Monday, August 25, 2008

DNC Report from the street 3, by Daphne Webb

As I mentioned before, COF contributor Daphne Webb is reporting live from the protests outside the DNC. This is her third report.
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DNC Report from the Street 3
by Daphne Webb

I wanted to be at Lincoln Park no later than 11 am. I wanted an hour to scope out the scene and see if I could be helpful and I am truly amazed and enamored of this entire situation. For those of you on this list who live (d) in Denver, you will understand when I tell you that I took the "15" downtown and, that as a joke, it has been refereed to as the "crack-line." Today, it was no joke. I got on my bus at about 10:30 am and sat in a seat about mid-way back. There is a woman in the seat in front of me who was clearly on something that completely alters a person. I said a little prayer for her because there are almost always terrible issues behind drug-addiction and I was frankly, worried about her. She was scared and freaked out. The bus was rather full, every seat filled and about 5 minutes later, the guy that was sitting across from her said, "No you didn’t just smoke crack on the bus!" "Bus Driver there is a person on this bus smoking some god-damned crack" All of a sudden I catch a whiff of a smell that’s a like a chemically charged rotten egg smell and it was thick. All of a sudden people started coughing. Really hard. This bus had just been filled with Crack smoke and we’re in Denver where air is a precious commodity to begin with. I got out of my seat and started opening windows especially near people who were getting sick and then I told the driver I wanted off. He pulled the bus over and there were more than 4 people really struggling with their breath. There was one woman in particular that needed assistance. She got her asthma infusor out and was extremely shaky and not doing well. I walked over to her and took her over to a shady spot, sat her down, rubbed her back and talked her down. It took about 10 minutes to get her to the point where she was breathing normally and I asked he what her name was "Diana", "Diana?" I said, "Diana (Dee-Aah-Na)" I asked her if she was alone. She said no, that she had her son with her. "What’s his name, how old is he?" "Anthony, he’s 13." So I called out: "Anthony" and he was behind me on his cell phone calling his father. The father was on the way. I sat with her for a couple of minutes more and she said she was fine and other people were looking out for her too. She was o.k.

The bus driver was pretty shook-up by the whole thing. It was chaos. I walked up to the guy that told the bus what was going on because I wanted to thank him. He was really mad. He told me, "You people never say what needs to be said, you just sit there and you don’t do shit." Wow. He was right, but truly he was the only person who actually saw it. I figured he was probably shook up by this situation also and nobody is in a good mood after a toxic substance gases them. It was shocking. It was sad. I have no idea what happened to the woman who was smoking the crack on the bus. I hope she’s in a treatment center and not in a horrible gray cold jail. This woman needs help, not incarceration. I walked down the street for about 5 minutes and waited for the next bus. I told the driver, "I was on the crack bus." And he waived me in. 10 blocks to go. I ended up in the seat behind the guy who was mad at me for reasons I don’t understand and got off at Colfax and Broadway. I found the Recreate 68 group arguing with the guy who manages the veteran memorial because someone had "tagged it" and it was all R-68’s fault. I don’t know, I was high on crack!

I got my act together and practically showered with precious drinking water and started setting up. About 12 pm the area started to fill in with media, people visiting and supporters, friends and yes. Cops. Lots and lots of cops.

I didn’t get my self-defense training because I wanted to be at the Welcome Table to welcome people into town. I met people from New York, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, St. Louis, Seattle, Rochester NY, Boulder and one man from Spain. NBC, Ch. 2, Rocky Mountain News, and many other channels visited us. The organizer was talking to people for 2 hours straight. Sometimes they had Cameras, sometimes not. People really wanted to be welcomed into town. I asked everyone, "Are you in from out of town?" 9 X’s out of 10 they were.

Today felt like, "Meet and Greet Day." Today was about getting to know the community in Denver. It’s important to welcome people, they like that. Today was "Human Condition Day"; I have witnessed so much human behavior these last few days. The human condition… how would you describe it?

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