Solidarity Walk & Talk With a Freeper

We started out in Long Beach and there were quite a few protests going on there, so I thought our little one would be lost in the mix.

No way!

Once I got there(I was a little late), there were HUNDREDS of us! My friend Maria ran to me and was so excited she started talking in rapid Spanish! I can only understand Spanish if you talk VERY slowly, so I told her "Maria! Either talk slower, or use English!" She said "Des!! I can't believe it! They are all here for US and not just blacks and Hispanics but Asians Middle Easterners and Whites!!" I almost busted out crying.

My friends Mike and Jose were getting everyone ready for the walk and everyone had signs like "We WON'T BE SEPARATED!" "IN SOLIDARITY" "UNITED WE STAND" It was great.

So I went to the podium and said a few words and then we started on our way hand in hand, arm in arm. We passed quite a few demonstrations along the way and stopped to meet more activists. Stopped for for the press as well. Finally we got to the campus in Long Beach where there was a Cinco De Mayo themed reception. Well, Maria, Mike and Jose spoke brilliantly, bringing many, including me, to tears. I don't know if I've spoken on this before, but I'm a singer. So when it was my turn at the mike, I sang a song called "In the Midst of it All" The song talks about coming through a lot of trials andtribulations. In fact the last lines of the song are:

"Don't give up, Don't give in, I don't care what nobody else says you can win (which I changed to "we DID win") If we hold strong, we can make it, come on and understand, we have everything inside we need to take it!"

When I walked onstage, I saw the group of Freepers on the far edges of the crowd holding signs that said things like "WHITE DISCRIMINATION"(don't ask me what that meant) "THINK FOR YOURSELF" and "STOP PERSECUTING WHITES" They obviously missed all the whites that were participating with us. But what was more interesting is the younger ones, the 20-somethings, were being drawn in. You could tell they were curious.

When I finished there was thunderous applause and I went into the audience shaking hands and talking to folks. I was heading toward the refreshment table when someone grabbed my arm. I turned and saw it was one of the girls that was holding up signs with the Freeps. She said "you have a nice voice" I thanked her and kept walking while people from both sides(my friends and Freeps) came running thinking there was some sort of confrontation. She grabbed my arm again and I realized that she had more she was trying to say. So I just stopped and waited, realizing that whatever it was, it was hard for her. Unfortunately, both sides were already yelling at each other. I ignored them and asked her what was she trying to say. She busted out crying and not knowing what else to do, I gave her a hug and that effectively stopped the yelling. "What is it?" I asked her. She said "I don't understand how things got so bad. My friends and I aren't even speaking to each other anymore and even though I don't see it in the papers much, mostly everybody is divided. Before all of this, we were together, and now everybody's separated. You guys hate the President and I really like him. But I would like to like you too but.....it's all so confusing and all I want is for things to go back to the way they were."

I told her "things can't go back to the way they were, too many people have been hurt and many more will be. But maybe we could move on, older and wiser, but only if things are based in fairness and truth. That is our only hope." Another Freeper said "stop filling her head with your socialist ideas, she's just fine!" My friend yelled back "look at how she is crying, she is NOT fine! Why don't you people wake up!!" Knowing that this would be my best chance to give her a suggestion without too much attention, I hugged her again and whispered "There is a website called Citizens for Legitimate Government. Just do a search to find it on the net. Go there, and keep an open mind. Just read about the other side before you decide anything else, ok?" She repeated the name and whispered ok. We both walked away, taking our respective posse with us. I saw her write the name on a napkin and stick it in her pocket, while the other Freeps interogated her desperately trying to find out if she was thinking about anything I'd said. It was easy enough to get everyone to relax, the day couldn't have gone better and was more than a success. It was everything I'd hoped for and more.

Des