Aug 15

June 26, 2013 – Week #28


It was rainy and cool. I protested by myself.

I was thinking about Edward Snowden, the American computer specialist who recently leaked information that revealed the US National Security Agency and the CIA have been spying on private citizens and countries around the world. Snowden is in hiding and finding a safe refuge from the US government.

A few years ago, I read Daniel Ellsberg’s autobiography “Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers” about his leak of the 7,000 classified pages in 1971 that revealed the US government was lying to the American people about the Vietnam War.  Ellsberg’s story of personal transformation is amazing – from being a staunch supporter of the US government and its war in Vietnam to becoming an outspoken anti-war activist. When I was in New York at the UN for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review meeting in 2005, I had the opportunity to hear Ellsberg speak and meet him.

Ellsberg has been publicly defending the young American whistleblowers who are now being persecuted: Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden.

I thought about how the US Secret Service tried to prevent me from attending a Rotary breakfast that featured the US Consul General Richard Riley last month. I talked my way into the breakfast by giving the assurance that I would not protest while he was speaking. I wondered  how they knew I was going to attend the breakfast – the only way was by tracking my email – I thought of Snowden.

As I was standing and protesting, a runner came up behind me and said, “I bet you don’t get a lot of support standing here.”

I turned to him and said, “Actually, I get much more support than hostility. I have been protesting here for seven months and I didn’t suspect that I would get as much support as I have. It’s about 9 to 1. The majority of people support what I’m doing and respond positively to my signs.”

When I’m protesting, I can see drivers looking over and reading my signs. I know that I am helping to get people to think critically about the warship contract and about real social and environmental priorities.

I loved that a Bromoc truck drove by and the driver gave me an enthusiastic honk. Bromoc is a printing company that is known for caring for the environment and using sustainably harvested paper products.

At 1:00 p.m., I rushed back to the school to help with gardening.

I got 12 honks & waves and 1 head shake.

Dedication: The young, courageous American whistle blower Edward Snowden. Thanks to the people of Hong Kong for supporting him. Watch the Democracy Now! report here.