Why ALL WOMEN should Vote


This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.
The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

(Lucy Burns)
And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.
Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of ‘obstructing sidewalk traffic.’
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.
(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the ‘Night of Terror’ on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because
they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson‘s White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women’s only water came from an open pail. Their food–all of it colorless slop–was infested with worms.
(Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/suffrage/n wp/prisoners.pdf

So, refresh my memory. Some women won’t vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn’t matter? It’s raining?

Personally, I strongly suggest we all take a moment to watch HBO’ s new movie ‘Iron Jawed Angels.’ It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that We women could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say.

All these years later, voter registration is one of the things that I have been doing this election. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for many. Frankly, I’ve been told by many who never took advantage, that voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege.
Sometimes it was inconvenient – or didn’t really Matter.

And so, now comes the question I pose to you.

‘What would those who fought so hard for their right to have a say on who leads our country think of the way I use, or don’t use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.’ The right to vote, needs to become valuable to all of us – all over again.

HBO released the movie on video and DVD. I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn’t our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn’t make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: ‘Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.’

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party – remember to vote.

History is being made.


Obama’s in Berlin Tomorrow

After much waiting, it’s been decided. Obama will make his speech at the Winged Victory Monument at 7PM here in Berlin.
Winged Victory
I’m so excited. Barack Obama is my candidate of choice, he’s inspirational, and a lovely orator. And not only will I be there to hear and see the speech, I’ll be volunteering for the Obama Campaign. I’m not sure if I’ll be doing crowd control, handing out flyers and/or balloons or just what yet, but whatever it is, I’m so there – and in my Obama girl outfit. Either way, this is my ONE chance to see him speak in person – and I’m taking it. Now, I’m just hoping that it’s all I want it to be.
In the meantime, here’s a lovely op-ed piece by William Kristol to chew over – in anticipation of what Obama may be pontificating at the monument.
More either Tomorrow or Friday – and hopefully with Pictures…..

Anti Facism Demonstration by Communists?

Where to start… to try and make this clear – now that I understand what was going on and why I got strange looks – let me see ….
Teltow. It’s a small town – 1 street maybe 1000 people – if that. It’s tiny – and located between Berlin and Potsdam. It’s a bedroom community – where nothing really happens – even on the weekend – past 10 pm. Everything is closed after 6pm on most nights, and it’s just dead – you rarely see anyone on the streets.
That being said, May 17, as I rode my bike home from work, I saw this huge massive police force out – blocking the one main street. We’re talking completely closed off to vehicles – with police police police – in green vests, and a few in riot gear.
Line of Police
I thought there must have been a huge bad accident or something – because people go racing up and down the street all the time. Thing is that they were letting pedestrians and bikers through – so as I rode up the street (thinking to rubberneck and maybe snap a few pictures) I discovered the street was just closed – for seemingly no reason – and there was just a huge police force, and really no people. I was like what the heck? Weird.
Line of Police 2
Anyhow, I went home, sat out a 20 minute rain shower and started walking the dog, smartly taking the camera with me. As I rounded the corner, I start hearing people shouting chants and angry things in German – and realize it must be some kind of a protest march that these guys were covering for. So, I head up to the main street to see what’s going on. (After all, March 17 – to me – is any one of a possible 3 holidays – it is the Norwegian Independence day, Equality for gays/lesbians and against homophobia, and the global freedom of information day.)
So, I get down there and start taking pictures of the protest – as follows:
Anti-Facism March
Day 69: Anti-Facism March (1)
Anti-Facism March (2)
Anti-Facism March (3)
Now here’s the thing – the whole time I’m taking pictures, I’m reading the signs and they read “anti-facism” and stuff. (Oh – and I’m getting funny looks – really funny looks from the police who are appearing ready to come at me at any second – to which I keep saying “tourist tourist”) Anyhow, the protest signs – they appear to be being put on by the communist party of Potsdam, Babelsburg and Brandenburg.
To say the least – I’m puzzled. Really Puzzled.
Why are the communist party protesting against facism in tiny Teltow? What am I missing here? Shouldn’t they be in Berlin or Potsdam or something?
Well, after I get to work and start asking questions of the Germans I work with, here’s the explanation.
Apparently, there’s a facist /nazi clothing shop in Teltow (No, really – I didn’t know this either) under the name of something or other nordic blah blah. And these folks were protesting it.
As if that weren’t odd enough – the people protesting are not only communist – but are part of a movement of “anti germans” which have a history of riots and mob violence. You can read more about it here:

Anti-German (Modern communist)

So, this would explain the police being out en masse.

Also from Michael – the translation of that banner in the last picture is “do you know your neighobor? They could be a nazi!”

I’m feeling a little dumb now – a) because I didn’t understand there was a Nazi shop in town, b) because I stood at the protest (ok me and about 2 other people) going what the heck? while taking pictures and c) I’m sure to someone, it looked like I supported the anti-facism (which I do) AND the communists with a history of riots and violence (which I don’t).
Amusingly – they are pro-USA and anti Germans… go figure.
Live, Learn, and well, I guess this is one experience that now that I understand how much I’ve been missing – and be amused.