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Protest!

Picket report, San Francisco, May 7, 2001
7 May 2001
Kristi Wachter <humanrights@racerrecords.com>

Date: Monday, May 7, 2001
Start and End Times: 12:15 - 12:45 pm
Location: San Francisco
Picketers: Arel Lucas, Kristi Wachter
Handlers: Craig
Weather: hot and sunny
Number of Handouts given away: 96
Comments: brief lunchtime picket

Flier stats:

93 Convictions/What's Wrong fliers
2 Judges on Scn fliers
1 Lisa flier

96 total

AFTERNOON DELIGHT

Arel Lucas and I did a quick lunchtime picket at the San Francisco org today.

We arrived shortly after noon, and Peaches' parking karma was with us - I found a spot right across the street from the org, and it still had a few minutes on the meter!

Arel had a great collapsible sign that said "I know ex-Scientologists - and I believe them!" I had my usual "Still Breaking the Law/Convicted of Lying" sign and "Scientology Hurts People" on my sandwich sign.

I saw Jamie inside watching us and I waved heartily at him (in between my usual Vanna White waves at passing traffic) and he waved back (I think). Jamie is the current holder of the coveted Kristi's Favorite Scientologist award. I was delighted to see him!

DARK HORSE

With the police station nearby, there are usually plenty of police officers passing by in their squad cars. Today we also had a couple of officers on beautiful brown horses. I waved and wished them a good afternoon.

THE NEEDLE AND THE DAMAGE DONE

One very soft-spoken gentleman stood and talked to me for a few minutes. He had a friend, Bob Wendt, who had joined Scientology in San Francisco in 1969. He later heard from Bob's parents that Bob had died a mysterious death, and they didn't want to talk about it. The gentleman who spoke to me said Scientology had gotten the man off drugs, but he said he would have been better off staying on drugs and out of Scientology. At least he'd still be alive. (The gentleman was describing the kind of casual marijuana use common in the late 60s ... not life-threatening hard drug use.)

I offered my sympathy to the man on the loss of his friend and thanked him for telling me his story.

GOOD DAY SUNSHINE

One lady offered her support - and her concern: she said I really should shade my face. She was worried that I was going to get horribly sunburned. I told her I usually put on sunscreen, but I forgot today. (Nevertheless, I don't think I ended up with too much sunburn.)

In retrospect, she may have just been responding to my tendency to turn bright red when I exert myself. ... Hey! Maybe I'm running out radiation!

HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?

Several of the passersby responded to my "Scientology's worse than you think" by saying "It can't be worse than *I* think." Heh. Perhaps half of those who declined my fliers, saying they knew how bad it was or something similar, did pause long enough to listen to me point out that it's important to voice their concerns to the IRS.

GIVE ME SOME WATER

One gentleman came by, declined a flier (he'd gotten one from me earlier) - and gave me a nice cold bottle of water!

Random acts of kindness, indeed.

BABY WHAT'D I SAY?

Toward the end, Craig emerged from the org for the usual, er, pleasantries. I greeted him cheerily and said "Nice to see you!" He started goading me about how much I hate him and Scientologists. I ignored him and continued fliering passersby. He said "You're a crazy bitch" and continued his half-hearted attempt to engage me in his TR-bullbait.

As we were leaving I bid him a fond farewell and called out playfully, "Will I see you later?" - curious whether he'd come revenge-picket my home (but not, of course, expecting an answer). He said, "Is that a threat?" Incredulous, I said "How is asking you if I'll see you later a threat?" He said "Sounds like a threat to me."

...shaking my head

The San Francisco Scientologists have, as predicted, been trying to use Keith's verdict to scare us into thinking that constitutionally-protected free speech in the form of peaceful picketing is some kind of hate crime. It's not going to work. As I've told Jeff and Craig before, if it's not a crime, it's not a hate crime.

My pickets are part of my personal ministry of love, practicing the Christian virtues I was taught as a child: loving those who would harm me, turning the other cheek, and speaking the truth. I say "practicing" because these behaviors take practice. I am grateful to the Scientologists for giving me the opportunity to work on being patient, kind, respectful, and loving, even - especially - toward those who wish to provoke me to anger. (And I am equally grateful to non-confrontational Scientologists like Jamie - and Claire! - for giving me such excellent living examples of the good intentions and human face that some Scientologists try not to show me.)

And, of course, I'm grateful to Arel for including me in her daily picket. I understand she's accepting proxy pickets - if you'd like to help her make sure Scientology gets picketed every day to protest the verdict against Keith, I'm sure she'd love an e-mail from you.

As for me, I'm looking forward to the next first-Saturday-of-every-month picket on June 2 ... and maybe I'll get in another picket or two before then!

Rocking in the free world,

Kristi

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Kristi Wachter
the activist formerly known as "Jour" (before $cientology outed me)

If I am not who you say I am, then you are not who you think you are. - James Baldwin

I think $cientology is hurting people and breaking the law, and I want them to stop it. See http://www.scientology-lies.com for more.

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