11/18 the highway patrol - strutting his stuff - not!...to be continued
Tons of drivers are honking & beeping, giving the peace sign & waving. Three white middle fingers have been raised also during the first half hour along with a shout "go get a job". I love that one. If he was closer I'd be able to say "I'm a multi-millionaire - I don't need a job". Now I just yell "this IS my job!"
A young, white high patrol officer has walked up the long ramp & approaches us with a serious mean fatherly kinda look. He stops more than 10 feet away & orders in a low voice: "You ladies need to leave". I turn to look incredulously at him and say "What?" He repeats himself a few times & I still ask him "What?" I want him to come closer. I finally tell him I can't hear him.
He begins again with telling us several times that he doesn't care what our signs say - really he doesn't - but we are distracting drivers, we are going to cause an accident, we are not allowed to be on the overpass, etc.,etc.etc, or blah blah blah blah. we need to leave.
We insist we are no more distracting than billboards - in fact, we've seen the bill boards that jump up & wave & sparkle & do outrageous things to distract drivers. He says we are impeding traffic & demands that we leave. I tell him we are not going. We have a constitutional right to be here, on this public thoroughway. He says the state owns the sidewalk we're standing on & it is his job to determine if we are a threat to the public good.
Jeanne says we're here for the public good.
I explain again our first amendment rights. He says again he doesn't care what we're saying but we have to leave. He threatens to call his sargent to report us. I explain to him that we've already spoken with his sargent (not) and we were told that as long as we don't hang anything on the fence, which IS state property) we are exercising our rights & allowed to be here.
As he calls in, I quietly ask Jeanne if we're willing to go to jail over this. We agree we should stand our ground.
When his call is over, he threatens us with the arrival of his sargent. We don't say 'bring 'em on" but we do look at him kinda incredulously. He then tries to get us to just follow him down the path until he drives away - and then we can come back. At first we say sure, we'll follow you down the ramp. Then he blows it & says we'll have to wait 10 minutes before we come back.
We're back to hell no. He threatens to confiscate our banner. I then just tell him to his face "no you're not going to take this banner - this is our banner, not yours."
He finally leaves.
We stay until 7:30, as we planned. As we're folding up the banner, an officer on a motorcycle drives up the ramp & greets us. We tell him we are just leaving. He says his officer reported some women were here earlier being disrespectful & giving him a hard time. I said "Maybe your officer doesn't know how to talk to women." and smiled. The sargent smiled back & wished us a good day.