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Resisting War at the DMV

Standing line is business as usual

By Juan Carlos Ledezma
Published on LatinoLA: March 8, 2003


Resisting War at the DMV


Last night I called in sick so I wouldn?t have to go to work today. I?m protesting the current presidential administration?s plan to initiate war on Iraq. Its an organized effort by myself and others around the globe to disrupt ?business as usual?.

I figured today would be a good day to go register my car at the DMV, without an appointment. To my suprise everyone else protesting the war had decided to do the same thing or so it seemed. I arrived at the DMV ten minutes after 9:00. That?s ten minutes after it opened. The parking lot was full so, I parked in the Vons parking lot across the street. I entered the DMV and walked up to the ?Information? desk and realized that the line for people without an appointment was outside.

You notice things when you are waiting in line that you might not notice when you?re not. You notice people?s reaction who are told that their line is outside. Some people walk in, walk out, and stare at the line of people who arrived before they did. They get this look of disgust like they don?t have time for this. These people bustle toward their cars stuffing their papers aggressively into their purses and pockets. Most of these folks end up lining up when nobody?s looking.

Other people walk into the DMV with this look like they know the long line outside is where they?ll end up because nothing is ever easy. Going in, they have that look but, coming out they have a different one. They walk out, cool as ice, like it?s not the first time they?ve been sent outside and it won?t be the last. They bestow the look that says ?I?ve got more time than money?. They line up with the rest of us, proud of not being stopped by the security guard who politely intercepts all people entering the DMV who look like they don?t have an appointment.

The lady behind me in line has a child in her arms. She tells him ?Hay estas pesado? and attempts to put him down. The child then halts his mother?s motion and says ?no . . . cuidame?. His mother pauses and glances at her son?s eyes and once again attempts to lower him to the ground. The child pleads once more, ?cuidame?. The woman elevates her son and rests him on her hip. Ten minutes later the woman begs the child to stop kissing her. She says ?Hay chaparro, besas mucho?. Her son then cheers ??Mucho, mucho!? and affectionately delivers several more buzzing kisses to his mother?s forehead. After forty minutes, half of us in the ?no appointment? line are allowed into the DMV. Once inside I wait another fifty minutes before my number to be called.

Later that evening I read that thousands of students around the world had left their classrooms to declare their opposition to a war in Iraq. China had join Germany, France and Russia as nations against the Bush administration?s drive toward war . I also read that John Brady Kiesling had resigned from his position as Political Counselor in the US Embassy in Athens due to the Bush administration?s ?. . .dismantling of the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known . . .?.

By the end of the day I had learned two lessons,

1. Our world and its people are far too captivating to risk confronting something as egotistical as war.

2. Make an appointment before you go to the DMV







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