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Protest!

Toronto Picket Report
17 Mar 2002
Christopher Wood <cwood@NOSPAMxenu.ca>

March 16, 2002 - Christopher Wood

Picketers: Me, Gregg Hagglund, Keith Henson, Ron Sharp

Leaflets:
Scientology's Founder: Con Man / No Science in Scientology (by me) Xenu /
Crimes (by Gregg)
Children's Sec Check (not sure who wrote this)

Met Gregg and Keith in the parking lot at 12:00. There were still some of my flyers, so I loaded up a small package, and we wandered out to the org.

We picketed for about ninety minutes, in fair (but coldish) weather. Several interesting incidents, not in chronological order:

Two Scientologists, dogging Gregg (very closely), claiming that *he* was harassing *them*. It strikes me that 2+ Scientologists following Gregg around while he's picketing, obstructing him, and then claiming that he is harassing them presents an incongruous image.

The usual number of people taking flyers... had the odd one read my sign, then stop and come back for a flyer.

Here's something interesting: A young man and young woman (ie: younger than me), apparently homeless by the way they were sitting in blankets on the other side of Yonge Street, took loud and violent exception to Gregg picketing. Interestingly enough, just before the violent reaction by the young male, they had each (separately) spent some time inside the Hubbard Dianetics Foundation chatting to the local theta beings. About Gregg? Who knows. On the other hand, there was some incoherent rantage being spewed about "how would you like it if (somebody picketed your religion/church/special place)" (parentheses there because that's an IIRC).

In a general timeline kind of way, at one point the young lady went into the Hubbard Dianetics Foundation, and later came out to ask how long we'd be picketing. Says me, quite the wit, "Tell Pat Felske maybe ninety minutes and then we'll take a break and decide if we're going for longer" (quote approximate).

The young man kept coming back across the street and getting in Gregg's face. Eventually he got really heated up, and kicked out at Gregg, fortunately only hitting Gregg's sign. The sign and the leaflets contained in the sign flew into the street, and the young lady moved between the young man and Gregg. Which was lucky, because the young man looked quite ready to continue his assault on Gregg.

Then, Gregg called the police, and during said call the young man kept muttering in a threatening manner. However, the young lady was generally between her and Gregg, and the young man didn't seem willing to go through her to get at Gregg.

After a few more threats on the young man's part ("just wait until I come back"), he took off (walking) up Isabella. The young lady ended up talking to Ron Sharp for a while, then moving off down Isabella.

When the police came, they didn't seem too rushed. This reassured me a bit; I assume that if the police feel the situation is important enough to rush, then it's worse than it feels. They went to talk to Gregg, around the corner of the building. The young lady came back from Isabella and approached me, claiming that she didn't know that Gregg was videotaping her. Which is odd, because he wears his videocamera right in front of his chest, and it's difficult to miss. I told her that I didn't consider this my problem and she should talk to the police officers about the matter, they're right around the corner of the building with Gregg. She declined to do so.

Anyhow, that was the last we heard of the young man, and that can't be but a good thing considering his violent actions. For anybody else picketing in Toronto, the young man's description is as follows:

White, aged 19-24 (I think), about 5 feet 6 inches or thereabouts, brown hair (iirc), face reddened and pockmarked by acne, white sneakers, black pants, red hooded sweatshirt, black pseudo-leather or vinyl jacket.

After the picket, we wandered up the street to collect Keith, and ended up doing (what felt like) another 20 minutes of off-the-cuff leafleting while Gregg/Keith talked to some people.

Here's to another picket Pretty Soon Now.

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** Scientology's gate is down. **
Canadian Scientology information is now at:
http://xenu.ca

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