San Francisco Picket Report-Saturday, July 7, 2001
08 Jul 2001
realpch <realpch@aol.com>

San Francisco Picket Report-Saturday, July 7, 2001

The weather folks were predicting showers, but it turned out bright and breezy on Saturday. A good day for picketing the San Francisco Scientology Org.

I was late! I didn't get there until some time after 12, and then had to shuffle to find an unbroken parking meter amongst the increasingly numerous broken meters on the street up from the Org.

I was joined at this picket by Prignillius and Arel Henson, and later on Phr. It was really good to meet Prignillius. Jour was sadly absent for this picket, and our flyering stats, had anyone kept them, must have been abysmal.

However, Prignillius had himself a spiffy new sign. One side said "Stop Hurting People" and the other said "Scientology Lies - www.xenu.net". I made myself a new sign, which said "Stop Hurting People" and "Scientology Hates Free Speech". This sign, only slightly bigger than my usual signs proved to be difficult to handle in the brisk winds we usually encounter picketing. I'm afraid I will have to go back to smaller signs. The Org may have come to a similar conclusion, as the huge anti-psychiatry signs they used at the last two pickets did not appear, but two smaller signs did.

As for the "meat" of the picket, I suppose it would be the increasingly rude and harassing behaviour of our "handlers". Over and over, I have made it clear that I do not wish to speak with them, and over and over, they talk and shout at me. It seems to have boiled down to just the two usual suspects there, Nasty Mark and Craig, who are willing to go out and insult and bullbait picketers.

Perhaps I am naiive, but I think most public Scientologists would be shocked to see how these fellows behave. Arel sensibly wore a headset to filter them out. Prignillius spent quite a while chatting with Mark, amicably on Prignillius side at least, until Mark told him to shut up, which he did. Which apparently annoyed Mark. At least while he was chatting with Prignillius, he wasn't dogging my steps and muttering insults and unpleasant personal remarks. Craig taped with a video cam most of the time, and several times warned me not to hit him with my picket sign, which of course I had no intention of doing. Sounded like wishful thinking to me.

The Org called the police, as they have been doing. An officer came out and talked with some fellow in front of the Org for a bit. During this time, the handlers stopped harassing us. The man the officer talked with later assumed the role of Movie Director and stepped in front of me in all seriousness and directed Craig to get shots of my face. He looked very sincere. I think he did this to Arel too.

Towards the end of our first segment of picketing, they resorted to "Tone 40"ing us. This is the Famous Shouting-at-Ashtrays Technique. "Peaches, Leave! Get Your Ass Out of Here!" Mark shouted. "Did You Hear Me? I Said Go!" he elaborated. Now I ask you, does this show advanced spiritual capabilities, or what?

We broke for refreshments. Prignillius and I needed to sit down, and I didn't want to leave Arel there alone. So I was telling her, as I tell everyone, that I don't think it's safe to picket alone, at which point Craig butted into the conversation, as he often does, and loudly declared that to be bullshit.

After a lengthy and pleasant break, we returned for a last round of picketing, which was minus handlers, and thus a great deal less wearing.

And now for the Picket Fashion Report. We looked great. Prignillius was wearing a beige suit and tie, and sensible hiking boots. He estimated at one point that we had walked 6 miles during picketing, and you know, as tired as I was when I got home, I think he may have been right. Arel wore a dark blazer and pants, and a jabbot blouse with a red and white rose pin. She topped the ensemble with dark glasses and a navy cap. Phr looked well in a blue and white pinstriped shirt and pleated tan trousers. I was wearing a lightweight black wool blazer, black turtleneck, grey silk/cotton sweatshirt, and grey plaid velour pants. The sweatshirt wound up around my waist as it grew warmer. I think it's easier to picket in cold weather.

And for those new to ars...I started including Fashion Reports in my picket reports because of the posts I had read running down picketers based on their attire! I always do my best to look neatly and appropriately clad when picketing the Church of Scientology.



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