At the start of my protest, a shipyard employee came to the crosswalk and said to me, “I agree with your signs.”
“Thanks,” I replied and told him a little about my protest.
Then he said, “I’m not responsible for the federal government wanting to build warships. I just work here.”
I told him that I thought that we are all responsible in some way, “Canadians voted for the Harper government. The shipyard union didn’t object to the warship contract and didn’t put pressure on the government to build something else. There aren’t enough citizens standing up to oppose this,” I said.
Then two more shipyard workers came up to me and also said that they agreed with my signs. I asked them how they were doing.
One of the workers said that he wasn’t going to be working at the Irving Shipyard for much longer. There is not very much work right now and more layoffs are expected he explained.
“What is going on in there,” he said pointing to the shipyard, “is not what is portrayed in the media.”
The light changed and they crossed the street.
A few minutes later, a naval engineer in his late 50s walked by and said, “I agree with you.”
“Really,” I exclaimed, “Wow! I didn”t expect that. Why?”
“Because combat is a small part of what the navy does. What the navy needs are new joint supply ships to deliver humanitarian aid. That’s what the need is now and is going to be in the future,” he explained.
The runner ran by and waved. After many months of protesting, the runner has finally warmed up to me a bit. I had told him that I ran the Bluenose Marathon in my protest shirt and I think he respects my feat and now acknowledges me when I protest.
Toward the end of my protest, a young shipyard worker drove into the gate, pulled over and started to talk to me from his car. I walked over and he said to me through his window, “What you need to be worried about are volcanoes not climate change. It’s a hoax. You should watch the documentaries on Youtube.”
I said to him that it in the opinion of thousands of scientist worldwide that it was undeniable that we are facing severe environmental degradation and global warming and that it is one of our greatest human security challenges along with poverty. Warships will not help with climate change and they certainly won’t help with exploding volcanoes.
A couple more shipyard workers drove by and yelled at me to get a job.
A Metro newspaper van and a CTV news SUV drove by – neither media outlet has covered my protest.
At 1:00 p.m., two female Irving employees walked by. They always exude an “uncomfortable” vibe toward me and I always say to them “Happy Wednesdays against Warships.”
14 honks and waves of support and 5 thumbs down, head shakes and swears.
Dedication – To the truth tellers: Horace Campbell and Clare Daly. Horace Campbell is a Professor of African American studies and political science at Syracuse University. He gave this incredible interview on Democracy Now! about President Obama’s visit to South Africa. Listen to it here: “Obama Takes “Imperial Tour” of Africa as World Honors Ailing Mandela”.
Clare Daly is an elected member of the Irish Parliament. She gave this 5-minute riveting speech condemning President Obama during his visit to Ireland. She called Obama “a war criminal and the hypocrite of the century” Watch it here.