Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mall Peace, Part II

More photos from Dorothy's mall excursion.

...and then a splinter group of Dorothys took in a matinee.

Next action: Saturday December 22 at Tucson Mall. For meeting location and details, email

Dorothy Goes to the Mall

On Dec. 15, Dorothy spent the afternoon at Park Place Mall. Joining several hundred other "shoppers," we spread our message of peace and offered alternative gift-giving ideas to consumers. Many were delighted by their mystery scrolls all wrapped up in shiny ribbons and offered kind "thank yous" for their gifts. Others wanted to know where we got those "great bags!"

Here are some images, moving and still, of our day:

Dorothy arriving:

Dorothy in Dillard's:

Dorothy goes "up there":

A moment of peace in the Food Court:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Down There at the Mall

Our next actions will take place in the so-called "belly of the beast:" Tucson's shopping malls!

THIS SATURDAY, December 15:
Meet us at the main entrance to Park Mall (near Old Navy) at 12:00 on
Saturday, Dec. 15. Wear fashionista black. All black. No veils/scarves
this time: we are who we are. (Unless you want to wear one, which is
ok, too...).

The action is simple: we will be mallgoers. We will each
carry many Peace shopping bags, as if laden with holiday purchases. We
will wander in and out of stores, stand in line to see Santa, grab a
latte at the Food Court. We will not, however, buy anything (other
than the aforementioned latte...let's not deprive ourselves!). We
won't approach people (again: unless we want to). We'll keep open and
friendly expressions on our faces; make eye contact; be a calm
presence amidst the craziness.

We will split up into groups of 2 or 3 or 4. Here in the age where the
shopping mall is a community site for peoplewatching, we are there to
be seen. People will notice these mysterious women (and girls!)
dressed so fetchingly in black and wonder what's up. Inside our bags
will be hundreds & hundreds of scrolls wrapped in ribbon: our
Alternative Shopping Lists. When people approach us, or gape in
curiosity, we will smile and hand them a little scroll.

The goal: to get people wondering where in the mall this "Peace Store"
is -- and what can you buy there?

This is a perfect mother/daughter/girlfriend/sister holiday outing!

A repeat excursion of this will occur on Saturday, Dec. 22 at the
Tucson Mall.

love, Dorothy

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Peaceful Pause

From the parade judges, Nancy Lutz and Diana Rhoades:

"We were inspired by your message of pausing for peace, we thought about bringing the troops home, and we thought about peace on earth. We need to think and act. Even in the middle of holiday festivities... we immediately felt it deserved the Grand Marshall Prize.

Please give our best to the Friends of Dorothy Thomas!"

Silence Amid the Gaiety

Twenty women wearing black gathered in the cloudy daylight and waited for night to arrive. We were cold. We watched the sky for the forecasted rain.

We were somber. Ahead of us: accordionists in Santa hats, bleating their merry carols. Behind us: a scooter club in Santa hats, revving and beeping. Us: a file of black. Silence amid the gaiety.

Little voices from the curbs sang our words back to us. We heard adult voices shouting their solidarity and thanks.
We passed out 1,000 alternative shopping lists. People took them gladly. The handouts said this:

The U.S. is engaged in an ongoing military occupation in the Middle East. Despite pleas from members of Congress and the general public, the current administration has showed no signs of ending its military presence in Iraq. Meanwhile innocent children, women and men are suffering the consequences. As of late 2007, more than one million Iraqis (of which 84,000 are civilians) and more than 3,800 American military personnel have lost their lives since the start of the war in 2003. Survivors of the conflict suffer from depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, physical ailments and economic hardship.

The handouts went on to say this:

Please consider directing your holiday giving to help reestablish peace in the world. The following organizations work to alleviate poverty, offer assistance to victims of war, and work for peace and justice. All accept tax deductible donations.

712 5th St. NE
Washington, DC 20002

4455 Connecticut Avenue NW #200
Washington DC 20008

1375 Sutter St. #400
San Francisco, CA 94109

401 Richmond St. West, #204
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V388

PO Box 8296
Philadelphia, PA 19101

When we approached the grandstand and learned we won the Grand Marshall Prize, our arms lifted in astonishment: a single file row of flapping peace bags. We broke character and laughed in surprise.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Prize of Dorothys

Thank you to all who made our first action an unimaginable success!

We dressed in black. We carried our shopping bags for peace. We walked in single file. We created a necessary pause in the holiday festivities. We heard children reading aloud, "Touch Peace, Say Peace, Breathe Peace, Give Peace, Try Peace...."

....and then, we won the prize! The Grand Marshal Award for "best overall entry" in the Holiday Parade of Lights.

Peace isn't so subversive, after all.

Thanks so much everyone...