Saturday, June 26, 2010

No oil spill? No drill!

Twas a typical summer morning today on Ocean Beach in San Francisco ... gray, cold and a little blustery.

That indefatigable impresario of beach performance art, Brad Newsham, excels at organizing unorganized masses of people in a very short timeframe to spell out messages on the sand. He always appears calm while slightly confused people mill around him. See more at SLASH OIL.

On this occasion 500-600 people assembled to spell out the word "OIL" covered by the circle and slash symbol, the universal "NO". Take that BP -- and the Obama administration too if they intend to drill more.

Newcomers needed some explanation from Brad's volunteers -- but really all we had to do was lie down within the lines.

Code Pink provided a lot of participants and a long banner that served as the diagonal slash.

As we approached the moment when a helicopter would fly over to photograph the message, Brad urged late comers to fill in part of the circle where bodies were still a little far apart.

Here's a shot John Montgomery took from the circling helicopter:

You can see the rest of Montgomery's pictures here.

When the helicopter had made its passes over the SLASH OIL tableau, we headed enmasse for the shoreline.

There we spread out, for more photos, over about a half a mile of beach in a long line, holding hands.

Bye til next time.

Newsham's occasional events are a wonderfully benign way to form a temporary community and make a statement from the heart. I am grateful .
(See a previous Newsham event here.)

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