2005 – Washington – Bunny McLeod

Bunny McLeod reads her narrative

FREEZE OUR PEOPLE

“We’re on our way, to Washington; we’re going to pass MiCASSA. We’ll roll over the tush of G. W. Bush if that’s what it takes to pass MiCASSA.” Personally, I wouldn’t mind rolling over…. but I digress.

The weather was terrible. We spent the night in parking lots sleeping and freezing

We were in DC and because we were there early and “old timers” in ADAPT we were included in a scouting trip to get the lay of the land. We went to the Marriott Hotel and to the White House. We’d be going back, with a bunch of friends.

It was a great day, greeting our old ADAPT friends and meeting newcomers

Sunday we had a newcomers meeting so that the new ADAPTers knew what to expect; also a legal meeting, to make sure everyone had their paperwork taken care of.

We went to the Marriott that evening and let the governors’ association know we’re around and encouraged them to support “Money Follows the Person” and “MiCASSA”.

Bob announced we’d be on our way at 7 A.M. the next morning. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a mistake, Bob meant 7 am.

I shared my willingness to get arrested at this action. Professors at New England College had promised extra credit for an arrest and I fully intended to take them up on it.

Bob said, “Think Monday.”

We were on our way to the Marriott at 7:15. We showed up before the 8 am police shift. We blocked doors and streets making it necessary for the governors to have to exit through the back and be hustled away to buses to get to the White House.

I was in the front group as the number one candidate for arrest and barreled my way towards the front door hoping to make entrance before they realized what was happening. Unfortunately, the security folks at Marriott were on the job and managed to keep us out, just barely. One security officer grabbed my scooter, yelling “You’re not going any further,” pretending to push me back, he pushed me into the perfect position to be able to go through the door if the opportunity arose. It was evident he knew exactly what he was doing.

One governor managed to get out of the building to his car but couldn’t go anywhere. He was indignant. “Do you know who I am?” He ended up experiencing the indignity of having to rejoin his colleagues and take a bus to the meeting at the White House.

We didn’t want them feeling neglected, so we followed along. The snow gave rise to a new song. “Pass the resolution; you know it’s our solution. ADAPT ain’t gonna go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”

We gathered in front of the White House, blocking off the street and letting folks know we were there. Bob and a couple color leaders asked if I was still willing to be arrested. I realized they had something big in mind; maybe a little more than I had counted on. We’re talking extra credit as well as civil rights, so of course I replied that I was, the box of chains was brought out and I was chained to the front gate of the White House.

I took a deep breath. Was this going to be the time I would find myself dragged off my scooter and hauled off to jail, possibly being hurt in the process? One lady had been hurt earlier at the Marriott when an overzealous policeman had struck her, knocking her and her manual chair over. I waited; the officers stood watching, but took no action.

“Pass the resolution NGA” Finally we marched back to the hotel in victory. The police watched as we left and were along our path as we returned to the Holiday Inn.

I am shocked to be told that I am now a part of history as the first person ever to be chained to the front gate of the White House and allowed to stay there till I chose to leave, not being arrested or asked to detach myself.

The next day we visited our senate and congress critters. . We went to each office, so that no one would be overlooked and possibly feel hurt or neglected. I was surprised at the number of Health and Human Services people who were out sick. Must be something going around, could that something have been ADAPT?