By Jordan Sibayan
With the excitement of yesterday’s actions still in the air, ADAPT was pleasantly surprised to hear and see the updates from Ivanka Trump’s house visit. As we lined up outside, we did not know what was in store. All I was told during our morning meeting was the term “long day” being thrown around.
We lined in our color groups outside, after we got a chance to hunker in for the long trip with caffeine, water, and food. The days kept getting hotter and this was no exception.
ADAPT marched through DC into the outlying area of Chinatown. Like a finely tuned watch we coordinated with each other to get all of our members downstairs to the Metro Train platform. Our destination? Silver Springs, Maryland. The nerve center of the Food and Drug Administration.
On the train I had time to reflect, this action was to be a follow up to last year’s protest of the Judge Rotenberg Center. This horrible facility, which is located in Canton, Massachusetts, is a torture center dressed up as a rehabilitation school for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The pain “students” endure come from electronic devices strapped on their legs and stomach which administer shocks more intense than that of a police taser.
After arriving in Silver Springs in what seemed like an hour long’s ride, ADAPT grouped up on the street below the train station. Taking the opportunity to use restrooms before our vans came for us. We left in groups of five to twelve, one van after another, until we got closer to the FDA. We ate our food in a suburban area of Silver Springs. Causing some controversy with the local police department in the process.
I don’t see what the problem was, we would have shared. We also greeted the neighbors who were getting home.
After we finished, we coordinated ourselves to make a strait shot line down to the FDA building. The police had expected us (since, well, we were already in the neighborhood) and tapped off access to the parking lot and complex, causing our battle line to take place in the entry and exit ways.
We read off a statement on how horrible the JRC’s methods are and urged the FDA, having drafted a rule outright banning the practice of using electric aversions, to finalize the ruling. We lined up at the police tape, chanted and urged preventive’s from the facility to meet with us and discuss. They sent out Public Relations.
You know what’s bad PR? Not passing a ruling and dragging your feet while our brothers and sisters are getting tortured on the daily in that rotten place. We must have demonstrated for an hour or more, and we used our energy of frustration, anger, and disgust to the fullest as we urged them to “Stop the Torture!”
The officer’s started to warn us over their public address system (although they had some issues with their equipment). We were given our one (and only) warning to vacate. We responded by cheering and continuing to chant loudly with passion. Eighty four of us were processed one by one. The one’s who took the ticket celebrated by taking pictures. Music filled the air as the sun set.
The vans came back for us, as we made our way back to the Metro Station to head back to Chinatown. We spent some time outside of the Silver Springs station as we ate dinner from the local McDonalds. As the dusk turned to night, ADAPT boarded the train back to DC and headed back to the hotel. The train coming back seemed shorter than the train coming. Couldn’t tell if it was because of the lack of daylight or the influx of drowsiness.
Police lights flashed intense as we rolled from Chinatown’s metro station back to the Holiday Inn. A few of us suffered effects from it, but were helped by other members. That’s the great thing about ADAPT, we have each other’s backs and we will not leave anyone behind who is in need of help.
There was no meeting that night. Most of us returning to the hotel headed straight to our rooms. We had another day of action to think about. True it would be less cumbersome, it would be no less impactful.
It was time for ADAPT to visit Capitol Hill.