CYNTHIA MCKINNEY IN LONDON
This summer the US Green Party asked Cynthia McKinney to run for president. Hopefully she will, and many things that the Bush administration have damaged in the land of liberty will be repaired, such as the treatment of US veterans. I am lucky to have served before either Bush got in, many of those who did their time after me are now suffering the effects of depleted uranium. The Marines got a few good men, but Bush was not one of them. In fact it is pretty well understood that he went AWOL for 7 months, and his VP never even went in as he got 5 deferrments, is that a record or what? How did he get out of duty 5 times when hundreds of thousands of others got called up? Did he tap his feet?
McKinney is definitely not a foot-tapper. She has hers solidly on the ground, and this week they are on British ground. She arrived Monday around noon and has taken up residence in London where she has been holding court with writers and journalists. Mark Anslow of the Ecologist spent the afternoon in her presence, asking her about her stance on all things green, followed by Elizabeth Mistry. Nafeez Ahmed showed up later with his friends and a heavy discussion ensued. At one point Cynthia cooked up a meal of hulled hemp seeds and porridge, the former a gift of Roger Snow at Rocky Mountain Grain Products in Canada.
The next day London was set back by a tube strike, which may not have pleased a lot of people, but at least it got some of us more fit as we were forced to walk or ride bikes. Personally, though, I'd rather sit and get taken to my destination by wheels of steel. Let's hope they are rolling soon. While they idled, McKinney gathered steam, talking to the Big Issue and getting on Talk Sport just before midnight. Any American would be proud that she held her own against the talk show host John Nichol. She was asked if she was an American version of George Galloway, to which she wisely did not say yes or no. Truth is that both do stand against the establishment and oppose the mess in Iraq, but she does not go on Big Brother and do inane antics to get attention, she is able to make her points in more effective ways. She also has a very good voting record for her constituents, whilst Galloway has a very bad one, and in fact missed a crucial vote for Bethnal Green when he was a guest of Channel 4.
She will rock and roll in the UK some more, meeting Friends of the Earth tomorrow and protesting outside the US Embassy on Friday (7 September) at 6 pm with Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who got locked up for nothing. It sounds like Seinfeld, which was a show about nothing, but noone ever complained (except some viewers). There still are hundreds of people locked up for nothing, and they are not even allowed to watch old epidodes of Seinfeld. Instead they are being forced to hear loud music, as if that is going to help win hearts and minds. If Cynthia gets in they get out. And the millions, sorry, billions, sorry, trillions that the Bushistas are spending on Camp X Ray and other abominations will be spent in the Homeland with proper accounting to the taxpayer's whose money has gone astray these last few years. Some folks will not like that one bit, and I suspect that the princes of darkness who run Blackwater and other paramilitary outfits at great expense to the taxpayer will be getting caned.
On Sunday (9 September) she will be speaking at the Urban Green Fair in Brockwell Park, Brixton. After that she goes up to Leeds, then returns to the banks of the Thames on Monday, when she will speak at Friends House on Euston Road at 6:30 pm, admission £5, £3 with concessions. Her speech will be followed by a 45 minutes Q&A session. Tuesday (11 September) she is attending a rally in Parliament Square at noon, and then she heads off to Amsterdam.
For more information on Cynthia McKinney click here.