Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oct. 21 - MPA Hearings Long Beach

Devany speaking with Team Marine in front of the Blue Ribbon Task Force

I went to Long Beach last night with about 80 Santa Monica High School Students. We took two buses and braved rush hour traffic on the 405 freeway. There were other students there, but no one had the same turn out that we did. Heal the Bay bought pizza for all the students and rented the buses.
We filled half the room with blue shirts to show support for Map 3 of the Marine Protected Area proposals.

On the way down I talked to the students about how there may be people there who were upset, would taught them, yell at them, make fun of them, and/or boo them. Even as I said this, I wanted to believe that no one would be so insensitive as to yell things at teenagers. But I was wrong.

The commercial fishing community showed out in strong numbers and a few of the men had no problem yelling at our students, or yelling at me. One man while riding down the escalator past us on our way up to register to speak during the public comment portion of the hearing, slapped the ass of one of one of the members of Team Marine. I wish I had been there and able to share with this gentleman just what I thought of his behavior. On second thought it is a good thing I wasn't there.
All in all, it was a great evening. I was proud of everyone for being bigger than the taunting and angry words thrown our way. I did keep reminding them that these men were scared because their financial security was being threatened and therefor they were not able to see our point of view, and were most likely acting in ways they normally might not. Although after seeing their behavior first hand, and witnessing one 40+ year old man repeatedly call a 17 yr. old young man stupid, out loud several times, the state may want to rethink his license to drive a boat.

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