Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Diane Wilson, An Unreasonable Woman

I first met Diane Wilson on 17 November 2002 when documenting a news conference which announced Code Pink's historic debut onto the Washington DC peace movement scene when across from the White House, in Lafayette Park, a coalition of progressive womens' groups, including Code Pink launched a forty day Woman's Vigil and Fast For Peace, as an urgent call to stop (prevent) war on Iraq.

Until that day I had never heard of Code Pink, Diane Wilson nor of a rolling fast. Over the next few months through 8 March 2003 I would document and record many of Code Pink's direct actions in WDC. My second visit to the 40 Days and 40 Nights Woman's Peace Vigil would be on that following Thursday, 21 November during which time I would learn more about Diane Wilson. A few days later when documenting the Pre-World AIDS Day Code Red Demonstration I would observe Diane Wilson in the process of an interview with another news gatherer.

Many of these women were from the West Coast or, in the case of Diane, from Texas but, in any case, was not aware of the cold temperatures in WDC during the very time of year that they were holding their vigil. Which, according to them, would last, at least, until the 8 March 2003 Womens' International Day March on Washington. It is not always easy for me to seperate myelf from the issues or subjects that I report on. So, my dropping by the Womans' Peace Vigil was sometimes in concern about the individuals that I met. Many, who according them, had not been in WDC before. Or, at least, during the cold months of November and December.

On Thanksgiving Day, 26 November 2002, I would walk from my apartment in the SW Waterfront area of WDC across the National Mall, along Pennsylvania Avenue, capturing Homelessnes in Washington DC and, in the process, would visit the Woman's Peace Vigil in Lafayette Park which is when I would learn that Diane had been arrested the day before.

I would return on Sunday, 1 December 2002, which marked the second week anniversary of the Woman's Vigil & Fast for Peace. And when I inquired of the status of Diane Wilson, no one seemed to know. Over the next few months I would learn that Diane had spent several months in a federal prison in the WDC area before she was released. Once released she was barred from the WDC area and in particularly was not permitted within a certain distance of the White House. At least, until her case came to trial. I would spend the weekend of 7 - 9 March 2003 documenting the Women's International March on Washington and can not now recall if Daine was in attendence. Whiule I do not know the specifics of the case nor of Diane's actions since then, I certainly was glad to see Diane Wilson at the 2006 Independence Day Troops Home Fast Hunger Strike.

Some years back and long before I had ever heard of Diane Wilson or Code Pink I had begun an "Unruly White Women" photographic and documentary project in a similar way that I had created "Angry Black Men" , "Mad Black Women" and "Angry White Men" projects. Diane Wilson, who refers to herself as An Unreasonable Woman, is definitely an 'unruly white woman'.

To learn more about Diane Wilson and her unruliness visit the Unreasonable Women of Texas blog site and/or purchase her latest book An Unreasonable Woman - A True Story of Shrimps, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas.

Or visit her in Layayette Park, across from the White House, where since 4 July 2006, Diane Wilson, an unruly and unreasonable white woman, has remained on a hunger strike ... until the US troops come home from Iraq.

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