Freeway Blogging & Candlelight Vigil Marking the 4th Anniversary of Invasion/Occupation of Iraq

Mar 20 2007 - 6:00pm
Mar 20 2007 - 8:15pm

Event Description:

Mark the 4th anniversary of the invasion/occupation of Iraq with a Houston-style freeway blogging & candlelight vigil 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, on the six suspension bridges spanning Highway 59 (Southwest Freeway), west of downtown Houston. This will be on the Montrose, Graustark, Mandell, Dunlavy, Woodhead, Hazard Bridges, bounded on the west by Shepherd Street and on the east by Main Street. Please come and join one of these groups, as we stand up for peace.
If you are reading this on the PAA home page, click on the event title for details.

News Release pasted below along with inks to News Release in PDF, Gif formats with headers. Please forward widely.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 15, 2007

 

Local Activists Bridge Peace on Highway 59

 

WHAT:           Local activists will gather on the six suspension bridges of Highway 59 for freeway blogging and a candlelight vigil to mark the 4th anniversary of the illegal, immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq; to commemorate the resulting human and material sacrifices; and to call for an immediate withdrawal of United States troops and mercenaries.

WHO:             The event is sponsored by a number of groups including the Harris County Green Party, the Progressive Action Alliance, CodePink, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, the World Can't Wait, First Unitarian Community Involvement Committee, Houston Peace and Justice Center, and 90.1 KPFT Radio for Peace.

WHEN:           6-8 p.m., Tuesday, March 20, 2007

WHERE:        Six Highway 59 bridges bounded on the west by Shepherd Street and on the east by Main Street, named north to south the Montrose, Graustark, Mandel, Dunlavy, Woodhead and Hazard Bridges.

BACKGROUND: Freeway blogging generally refers to the practice around the country of
hanging banners and signs near major freeways and thoroughfares that protest the invasion/occupation and other Bush administration actions. The freeway blogging is practiced as an exercise of free speech in the form of guerilla advertising. The planted signs are photographed and subsequently posted on websites devoted to documenting the opposition to government actions. Since Houston ordinances prohibit fastening signs to public property, Houston freeway bloggers adapted to these ordinances by holding the signs on various bridges and overpasses, waving at the drivers below and encouraging drivers to honk in support of the sentiments expressed.  Local freeway bloggers have noted a marked increase in support since the presidential election Nov. 7.

COST:            Free and open to the public.

MORE INFORMATION:    Don Cook at 713.705.5594; escramble('zenblews','hotmail.com.');

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The following groups will be at the bridges indicated, over the SW freeway, from east to west (contact the people listed below if you have questions about what to bring, etc.):

  • Montrose Blvd.: Progressive Action Alliance and Harris Co. Green Party -- Don Cook: 713-705-5594
  • Graustark St.: KPFT 90.1 Radio for Peace -- Michael Woodson: 281-484-1900 ext. 3294 or Bill: 713-641-4941, 713-305-5346
  • Mandell Street: World Can't Wait -- Bob Carter: 713-771-9439
  • Dunlavy Street: Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out -- Jim Rine: 281-414-1386
  • Woodhead Street: Houston Peace and Justice Center -- Herb Rothschild: 713-861-2494
  • Hazard Street: Unitarians, Live Oak Friends, other TBD Interfaith groups -- Deborah Rothschild: 713-861-2494


Most groups will gather on their bridge starting about 6:00 PM or earlier, holding signs for traffic below to see. Starting shortly after sunset (7:35 PM) They will supplement their signs with candles, but continue holding at least some of the signs to let people in cars below know why they are there.  Each group will need to provide their own signs, candles, and clear cups for the candles.

The event will go on, regardless of weather. With thousands of people being killed in Iraq each month, the least we can do is be willing to stand in the rain for one evening to remind our fellow citizens of the tragedy of the invasion and occupation. Bring a rain jacket or poncho if there is any chance of rain (umbrellas are not very useful when you are holding signs), and a bottle of water if it's warm.

Suggestions for signs:

  • Anything related to peace is fine: "Peace Now", "Honk for Peace", "Bring 'em Home Now", "End Operation Iraq Quagmire", "______ (group name) for Peace", "Call Congress - Troops Home Now", etc. Keep the signs large but simple, with only a few words per sign.
  • Be sure lettering on signs is LARGE -- letters should be at least 10-12 inches high, with the ink or paint strokes 1 to 1.5 inches wide, so drivers can see them easily. For traffic moving westbound in the evening, it helps to make the lettering even bigger, because the sun won't be shining on the sign and drivers will be looking towards the sun. This is why we generally only hold up signs for the eastbound traffic in the afternoon/evening. For this special event, though, if we have enough people and signs we can hold them up for people going in both directions.
  • Most of the bridges on the SW freeway have vertical posts spaced about 8 ft apart for the fences, although the distance varies some. So either make your signs a maximum of 7 ft wide, or allow for a vertical gap in the middle where the fence support can be.
  • The height of your sign should be about 4.5 ft high or less, so the upper horizontal fence pole doesn't block it.
  • Also for the SW fwy bridges, leave a gap of about 8 inches at the bottom. The bottom part of your sign will be blocked when you set it down on the bridge by the bottom horizontal pole of the fence, and you want to make sure drivers can see the bottom of your sign.
  • Fold the signs in a zig-zag/accordion style with the folds VERTICAL - important!, so they'll fit in your car easily but not collapse when you stand them up on the bridge.

For more tips and ideas for sign(s), see the national freeway blogger web site at http://www.freewayblogger.com (Note that in Houston, though, most people hold the signs up during rush hour rather than attaching the signs to freeway overpasses.)



Sign making party

Details on the sign-making party are at http://www.paa-tx.org/node/2543

The sign-making party was Saturday, March 17, at the sign-making laboratory (garage) of Bill & Cheryl Crosier, but we still have materials left so if you want to make a sign, let us know.  See link above for details.


For more information on Freeway blogging for peace in Houston, see the PAA freeway blogging page at http://paa-tx.org/freeway_blogging

For details on other 4th anniversary events, see the PAA home page at http://progressiveactionalliance.org or our and events calendar at http://paa-tx.org/event

Event Sponsor:
Harris County Green Party, Progressive Action Alliance, Military Families Speak Out, World Can't Wait, KPFT, more

Event Contact Name:
Don Cook

Event Phone Contact Information:
713.705.5594

Event Email Address:
escramble('zenblews','hotmail.com');">

Event Website:
www.paa-tx.org

Event Fee:
Free and open to the public


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