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Protest!

Vancouver Picket 11-24-2001
25 Nov 2001
Caroline Letkeman <carolinel@telus.net>

11-24-2001 Picket Report

If there happens to be a standard ARSCC Picket Report Checklist/Compliance Report Form, thank you in advance for struggling along with this first time picketer/first time picketer picket reporter and a therefore presumably non-standard picketer report itself, which follows...

Yesterday I did my first picket, with Gerry Armstrong--yes that Gerry Armstrong. I admit, I got a little nervous on the way in. Never having picketed before, I was hoping I could keep my TRO bull bait in if someone wanted to get me to count "...how many crimes I committed. Just today. How many crimes?"

We got to downtown Vancouver at about 2 p.m., and ducked into a storefront cubbyhole on the way to "the site," to assemble the picket sign handles and to Chinese school the ICoW Picketer Checklist for the final time before taking Hill 10. Okay, I'm just kidding--we didn't assemble the picket signs handles-Gerry did, and I held stuff for him and watched.

So we arrived in front of the org. Gerry did the Cavalry Charge on his mouth trombone. I half expected to hear from the org The Battle Hymn of the Republic, maybe the evacuation whistle as clams clattered into their bunkers, or at least a call for a Repelling Boarders Drill. Nothing happened! Gerry much later suggested that the organs' response was limp. (What about dem Canucks, eh?)

Actually, I was a little disturbed by the fact that no one from the org, although they certainly read our signs, came out to communicate at all. I would have thought that any ethical organization would send out a representative to deal with the serious charges inherent in my sign. Well, since I have also communicated my dissatisfaction by e-mail, snail mail and by copy to alt.religion.scientology, I'm certain that I'll be hearing from someone.

The sky was overcast and it was chilly. I am finding that there is much to really appreciate about Vancouver. It's a beautiful city with lots to do and see. I'm sure picketing will provide an excellent excuse to return often. I am beginning to welcome the opportunity to talk to people about my Scientology experience, and if yesterday's outing was any sort of indication, getting out there with a sign is a great way to do it.

Gerry's sign has the following messages: "Scientology: Let Our People Go" and "Thank God Hubbard was Dead Wrong." My sign says, "Scientology: Let My Daughter Go" and "Scientology: Give My Money Back." For a picket flyer, I handed out copies of my 11/13/2001 letter to David Miscavige et al, that I posted to a.r.s. under "Demand for Refund."

Just posted a few Vancouver picket report images to alt.binaries.scientology. I have included a couple of close-ups of my sign--partly because sign making was such a fun thing to do, and partly because these signs are going to be my contributions to the upcoming Virtual Picket. I will hasten to add that the ideal thing would be for Scientology to give my money back, which would make me want to retire that sign forthwith and altogether. Similarly, if my Annie could have her mother back, there would be no reason for me to picket with the sign "Scientology: Let My Daughter Go." With those qualifiers now steadfastly in place, I wish these signs a long and illustrious career, both virtual and real-time.

Early on in the picket, we noticed an OSA agent taking photographs of us from across the street. I managed to get a shot of him taking photograph(s), which I posted to a.b.s. as well. When I started walking toward him to get a better photograph of him, he escaped quickly, going west on Hastings.

Among the wogs who responded to the picket in some way, there was a couple that particularly stood out. One group of people came around and someone asked pointedly, "Yeah, we know Scientology is a fraud, but," nodding at my sign's message about my daughter, "what is your story?" I told them about my daughter and that she was not allowed to talk to me. They were appalled and commensurately very supportive of our effort.

(See also http:/www.entheta.ca/caroline/me.html for declarations, especially Declaration #3.)

Some people in another group looked at my sign and asked, "How much did they [scientology] get?" And when I told them "About 60 grand, USD," they were just staggered.

There were quite a few honks of approval, thumbs up, and words of support and encouragement. Even city bus drivers were tooting their horns, to which I thought, "Yeah! Really."

A number of people we encountered said something that particularly expressed encouragement in their responses of "Good luck!" and "Hope you get your money back!" Those people already recognize that Scientology is a fraud and a scam, and they really wanted us to know they understand our legitimate issues for picketing Scientology and also that they understand activism is no light matter when it amounts to criticizing Scientology.

I was completely satisfied with the picket hour. I thought it was a great service.

Caroline

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decoding scientology propaganda
http://www.entheta.ca/caroline/
caroline letkeman *antivirus*
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