Yes, folks, Roan and I continued this fabulous summer of picketing by Clambakers, by paying a visit to the Narconon facility in Newport Beach. We couldn't have had a more successful day.
So, here it is Sunday, 4th of July weekend, the sun is shining, super crowded, but somehow we magically found each other after parking, get our signs out, and cautiously make our way to the beach front property. To set scene, picture homes on a wide boardwalk which is divided into lanes for walking, biking, and skating, and then sand and ocean. There are literally thousands of people walking the full length of the 5 mile boardwalk.
Roan has big asz yellow sign on a stick that can be seen from far and wide. I had 2 signs which I carried. Once we got to the boardwalk, people sitting in their patios could read our signs, and as they watched us proceed to 1810 Oceanfront, they figured out pretty quick what was going on, and started cheering. Then, when we got to our destination, even some of the Narconon residents started laughing and cheering. Picture a 3 story beach house with a balcony on each floor, and residents sitting on the balcony. It looked more like a party house than a recovery center.
So, up and down the boardwalk we roam, with curious residents, waving, smiling, and giving encouragement. Some shook our hands. Some gave us water.
Pretty soon some handlers came out to tell us we can't picket, and Roan says, "Unh unh, this is public property, we can be here."
A short while later, we get a welcome visitor, "Dr. O" who has fought the Narconon facility there for years. She was convinced that the city council must have some dealings with someone in the facility, because inspite of the neighbors complaining, the facility was allowed to increase from 27 to 49 residents, and all with only 3 parking places! Needless to say she was very happy to see us, and said she'd go get some flyers, and would be right back to help us. So now there were 3 of us walking up and down, getting some quizzical looks, a few questions, and lots of encouragement. A couple of people said, "Hey, they're just trying to recover," to which we said, "Great, we encourage people to stay clean and sober."
After about 1.5 hours we wrapped it up and quietly slipped away, feeling pretty good. We were seen by 100s of people riding their bikes, skating, and walking. We passed out a few flyers. We even had residents come out ask us for flyers. A good day. Pictures coming soon.