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Protest!

Picket Report San Francisco 2/03/01
5 Feb 2001
Tim <bluexenu@hotmail.com>

I've been planning to picket with Jour (Kristi) and Peaches for some time now and this weekend represented the best chance for me to do that. Anyway I was able to bring my new friend Tory with me to take advantage of this opportunity.

We arrived near the org at around 11:30, but noticed that there was an one hour parking restriction for street parking. So we asked for directions to a public parking place where one could park for more than a few hours, and then moved the car. It was approximately 11:50 by the time we reparked our car and returned to the same street (McAllister) as the org. After visiting a local cafe to refresh ourselves (well, for me it was getting a diet coke) we walked over to the org and noticed that Peaches and Jour were already there. (Damn, I was hoping to surprise them!). Soon after we got there, Murdoch showed up.

Tory didn't have a sign, but with Jour there--no picket sign, no problem! Jour had ready made slogans (well, I had emailed her earlier what Tory wanted on her sign), and other materials available to fabricate a picket sign. Once Jour, Peaches, (and Tory in tow) retrieved materials from their car, we fashioned a picket sign within minutes.

After everyone was well equipped, we initiated the picket. Jour gave me and Tory the picket advisory and Murdoch explained to me the boundaries of Scientology property (in order to stay on the public sideways). I started to follow the lead of the veterans--Jour, Peaches, and Murdoch-when Craig (the tall OSA guy who has revenge picketed Jour in the past) asked me who I was. I replied, "well, I'm your friendly representative from the APA". Anyway, he kind of left me alone after that.

Our group was kind of dispersed--Jour was a ball of energy--always engaging with someone on the sidewalk about how scientology is worse than you think; Tory was trying to establish comm lines with the Scientologist/handlers, I was picketing with either Peaches or Murdoch. There was a time when Jeff Quiros (some manager/OSA guy there) came out and took a what seemed to be an inordinate amount of pictures of me with some other guy taking video. I just made sure my picket sign was in full view of the cameras. Intermittently, I would take pictures with both my digital camera and 35mm SLR. Especially when after I heard Jeff yelling "Bitch!" at Tory.

As the picket progressed, the most notable things which I experienced were: some guy on a bicycle (who appeared to be homeless) asked about how Scientology kills--so I talked about the death of Lisa McPherson and gave him a flier. He stayed there for about 20 minutes reading the flier. Afterwards a conservatively dressed gentleman asked about Scientology (he had been talking to the strawberry blonde Scientologist [Robin] previously). I gave him the rundown on that it is a greedy business masquerading as a religion with a cost plus fixed fee charged for achieving the equivalent of eternal salvation. He told me he agreed with my viewpoint and then went on to engage Robin in more discussion about the Purif and Scientology.

There seemed to be a lot of homeless, or people with some serious mental conditions frequenting the area around the San Francisco Org. I counted approximately 4-5 people who were crashed on the grassy area just west of the the org. However, I proceeded to picket up and down the side facing the McAllister St. with either Peaches or Murdoch. Tory was usually engaged with talking to a scientologist and Jour was outpacing everyone. I noticed a couple of honks in approval of our picketing activities--but I missed the lady who called us 'assholes' because she thought we were for Scientology. :( Tory would occassionally ask me how I was doing, because I previously told her that this picket was more stressful than landing an airplane on an aircraft carrier.

Keith Henson and Arel joined us after about a hour's worth of picketing. This was the first time I met Keith and it was a great honor to finally meet him in person. Afterwards, I noticed that Keith was engaged in a pleasant conversation with Craig--who was always nice to me during the picket (we would exchange "Hi's" when we met on the picket trail).

Eventually, all good things must come to a close--so at some point after 2 pm, we all posed for group photographs in front of the org. We tried to get Craig involved but he politely declined. :( Then all of a sudden, phr appeared. We took a few more pictures with phr and then we all headed to a local cafe where we overloaded the lone counter person with sandwich orders. We stayed there for more than a hour talking about current events and the next planned ARSCC events.

Tory--we need to do the SF thing again! Jour, Peaches, and Murdoch--it was great--I plan on attending future pickets with all of you. Keith and Arel--it was a pleasure meeting both of you and I'm sure we'll meet again. phr--show up earlier!

Tim

"In the early days when I palled around with Jackie Gleason, we used to go to Toots Shor's saloon. He said we brought no class to his joint and we always had a lengthy tab. Which was true." --Frank Sinatra

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