[Marxism] Notes from the Caravan - Bellingham, Washington

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 20 19:04:43 MDT 2004

Marxmailistas may enjoy these few notes from the Pastors for Peace
Friendship Caravan on which I'm participating. We crossed the US-
Canadian border today between Vancouver and Bellingham, WA
with no difficulties. Here are a few notes on the activity.

Our Caravan began this morning in Victoria, British Colombia where 
Randy Caravaggio, Judy Elam and I drove in their car and their truck
down to the ferry after picking up other participants in today's journey.
Six of us took the ferry over to Vancouver, and from there went over
to the famous Peace Arch park where we met up with local supporters
from Vancouver, including Marcel Hatch and Leonardo Hechavarria,
Nino Pagliachi and others from the Canadian Cuba solidarity world.

We were serenaded by two different contingents of the Raging Grannies,
local activist groups from Bellingham, Washington and Vancouver, BC.
They sang songs of solidarity with Cuba and opposition to Washington's
blockade of the island. After that we shared food and some remarks by
several of the participants, including myself, Leonardo (he's a Cuban-
Canadian), Rick the mechanic (I don't now recall his name) who sees
to it that the big yellow school bus we are travelling on, and any other
of our vehicles are in serviceable condition. Ours is.

After lunch our segment of the caravan, four vehicle strong, got on line
to cross over into the United States. Many of those who had come up to
join us from the solidarity groups and the Raging Grannies walked over
to the border, and across it, to witness what might happen when we did
cross over. They had no difficulties.

It was clear that officers from the US Customs and Border Patrol were
waiting for us, but as we soon saw, they did little more than make sure
we were clear that they had the authority to check the contents of our
vehicles before letting us through. They permitted a couple of dozen
of our supporters to walk over from the Canadian side, some carrying
picket signs against the blockade and the embargo (both) to observe
the inspection. 

After our four vehicles were inspected, and no objection was made to
our passage, we all went forward to the other side where we unloaded
our materials and put them on the large yellow school bus which was
waiting for us from Pastors for Peace. Three of us got on the bus, Al
Dale, a 78 year old retired social worker, on his second Caravan with
Pastors, and our driver, Bob, whose name in my present exhausted
state I just cannot remember. We drove to Al's house where we will
spend the night. There are no planned Caravan activities for today.

Our accomplishment for today constituted another brick removed from
the wall of Washington's blockade of Cuba. Material and moral support
to Cuba was garnered, and our caravan took its first steps into the US
on our way south through California, and from there east to Texas 
where we will prepare to cross into Mexico and from there on to Cuba.

I'm completely exhausted now and glad to be able to relax tonight.

More reporting tomorrow,

Walter Lippmann

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