Last Saturday, September 20, I joined an effort called a Million Doors for Peace, a consolidated effort between several organizations working to end the Iraq war, including Code Pink, MoveOn and Veterans for Peace. What follows is a entry I posted to my blog about the experience. I've since added a few details that have occurred to me since the original post was written.
I went out canvassing the neighborhood on behalf of Million Doors for Peace today. There were forty registered voters on my list. Out of those, I got the signatures of thirteen people, plus signatures from seven additional people who were not on my list but were home at the time I knocked, for a total of twenty signatures. One person on my list refused to sign, while another not on my list but has replaced the voter in that residence, also refused to sign.
Let me tell you a little about my neighborhood. It's mostly working class to lower middle-class,lots of elderly people and a smattering of middle-aged voters with young adults living at home. And there is the housing project, where rent-subsidized apartments are occupied mostly by new immigrants, the disabled, single parents and their children. It is a hard project to move into because it is largely quiet, clean and trouble-free. Here is a photo of a section of that housing project:
This is where I found the least people at home and where a lot of people no longer lived at the address I was given by the MDFP campaign. There were several people with Russian names and a couple were Asian. I wondered if so many people not at home meant they were at work. There are so many working poor people in this community who work service jobs that include weekends. I wondered how many of these people had health care benefits. Sigh.
One of the two people who refused to sign stated about the troops coming home:
"They'll come home when they come home."
A few comments from people who supported a date for troop withdrawal:
This is from the neighbor on my street who is a relatively young retiree:
"I was against it from the start. And I'm a veteran." (his wife was holding an infant grandchild and nodded in agreement).
From a middle-aged woman who very enthusiastically took my clipboard:
"I'd be happy to sign your petition. I agree with you 100%." (she shook my hand)
A middle-aged man in the same building stated:
We should've gotten out years ago.
Most people didn't say anything but gladly signed. It was a beautiful day and I found many people not at home but I left a door hanger with information.
It was an interesting experience and one that made me feel like I was doing something. I expected that by now there would be results posted at the website but I've not seen anything nor received any email update. If you know any stats on results, please leave information in comments. I read somewhere that 500 people participated in this effort. A dismaying number, which made me feel discouraged.