Aug 15

July 17, 2013 – Week #31


It was sunny and I was by myself.

A man and a woman walked out of the Irving Shipyard and past me down Barrington Street. I gave them my usual “Happy Wednesdays against Warships” greeting. I felt something odd about them.

A young navy guy then stood beside me at the crosswalk. I said hello and asked him how long he has been in the navy.

“Two years,” he replied.

“How’s it going?” I asked.

“Great,” he said.

“Why?” I wondered.

“Because I like the guys, they are good to work with,” he explained.

“Have you sailed to the Middle East?” I asked.

“No, just down to Virginia,” he said.

“What do you guys do down in Virginia?” I asked.

All of a suddne, he got all flustered and stammered“I don’t know. I don’t know. I have only been in the navy for a year” and quickly walked away.

Across the street, an attractive, middle-aged woman walked by and gave me an enthusiastic thumbs up. I could feel her solidarity sister vibe.

A young, smartly dressed woman walked out of the DND dockyard and up to the crosswalk. I have seen her before but have never said more than my usual greeting. She was by herself this time, so I asked her how long she has been working at Irving.

“I work for DND and I have been there for five years,” she replied.

“How’s it going?” I asked.

“Great,” she said and crossed the street.

Then, the odd man and woman who walked by me at the beginning of my protest walked back to the shipyard and passed by me closely. I could see that they were wearing Lockheed Martin lanyards around their necks. No wonder I felt a bad vibe about them!

“Oh, Lockheed Martin is the worst company in the world!” I said to them, “The world’s largest weapons manufacturer. The ship contract is guaranteed to be a boondoggle with Lockheed’s involvement. Look at your failed Littoral Combat Vessel program in the US.”

“The worst company?” the man said incredulously and kept walking.

“Yes,” I shouted, “The worst.”

As I was returning to my car across the street with my signs, a young engineer walked by and said, “I agree with you.”

“You saw me protesting?” I asked.

“Yes, I was watching you as I walked down the hill,” he said smiling and carried on to the shipyard.

I got 14 honks and waves and no negativity.

Dedication – To the memory of Trayvon Martin – the 17-year old black boy in Florida who was killed while walking home with ice tea and Skittles to share with his younger brother. My heart breaks for him and his family. On July 13, George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Trayvon because of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. So many black teenagers and men are stopped, frisked, arrested, beaten and imprisoned in the United States. Justice for Black America! Justice for Black Canadians too!

And in solidarity with the work and words of black leader, Dr. Cornel West. West gave an impassioned interview on Democracy Now! about the verdict “Cornel West: Obama’s Response to Trayvon Martin Case Belies Failure to Challenge ‘New Jim Crow’”.  West said that Obama was a “Global Zimmerman” for killing Afghan, Pakistani, and Yemeni children with drones.