Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Progress Report: Wow.

So far almost two hundred people from across the country have joined in to the Cities Project. That's a lot. I'll give it another week or so and then I'll start mailing you the addresses I have from my mailing lists and then, well... let's see what happens. All together there's over two thousand of us now, so things could start to get interesting.

If you'd like to be a part of this, send me an e-mail with your city and state in the subject line. freewayblogger@yahoo.com

"They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom,
trying to change the system from within.
I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them.
First, we take Manhattan... then we take Berlin."
-Leonard Cohen

Sunday, February 26, 2006

More Bay Area Postings

Here are some of the signs I placed in the Bay Area last week.
I'll be doing Southern California again next.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Organizing City by City

"I'm guided by a signal in the heavens.
I'm guided by this birthmark on my skin.
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons...
First, we take Manhattan... then we take Berlin."
-Leonard Cohen

I'm organizing us into groups city by city now.
If you'd like to join in, write to me with your city
and state in the subject line.


Lookout San Francisco: There's Two of Us Now

Somebody got themselves an overhead projector...
And they know how to use it.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Arsenal of Democracy: A Pickup Truck Full of Signs

My modus operandi is to paint a whole bunch of signs, stick them in the back of my truck along with bungees, tape, hammer, nails etc. and then hit the road. In the throes of a serious freewayblogging binge I can reach close to a million people in a day… more even. This isn’t because I’m particularly clever about it, although I’ve learned a few tricks along the way, it’s because the freeways are so damn crowded, and that very few people, whether official or civilian, are willing to go to the effort of taking them down.

For both painting and posting, you'll find that the learning curve for freewayblogging is an extraordinarily quick one: once you've done a dozen signs or so, the next fifty are a breeze.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Beachblogger: Our Man in San Diego

My first beachblog, done in front of webcam

Nice, Big Impeach: illuminated at night and up
for several days. I love it when that happens.

Dear Freewayblogger,
I got my start freewayblogging in November 2004 by waving a yard sign for the Democratic congressional candidate from a pedestrian overpass. It was fun. I would do it for a half hour or so during evening rush hour with a hundred cars a minute passing under me. Sometime last year I surfed by freewayblogger.com, joined the yahoo group and made my first beachblog. Since then I've done over a hundred blogs on San Diego beaches and freeways.

With politics and the media entirely dominated by corporate money, freewayblogging is grass roots activism at its purest. I don't want political leaders telling me what to think; we should be telling them what to think and do. I love the smell of blogging in the morning...
peace, Beachblogger


Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Baby in the Gym Bag

from http://www.freewayblogger.com

Warning: this is a sad and disturbing story.

Two years ago, Yves Eudes, a reporter for Le Monde, came to my house and interviewed me about freewayblogging. He was a younger man, in his thirties, good looking and somewhat reserved, almost shy, which for a reporter surprised me. As a political and war correspondent he'd been in Iraq three times since the invasion and I asked him what it was like. Specifically I wanted to know what he'd seen that he knew he would never forget. He told me this story, and I think about it whenever I feel like giving up.

"I was in Nasariyah and a couple came up to me on the street asking for help. They were carrying a large gym bag, an 'Adidas' bag, with their daughter inside. The city was in chaos, and they came up to me, I suppose, because I was a westerner and they thought I could help them. When I looked inside the bag there was a little girl, maybe two years old, with bandages around her head. There was a terrible smell and I thought to myself 'Okay, they have a dead girl...' The bandages were loose and soaked in fluid - it was a terrible wound, covering half her head. I guessed they'd gotten her to a hospital and they'd done what they could quickly and gave her back. It was the early days of the war and the hospitals were full. I couldn't believe it when I saw she was still alive."

"I took them to the Americans, and there was a woman soldier there, a big woman, who said there was nothing they could do... that it had to be a military casualty or something like that. I forget exactly. I want to say she was mean, but I don't know... more like she was just following her orders. She stood like this..." he said, and folded his arms across his chest.

"We went to a couple more soldiers, but it was the same. There was one young soldier who went for help, but then came back saying he couldn't do anything. I went with them for awhile longer, but it was obvious I was useless. Eventually they just went away."

We were sitting in my garage, surrounded by the tools of my trade: cardboard, paint, overhead projector. Outside it was a beautiful day: a warm, late afternoon in sunny southern California.

"It's hard to describe what they were like, the parents... they were beyond sad, beyond scared... they were doing the only thing they could do - looking for help - and I couldn't help feeling that I'd wasted their time. I don't know if I will ever forget their faces, or what it was like to see their little girl... but the thing I know I will never forget is the way they looked as they walked away, wandering the streets with their baby in that bag... just looking for someone who could help them."

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Red State Road Trip

The intrepid souls who made this great movie http://www.redstateroadtrip.com sent me these pictures from L.A. We need more filmmakers like this.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Repairing Signs

Repairing signs that have been torn up is usually pretty easy: black and white duct tape generally does the trick.

Signs that are really provokative, however, tend to get torn up beyond repair. The one below used to read "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.", which makes tearing it up kind of funny when you think about it.

From the East Coast