"Shame on Feinstein" (Restore the 4th) event today

The Restore the 4th event went well today. At first it looked like hardly anyone would show up; when I arrived at 1045am there were only two other people there. I'd been told by "DM" (Denise Michele Myers) that there was a plan for four people to actually go up to Feinstein's office and deliver the petitions. (This was news to me as I had not been in on the planning loop, and I resolved to try to join the group.) Eventually all four of those who were scheduled to go inside and meet with Senator Feinstein's aide arrived (along with DM and Zack Manan of Restore the 4th, Susan Harmon, I believe from Code Pink, and Matt Kellegrew from the Bill of Rights Defense Committee were the other representatives).

  One would think that someone from a group called the Bill of Rights Defense Committee would be favorably inclined toward Libertarians -- our party is after all probably the only one in this country that wholeheartedly defends the entire Bill of Rights! -- but I sensed from Matt this may not be the case. When I showed him my letter to Feinstein (see below), his first comment was, "Why should Feinstein care what the Libertarian Party thinks?" I responded, "Why should she care what any of her constituents think?" I didn't get a chance to discuss it much further with him, and it's possible he just thought I should not have been framing the issue in a partisan context, but later he also said, when he spoke directly after my remarks in which I mentioned the LP at the protest, that "It's not often I get a chance to follow the Libertarian Party. I'm not sure how I feel about that."

  Meanwhile I'd brought some chalk, and while I was waiting, along with one other person who'd showed up but was not part of the delegation to go inside, wrote in big letters right outside the main entrance to 1 Post Street, "Shame On Feinstein NSA Apologist!" While writing this, one of the building security people tried to tell me I was spelling Feinstein's name wrong (which I wasn't -- I think he was just trying to fuck with me).

  The building at 1 Post Street has too much security. It is very convenient for Feinstein to have her office in this *private* building apparently owned by pharmaceutical corporation McKesson (at least their name is on the outside), because it enables them to control who is allowed in. I had not been in the planning loop and my name was not on the list of four people going to the meeting, and the security reception desk had stickers printed out with their names on them. I tried to get added to the list to accompany them up, but one of the security guards said "you're not going in, you've been writing on our property outside" -- as if using free speech chalking had anything to do with being able to visit "my" Senator's office! But the goon made it clear he wasn't going to let me go upstairs, so I told him I'd go back outside and do some more chalking instead, which I did.

  Another security goon came out and took pictures of both chalkings, and took my picture as well. It seemed like an attempt to intimidate, but I hope the photos make their way to Feinstein. :slight_smile: I was really glad I brought the chalk, as there were lots of people passing by who saw the messages, and I think it added significantly to our visibility. Other messages I wrote included "Bad Senator Feinstein No Reelection", "Edward Snowden Is A Hero!", and "Restore The 4th!" All of the chalkings were still there when I passed again around 330pm or so after lunch.

  After a little while a few more protesters showed up, and then some media. I gather that the folks publicizing the event had been telling people it started at noon. There was also some media -- a TV reporter from Channel 7, and a radio reporter from KGO (810 AM). The Channel 7 guy seemed sympathetic to the issue, and even remembered that I'd run for Supervisor. I did an interview with both of them. There were also radio reporters from KPFA and KQED with whom I did not get a chance to speak.

  One of the protesters brought a guitar and did an amusing parody of "Your Lying Eyes" by The Eagles, with substitute lyrics about the NSA, titled "Your Spying Eyes". One of the protesters from Code Pink also brought a Feinstein mask which she put on to deliver some remarks impersonating the Senator, telling us how she'd seen the light and realized she'd been wrong about the NSA, and was deciding to resign. If only!

  I haven't yet done a thorough search for other media coverage, but we did make the Channel 7 news! Although there's no mention of the Libertarian Party, I'm shown saying "Shame on Feinstein!" and some of my chalking (including a shot of me writing the above-mentioned slogan about Snowden) appears as well, along with some shots of other participants using my megaphone with stickers like "End the Fed" clearly visible on it! All in all it's a very positive segment:


Love & Liberty,
                                  ((( starchild )))

Text of letter that I passed along to be given to Feinstein's staff, and also read aloud, twice, via my megaphone at the protest outside: