me wish I could be proud of him as our 43rd president. It is important, however, never to underestimate Bush's charm or to confuse his charisma with compassion. He is a puppet for corporate special interests who will do as he is told as he smiles and waves at those whom he betrays. -Sharon

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