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Wednesday, 11/10/99

Back to school! We are invited by different classes in different schools to give lectures about the WTO and our resistance. "It was great", says Sagi. "I loved it. This is what we came to do for." While some of the student groups appeared a bit shy though, or tired or just in a difficult age, others turned out asking lots and lots of refreshing questions and forced us to find convincing answers.

Some of us pass by the rally of NORML, "National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws", in front of Governor Frank Keating's building. Inside a summit of the Drug Policy Foundation of Oklahoma takes place: 200 law enforcement officers are invited to discuss the drug policy - not even one medical or psychological expert. "All they are going to do is to buy bigger, better guns", comments one of the protesters. "And more tanks. They already have one to drive in front of the houses to fight these laboratory set up by kids" Her own son committed suicide after he had been to jail.

Buy an Italian cookbook and look at the pictures, then you'll get an impression what "Visions of Paradise Garden" is like, a Community Garden Area, some of us are visiting. Hard to imagine that these streets used to be an normal American Dream-neighborhood. "Nobody knew anybody here", David recalls. "This neighborhood was full of crack houses, everybody kept very much in their own house. Then there were these two Laotian girls who lived in the second house over there and who came to us while we were gardening in our backyard. They were really interested and wanted to do some gardening as well. But my garden was already pretty shady, and we were looking for a sunny space. So this neighbor here said: Well, you can use my garden. What we didn't realize then was that in this way we started into a community. Everybody started to talk with each other. It's like back in the old days. So >from nobody knowing anybody we now even know the elderly folks and the Vietnamese community, and we share food, tools and cars." A year ago they also got some land by the city and started a common community garden. But like everywhere in Oklahoma where houses had been on, every single piece is poisoned with Chlordane, that had been used against vermin and became forbidden only 15 years ago. So it takes years until they can eat everything without worrying.

Lunch at University with the Student Action Network.

Rally in front of State Capital Building. "World Trade Oligarchy" summarizes one sign the status of the WTO, "People before Profits" outlines another one an alternative policy. And when at the end of her speech Taira demands "Levantanse! - Get up for your rights!" indeed everybody gets up and excited. Just before she was denied to enter the State Capital Building, where Jeff wanted to film her and Ibe in front of the murals inside - where you can see aggressive Indians when the conquistadors came. Of course the official reason was that nobody of the rally was allowed to go in. But nobody hassled the white people among us to enter. And at the same time workers are carrying heavy beams out of the building. No white person is among them - too heavy work. For us it's our debut as the PGA street theater troupe. Air takes everybody with his guitar back to the 15th, 16th and 17th century to Asia, Africa, America and Australia. We see the history of colonialism again, but this time how it started with Europeans swapping pearls made of glass for pure gold, and how they finally took everything. Then to the first half of this century, when colonies became independent, but still stayed in a new form of neo-colonialism, trapped between the two blocks and dominated with the argument of the danger of communism. In the third act the WTO is offering free trade dollars for recourses. But this act takes place in the year 2000, so we needed to leave the end of the story open. But people came up to the stage, and gave the story a happy ending.




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