It was a beautiful 66℉ day today at Ocean Beach San Francisco while over 1000 of us spelled out "DUMP CITIZENS UNITED!" Sue and I followed up with a great Chinese lunch, visit to the California Academy of Sciences Museum and watched the earthquake show at the Morrison Planetarium.
Why wasn't this event more publicized?
I heard about it from "The Other 98%."
The host, Brad Newsham is a SFO cab driver who front's $3,000 for the $600/hr helicopter and other costs for this protest that’s more art project. It was overcast and sprinkling Friday and it's raining today making Saturdays weather especially lucky. Only about 40 attended the preparation meeting about an hour before the helicopter fly over even though over 1000 signed up. Brad was frustrated at the apparent lack of turnout saying he might host anymore. He talked about doing one letter at a time and superimposing them on the picture. With that few people he wouldn’t have gotten enough donations to cover the cost. People suddenly appeared and filled out the sign right before the helicopter arrived.
Hopefully the final product will encourage him to continue organizing these banners. Each participant who signed up at the event will receive a post card with the best picture on it. More photo's will be posted online including one of all of us lined up along the surf.
I'll send out a notice before his next event.
Artist and cab driver Brad Newsham wanted to oppose Citizens United in a big way. So did we. This is how we did it.
It was a great event an a show of solidarity.
Wow! What a day, Chris! I wish I had been there!
The human protest sign on Ocean Beach was canceled under threats.
Subject: The F.B.I. tells me, 'Not a credible threat . . .'
Date: 201704 07, Fri at 8:19:29 PM PDT
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE WONDERED, I am totally fine, thank you, but I really did agonize over this for two solid days and now I am absolutely at peace with my decision. Thank you for all the expressions of support and the inquires here and privately -- they have been very touching. I prepared the below as a private 'followup' to send to folks who asked 'Are you okay?' or 'WTF?' -- I knew there would be a few, but there have been many -- and now for the sake of my typing fingers I am putting this out there 'publicly.' Unfortunately, this seems how our world works now:
SHORTLY AFTER the RESIST!! event, I received a Facebook message threatening non-specific gun violence against people protesting against Trump.
In the past I have received hate mail and one of our beach events drew counter-protestors, but this message crossed a line.
I took it to the FBI.
The FBI: 'You absolutely did the right thing coming here. We have to treat this as a credible threat.' The agent promised to check it out and told me it would take a while.
For six long weeks I kept this development to myself, and just this past Monday, April 3, I finally heard from the FBI: 'Not a credible threat . . . Online post made in anger . . . Not a threat to you or your events . . .' I asked more questions, but was given no further information.
The nation's highest level of law enforcement had determined 'not a credible threat,' and initially I felt a wave of relief.
As I began to share with my inner circles the news of the woman's Facebook message and the FBI' s response, the feedback was all over the map: 'You MUST cancel the event! You MUST go forward with the event! Why did you keep this to yourself? Gun violence! You CANNOT tell this to Anybody! You MUST tell this to Everyone!'
Bottom line: Being me has been no fun the past few days. Twenty-eight months ago, in November 2014, my family's closest friend (that was our friend's son filming from the RESIST!! helicopter) was shot and killed at random in cold blood while hiking in the Oakland hills. And while telling my inner circles about this woman's stupid message, I have felt as though someone had ripped the bandage off my and my family's wound.
Early this morning while hiking in the redwoods I reluctantly resolved to cancel the April 15 event.
I could go on and on, but that's the gist of it.
If and when I again participate in something similar, I will do so as part of a group or an organization. I am weak and I scare easily, but . . . Strength In Numbers.