Monday, September 05, 2005

Bring Them Home Now Tour: Central Route Notes


Terre Haute and Indianapolis Indiana

The Tour stopped at Terre Haute, IN, enroute to Indianapolis and met a group of 25 people and local press for what turned out to be mostly a press conference. We answered an assortment of questions. For a while it seemed very routine as if both the crowd and the press were "going through the motions."

Beatrice Salvador and Lietta - when their turn came - took the microphone and began to engage members of the audience one by one and trying to speak in a more individual sense that eventually seemed to generate engaged responses. Per Lietta, that seemed to salvage what started out as a "going through the motions" mentality.

The Tour got a warm reception in Indianapolis (including home-cooked FOOD) and Lietta stayed again at another home of volunteer hosts ... "another couple, Arthur - older than us." The volunteers, although mostly not directly connected to MFSO, belong to different groups sponsoring the events of the Tour while in Indianapolis. "They're activists and engaged. You can sure sense that!"

During the Indianapolis rally protestors began to gather across the street and after a while numbered about 50. They began singing God Bless America so we joined them from across the street and drivers could hear God Bless America in stereo as they passed by. Responding to the protestors seemed to really spark the Tour members and certainly ignited our audience. You could sense a combination of relief and determination as we supported each other and openly dealt with protestors in a way that did not provoke ugliness. That crowd was pumped when we ended.

We held a "bus meeting" tonight and focused on clearing the air, reaching understandings and resolving misunderstandings. Both Beatrice and I, remembering what evolved as the days passed at Camp Casey and a kind of "presentation protocol" evolved, feel like we know what we want in terms of how we're most comfortable in delivering our message and engaging our audiences. In these intitial days of the Tour, our group seems to be working out what will become the presentation style and format. There is no formal control or guidance regarding this. Rather, the personalities of the group members and their individual styles will more fully reveal the most effective style and presentation. I suppose this means that toward the end of the tour we'll all be more polished and cohesive.

Lietta felt that the "bus meeting" ended with a better sense of harmony, purpose and who functions best in specific roles, in dealing with specific issues and subjects.

Back in host's homes in Indianapolis tonight (Monday) because there's more to do here tomorrow.

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