Tuesday, March 7, 2017

SOLSC 7: Protest Time

            A construction company called Graniterock, in Watsonville, where I am visiting, is considering a bid on building Trump’s wall. This afternoon I went with Heidi, my host, to join a protest against the company, hoping to persuade them that building a wall is not the best way to use their resources.
            In the morning we brainstormed what her sign should read. Heidi wanted to use a word or two from the company’s statement to local newspapers, that it remained neutral in terms of politics, as well as what projects would be better for the company to be working on. “Infrastructure” came readily to mind, but that’s just too long for a sign and doesn’t work as a catchy slogan.
            “Neutral” was also an important word. How about “A wall is not neutral.” Perfect. Adding “It’s mean” added a bit of an edge. Heidi’s daughter suggested, “It’s un-American,” as a better ending.
            Heidi found black poster board, a backing board to stiffen the sign, and double-sided tape to fuse the two together. Then she outlined the words to make sure everything would fit, and filled in the colors with acrylic paint. Here’s what the final result looked like, held by a neighbor's child.

            Then we got a ride to the company’s office, in an area of warehouses. Maybe 40 people were there when we arrived, but the sidewalk eventually filled with at least 200. More than half the passing drivers honked in support. A few of the organizers tried to meet with company officials, but were told they had to make an appointment, and there was no one there to make an appintment with at that time. So we continued holding up our signs for another hour, until the sun set. Here are some of the signs others brought.


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