Usually Livermore is
hot. Not this year on Hiroshima Day. The air had a clammy chill that
me. Carol and I came up from Santa Clara County because the event was
an important thing to be part of. I remember the event in previous
), and I was looking forward to
seeing what it was like without the big publicity that those events had.
The action had already started when we
got there. I'd say there were maybe a couple of hundred people at the
most, arranged in something like a circle with a microphone for the
speaker on the curb at one end. There was also a large police presence,
all of them
dressed in riot gear with billy clubs and the like. Shown above are
represantative samples of the people there. Mostly it was retired
and religious professionals. All of the weekend warriors that I'd seen
before were doing their day jobs.
Some of the speakers explained their
reasons for getting arrested this morning. One guy explained "My
brother worked at the lab for years, and I felt like a hostage of his
job then. Now that he's retired I feel a need to object." The woman
shown above used her time at the mike to sing a spiritual hymn and
share a poem she had written. Another guy sang a folk song. Somebody
else said that most of the damage caused by nuclear weapons hits the
communities around the places where they are built, in the form of
cancer clusters. Over and over variations on the theme "I need to do
something more than just say it's bad, so I'm getting arrested today"
came up. The occasion had a somber dignity that went with the gray
skies and chilly air very well.
Carol spoke about how the government is
guilty of covering up 9/11's real causes and guilty parties because
Bush wanted a war with Iraq, and he didn't want to get distracted by
inconvenient facts. Click her picture for the IndyBay story about it.
Her words inspired JamBoi to put out a press release. Click here to read that.
spoke she lay down in the road like many
of the others who were there to practice CD.
Through it all the cops just stood
there silently. They barely moved a muscle, just giving the occasion a
silent menacing quality with their presence.
After a while the people who were
putting their names on record by getting arrested gathered into this
line and stood shoulder-to-shoulder. A cop with more chevrons on his
shoulder than all the rest read an order to disperse and they ignored
it. More riot police came out and surrounded the group.
The cops waited for something like ten
minutes, maybe giving people one last chance to avoid arrest. Then one
by one, Those who hadn't backed off were walked off to the waiting
After the brave had been lead off to
jail the rest of us had to wait. I had a moment of panic while I
contemplated being 70 miles from home with no ride. Even the nearest
BART station was at least five miles away. Somebody explained to me
that if we just wait the arrestees would be brought back and dumped off
on the corner. I spent the rest of the waiting time chatting with
people around me.
Daniel Ellsberg was one of the first to
return. He had no complaints about the treatment the cops had given
him. I think all of the arrestees were charged with the same crime,
"obstructing movement on a Public Place." They weren't given a court
date or anything. I gather they will hear further details by mail if
the government ever gets around to it.
Carol took a bit
longer to show up. She gave me grief about not getting busted, pointing
out that I would have been able to brag for the rest of my life about
"getting busted with Daniel Ellsberg fighting against nuclear war." I
wish now I'd said something like "I took pictures so you can prove you
were busted with the guy". Unfortunately, all I could think about was
how little I had enjoyed getting arrested during my misspent youth.
There was also the 'who am I going to call to get myself bailed out?'
factor. I hadn't known it was going to be the theatrical experience she
seemed to have gone through. I just told her "I don't like being
P.S. While we were in Livermore I put about $12 worth of Citgo gas in
Carols car. My 2nd gas purchase of the year.
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