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San Fran Bikes And Food, NOT Bombs Mar 19-25th, 2003
By Team Pure Hemp 3/22/2017 5:07 PM Comments

This last week has just flown by! Basically, it’s been a combination of finishing typing the last update, and re-evaluating life for the "at-war" mode. I went to a civil disobedience workshop in Oakland at the Ruckus Society's head office on Tuesday. I slept with Hemphry that night at Letcher Bros Automotive in Pinole, then typed inside the office for half the day, then made my way into Berkley by late afternoon. I heard through the pipeline that the Feds had even raided Berkley Head shops in their "Operation Pipe Dreams" a few weeks back. Nice timing.... Hey Look! The Goodyear Blimp! We’re Saving Iraq! Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch... We got Plan... Columbia in full effect! DEA crackdown at home and abroad The U.S. Government acting like God. Meantime passing laws, Incarcerating Terrorists, with only suspicions the cause. Do you fit the profile? Are you Muslim? Brown? Black? Poor? In a Union? Health Conscious? Becoming Aware? When you see a butterfly, do you smile? Alaska is becoming an Oil Field. How can we live? Knowing that we’re killing the Planet Now is the time to open our eyes and act! Refute fear. Accept abundance and Give! Even a smile helps, and in turn Gaia is healed Caribou, Eagles, Jungles, Iraqi People and Cannabis Sativa deserve to live! Peace happens when harmony and balance manifest inside of us, Spiralling outward, from our centre, Destiny is revealed. I was in Berkley on Wednesday night, when the first Bombs came, dropping. Shock and Awe for the media. I sat with Cougar in the R.V. and listened to Free Speech Radio: KPFA 94.1’s account of the spectacle. At least the commentary held concern for the lives of the people there. We listened to George W. Bush lie to the World, saying there was no other intention behind the Liberation of Iraq, other than to free the people from this menacing tyrant, and save the world from eminent Iraqi threat. He said that our God was better than their God and that the Men and Women serving our country are fooled and poor, bound by lack of alternatives, hopped up on speed, and just trying to survive. Or something like that. Food Not Bombs So I helped load the bus and rode over to San Francisco at around midnight on Wednesday night and we made bean spread sandwiches all night long. I got about two hours of sleep, before the house was bustling again. I got up, my shit together, a bike and some companions to ride around with. Being early in the day, we figured people wouldn’t be too hungry, so we filled bags with fruit and Fuel bars that had been donated and went on a scouting mission. Activists had been well organized for this first day of war. There were actions scheduled all over the city and we had a map with plans for actions. First on our agenda was locating Gay Shame, who were blocking an intersection near Van Ness and Howard. It ended up being on Market, and we arrived just as they were leaving the intersection, having bargained with the police and tied up the intersection for over two hours. They were marching toward us. Avril, Manwell, and myself chucked fruit and energy bars into the fired up crowd. What a way to start the day. We were happy to see them, and they were stoked to see us. They walked by, and we figured out where to go next. Fell was blocked at both Franklin and Van Ness. The activists had locked down with lock-boxes and were waiting for Fire fighters to come and cut them free. There seemed to be a heavy police presence, compared to the size of the crowd. There was probably the same amount of cops as there were protestors. I bet the crowds of people would cost the city less in repairs, than all the wages of police deployed to "protect" the city. What an interesting tactic in de-escalating violence. It would certainly be much more peaceful, since the vast majority of us are peace-motivated and non- violent. We couldn’t do much to feed those who were locked-down, since they were surrounded by riot police. I give much respect to the people who put their lives on the line on behalf of those in Iraq. They do so not only to send a message of Solidarity to the afflicted people, but to take the next step in resisting this Bush Regime. The people who are taking a non-violent approach to affecting our American reality are also upholding the First Amendment. Freedom of speech is becoming scarce, as demonstrated by the mayor of San Francisco who is calling for $250 fines for all who were arrested doing "obviously illegal activities". What were the other people arrested for? And how does someone "Legally" assemble to exercise freedom of speech nowadays? The events of the past several days warrant public engagement, yet down every avenue, the message of the movement becomes suffocated. The message is either too weak, too watered down in the mainstream, or the clear message is muffled by the stifling establishment. That’s what drives people to Direct Action. Businessmen pay attention to money. Fortunately, this internet is changing things. By making independent news mainstream, and sharing all information with everyone, we can all become aware of the forces at work. Soon the wool will be lifted and the shroud will fall. Corporations and governments will no longer be able to hide behind their P.R., Advertising, and Propaganda wall. From Vann Ness and Fell, I made the call into the Kitchen. We’re all relaying info back to the kitchen so we can appropriately allot food when and where. Also the people cooking wanted to know what was going on. Thanks to their dedication, we had pots and tubs of food to distribute. We then headed to the Federal building to see how the planned shut-down was going. We arrived, meeting the first group at the parking Garage Exit. People here were linked arm in arm, showing resistance, but budging when police pushed through. All in the blockade were happy to get a Fuel bar and fruit. Even just coming to visit brightens their day. It can be a long day, doing a blockade. People sometimes can’t move for hours, so any kind of morale boosting is very uplifting. I rediscovered my abilities to uplift people this day. Smiling, biking, bouncing, drumming, chanting, dancing saluting, acknowledging, waving, and feeding all seem to have a positive affect on people. Hungry people were so thankful for the food, and often times best owed thanksgiving that was almost overwhelming and ought to have been fully felt by the cooks and everyone else who contributed. We did our best to convey thanks to the kitchen crew when we were back, but in the moment, it felt really good, and was fun to be the bicycling food bringers. We found that: The overall mood can be heightened by food, especially when free, which we can all be. There were some tense moments on the shady side of the Federal building, when some riot cops forced their way through the blockade, bringing some civilians with them. I don’t know if anyone was arrested at that point. After circling the Federal building, snacking them and vowing to be back with lunch, we headed to Market. Soon we discovered a blockade at Eighth. We arrived as a Bus driver exited her bus, now empty and stationary. She received a cheer from the crowd, as it symbolized the halting of traffic. People, in the meantime were criss-crossing Market, forming human chains. Everyone was stoked! Even some of the bus drivers seemed to be having fun, enjoying a break in the monotony. The sun was shining and I don’t remember seeing any police. This moment was a highlight of the day. We rode back to the kitchen house, arriving around eleven. There was lots underway at the house. More donated food coming in. Bikes with trailers full of food were departing. I met Rick and he had a trailer that I could borrow to distribute lunch with. Right on! We filled the trailer with buckets of black beans, barley, carrot sticks, a box of bread, boxes of energy bars, good chips and dates. Manwell had pizza and fruit in his square container panniers. What a meal! It was fun to select what the people would be eating, trying to put together an exciting, healthful combination from an abundant supply of food that had been collected. Jen(?) joined us, and four of us embarked toward the federal building, joining a bunch of other cyclists also on their way to the Federal building. We critical massed on the way until being held up by a huge march of protestors who were marching up Market to the Civic Center to rally. There were several thousand people, so I was trying to tell people that the folks at the federal building needed help. We ended up crossing the march, with efforts to bring food to those who were locked down at the Federal building. Incidentally, getting arrested at the federal building is a bit more of an issue, because it falls under federal jurisdiction. Upon arrival, we decided to feed the shady side first, seeing as it was coldest there, and they had been most heavily hit by the police forces. The food was welcomed, though it was an un-easy vibe. The police had been periodically forcing through, making it hard to feel stable. After feeding those first folks, we heard there was a bus of police on the way. Avril and I arrived at the next feeding spot, where we had the idea for me to ride a block over to the Civic Center, to bring people to help blockade the entrance to the Federal building. For such a big achievement, there was relatively few activists carrying it out. With thousands there, it only made sense to bring the crowd back. I biked down the hill, and made my way to the stage to try and get them to announce a call to those who’d like to help at the Federal building. To my surprise, I was behind the times, as there already was a plan to march there. I rode around the crowd trying to hurry the crowd up. Time was of the essence because of the busload of cops. Presently, the Federal Building was closed. Whether it remained closed, depended on getting more people to come and block it. The march was heading up the hill to the Federal Building, so I rode up to the front, having a vision of the crowd splitting at the corner, to fully surround the building. I stood at the corner with my bike, saying; "some go this way, some go that way." "Circle the Federal building." It worked! Soon people were marching in both directions, bringing people to all the necessary places. I met back up with the FNB folks and helped serve a bit. I took a bucket of cut up fruit around to the crowd, serving Fruit Not Bombs, telling people about the Food Not Bombs being served at the other corner. We tried to have a group hug around the Federal Building, but it never quite took off. I spent most of the rest of the afternoon at the Federal Building serving food, and hanging out. We Demonstrated how we can live. A Love demonstration. There was a drum circle in one corner, and people were spread around the cement grounds. Puke for Peace had been by earlier, so there was all this puke all over the place. Sweet. at some point in the afternoon, after the crowd had come and dissipated, we realized that there was no one really blockading the front entrance. Some Businessy Federal people came up, and the police unlocked the Barricade, and let the people in. Manwell started to try to block the way in a solo manor, with me kinda dancing beside him. The cops pushed him out of the way and people got in. How could it be that there were no people left here after thousands had come? It was kind of surreal. The next time people tried to enter, Manwell blocked the way, as cops tried to push, I linked arms, as others ran to join us. It worked. We held strong and the Federal Building was closed. A bunch of people had come and we were starting to fill in the gaps of the opening. Earlier I had decided to be un-arrest able, being Canadian and all, so at this point I found someone to take my place. People understood, and it was O.K. We started drumming and soon we were jamming. A belly dancing woman came and danced and we were picking up energy. I traded the drum I was playing for sticks and a drum pad and danced too. Brother who got the Dumbeke' was middle Eastern and he could play it well, so that was good. I went back to do more FNB-ing, but it was all pretty much done with. The sparseness of the blockade prompted me to stay near the fence and help block people from accessing the Building. As it was getting later, Jen and I rode back to the house to re-load. After travelling a couple of blocks, I realized I didn’t have the drum. Holy Smokes! We switched bikes, so she could bring the trailer, and I rode hers back to find the drum. I went back and Brother wasn’t around. I went all around the building, asking people who may have seen it. No one knew of the drum’s whereabouts and I couldn’t see the dude who had it. Well there was the chance I could see him later or something. Bummer. I got back to the house and checked the trailer, just in case it was in there. It wasn’t. Oh well. I rested, ate a bit of the food, and we packed up for the next run back to the Federal Building, where there was a press conference scheduled at five and we wanted to make it. We arrived as the people on the shady side were rallying and officially left the blockade, marching around the building to the sunnyside where we were set up with the bikes and the food and everything. Mellody showed up and helped serve the Quinoa with walnut and raisins, barley and beans, bread, carrots and tostadas. We served all of the Quinoa and half of the barley and beans, but we still had lots for more people. After the federal building, we had a safety meeting, then headed down to Market, where we rode into a critical mass, which we joined for several blocks, even though we were going the opposite way we had planned to. As we rode, a woman realized we were FNB and stopped when we did to talk about our next move. She’d prepared two containers of lentils and two warm spice breads and happily gave them to us. I was like: "don’t you want to give it out yourself? You made it". She was happy to just offer it up for the cause, and is really supportive of what Food Not Bombs does and wants to get involved. So many people helped throughout the day, serving, cooking, donating, and of course eating. Thanks for helping and giving. We decided to go back toward Powell and Market to unload the rest of the food that was in our load. We went back toward the people, but they’d been marching, and were not exactly anywhere in particular. We found a group who’d blocked an intersection and we busted out the food. People were so hungry and thankful for the food. People here were happily giving donations. One lady even gave $20 for the cause. Earlier we’d met a woman who had donated her whole tax return to FNB. People’s kindness is overwhelming. We served all of our food out, and just enjoyed the vibe of the crowd. It was dark now and Market was still bustling with activists, street folks and cops, all having had a long day. I felt good. The reality of the war was near, but I had been able to channel the energy I was feeling into positive directions, and I felt good about having helped. Serving and providing healthy food is always a good way to help out in troubling times. We all were beat and satisfied and rode back to the kitchen house, which by now was a bit of a disaster. We chilled for a bit, eating and reflecting and sharing stories. It wasn’t too long before the next task became apparent. Jail solidarity needed coffee and tea for the people being released from jail. We put on two huge pots of water to boil. In the meantime, we prepared the containers for distributing the hot liquid both at pier 27 and at 850 Bryant. I couldn’t find any tea bags but there was lots of ginger, so we made lime ginger tea. Honey and soy milk were bought and all was ready to go around midnight. I called it a day and downloaded the photos of the day, showing some people in the house. Manwell went out on Jail support with another dude who had a car, making it easier. I stopped by the Jail at Bryant, and saw them as I went back to Melody’s for the night. The next day, I arrived around noon and Melody was on her way by bus. Spirit led us to cook throughout the day. It was nice contributing in the kitchen, and being homey after such a busy day previously. Saturday was a big day of protest with tens of thousands out on the Street demonstrating. I’d brought a drum that day, because I love drumming and dancing and the music that accompanies a protest. We help maintain a positive vibe with drums, rhythms and chanting. There were lots of tables at the Civic center. One of them was the guy who makes the World piece clay pendants. He’s made over 200,000 of them, gives them away and accepts donations for them. He’s been making them for Eleven years and plans to continue making them for the rest of his life. Maluhia means peace in Hawaiian. I got one for Will, Lolma for Melody, meaning Peace in Hopi, and mine says Amani, which means peace in Swahili. We marched through town, peace being the message, and had a good day of drumming and marching. At one of the drumming circles, I saw the dude who had borrowed the drum and he was happy to see me. He gave me his number and told me to call on Monday. I ran over and told Crow the good news and he was happy too.
~ Johannes Chapman, Pure Hemp Caravaner 1.0

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