Wednesday, Strike Day 11
6:20 AM I wake up, realizing my alarm for 4:30 either hasn’t gone off or I slept through it. I’m gasping. I jump out of bed and pull on my jeans and union shirt. I also put on my raincoat–I checked the forecast for this morning last night and it didn’t look good. I call Benedikt to tell him and the rest of the group that I’m so sorry, I’m running late, but I’m on my way, please forgive me. I can’t remember if I brushed my teeth.
6:30 I arrive at the delivery picket on 114th Street. We’re standing, Benedikt, Takaya and I, outside of the back entrance to John Jay Hall waiting for trucks to pull in. I’ve already missed everything, apparently.
7:00 Davio, who was there earlier, Benedikt and Takaya convinced the teamsters driving the Sysco trucks to not make deliveries. I’m just there for the pouring rain and non-union drivers who kindly explain to us that they would lose their jobs if they didn’t make the deliveries. Takaya brings us coffee. It is so hot and my fingers are so cold. I mediate for a bit on the benefits and drawbacks of actually drinking it. If I drink it, I’ll be more awake. If I don’t drink it, my hands will be warmer. If I drink it, there will be more warmth for my hands. If I don’t drink it, the coffee will get cold and gross and I’m going to drink it anyway is what I ultimately decide.
7:30 In the hour or so that I’ve been here we have stopped no one. We have, however, greeted workers at John Jay, waved to people in the cars passing by us, and gotten thoroughly soaked despite our rain gear. I’m counting down to 8 AM. I’m going to go home and take a nap for an hour. I think over and over again about peeling off my wet socks and putting fresh, fuzzy and dry ones over my trembling feet.
8:00 AM Benedikt and Takaya decide to tough it out and wait for the next group of picketers to arrive. I go home.
8:30 AM Asleep, blissfully.
9:00 AM I get up.
9:30 This time I really do brush my teeth. I also shower. I’m in a kind of haze, but feel very awake.
10:00 I make my way to Casa Hispánica for our picket captains meeting. Today I am shift captain. We run through the schedule and picket organization together and assign posts. It’s raining today, so we also have to think about melting cardboard and how to keep our flyers and food, among other things, dry.
10:30 We start pulling signs and supplies out of boxes and out of the Casa Hispánica basement and onto College Walk. It’s not raining very heavily, but the dampness and drizzle makes me worried about turnout.
11:00 There’s are a few big clusters of people already here, signing in and chatting with each other. I’m glad the rain didn’t deter anyone from showing up–what would that say about us?
11:30 Danielle and Tim are signing people in. I’m sending people to the three pickets. We’re handing out On Strike signs. I can hear people chanting from the Broadway and Amsterdam gates.
12:00 Our rally is supposed to start now, but people seem to be into chanting. Picket captains, Tiffany and I decide to let everyone stay out on the picket for another half-hour or so.
12:30 The rally begins. The theme of the day is “Race and Immigration.” We have Francisco Lara García from the Students of Color Alliance, Corrine Civil from Black Students’ Organization speak. I have to go back to the tent to pick up pizza and miss the rest of the speeches.
1:00 Pizza arrives, but it’s still raining. Our tent still hasn’t made it up yet, so a lovely group of samaritan workers takes it upon themselves to make a human tent, everyone holding up a corner of a big, blue, plastic tarp. The pizza goes underneath. There’s so much enthusiasm for the Famiglia. I’m also shocked at how consistently the pizza shop is turning out the pies….it seems like there’s over twenty….
1:30 After slightly soaked pizza, everyone’s back at the picket. At the sundial everything is quiet. We put up the tent and move all of the boxes, donated baked goods and miscellanea underneath.
2:00 Some people sign out early, going back to classes, other jobs, or their labs to continue with their dissertation work.
2:30 My legs are starting to buckle, but we still have a long day left.
3:00 Rally on College Walk. I heard Dolores Huerta was here? Still running around and delirious. A former student comes over to tell me something about Butler Library. I’m getting texts about petitions. She’s unbraiding and braiding her hair, I offer her coconut cake. People are signing out, streaming away.
3:30 Only one more meeting and back to bed….