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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stories from the Station: Police surveillance to be continued

It is the Berkeley police – or rather one particular Berkeley police officer on a bike and sometimes with his buddy – that harass us today.

One of the young white fellas that makes it his mission to come by at noon and after school appears around 8:00a.m., claiming we were up early today.

He is surprised when I tell him that we are always here at 7:30a.m. and I wonder again where he is getting his information about our actions from. He is certainly not reading the calendar or he would know exactly where & when we are here.

But this police officer has gone over the top today. He has been steadily increasing his “visits” to us – and his prolonged visits inside the station with his pals, the recruiters – especially on Wednesdays.

We count 6 visits, including the one where he starts snapping pictures of us! There are about 15 of us singing inspiring protest songs with the beautiful accompaniment of Betsy Rose. And the police are not joining in or even allowing the music to reach them, but they are snapping pictures.

I decide to take their picture taking pictures of us, which they hurriedly cease. But our pal is furious, the red rising under his helmet, which he removes. He whips out a knife and slashes the tape holding an anti-war sign to a post where he is standing. Then he tosses the sign against the nearest building – breaking his own professed rule that we cannot lean anything against the building.

We call the mayor’s office – we want to speak with the mayor. Why is our tax money being spent on police surveillance of our protest? We are less than 20 people – although more flow thru during the day – and yet the police have ended up circling us at least 6 times today.

We never saw this officer when we first started protesting – not until the smattering of pigeons arrived in October.

This particular officer has always been hostile and condescending at best. Yet when the recruiters show up, his whole demeanor and facial expression changes – to the good ole boys network.

Most of the Berkeley police are fine. Most of them ask how we are doing, remind us to be careful, to watch out for traffic, to make sure we aren’t blocking anything.

Most of them are friendly, respectful, even encouraging.

Then there is this one – talk about the bad apple. I wonder if he’s connected to homeland “security”.