Monday, July 1, 2013

June Vigil: CALGARY. Kicked off the BC legislature lawn. Putting on underpants.

After being kicked off the ledge lawn.

For the June 30 Vulnerability Vigil we set up on the BC legislature lawn. We have done other vigils there. The naked bike ride with hundreds of participants was there earlier in June. I use my naked body to share vulnerability but I am cognizant that not everyone chooses to see a naked person or people so we hold the sign and, when we're at the ledge, we stand in front of trees or the fence along the front of the building.

Yesterday, there was an aggro Sergeant at Arms who was having none of it.

He told us he would arrest us for disturbing the peace if we didn't leave the property. So we picked up our bags and left. When we were going to go across the lawn he got really mad so we walked along the sidewalk west of the ledge, crossed the street and set up on the sidewalk across from the ledge, where way more people could see our offending bums (either on the sidewalk or from the inner harbour walk below).

This video above shows the Sergeant at Arms after waving down a Vic PD guy and exhorting him to "burn a u-ie." The Vic PD guy approached me as a human being and looked rather beleaguered. It was my sense that he very much didn't want to arrest us but was in an awkward position what with the Sergeant at Arms getting all excited and whatnot.

In the video I am explaining to him about the project. I also told him we have done it at the ledge before and that we were standing in front of the fence, etc. He asked me quite kindly how long we usually stand there. I said about an hour. He asked about how long into the hour were we? I said about 10 minutes.

I felt bad for him. I asked him if he would like me to put on my underpants? He said, could you? He asked if the guy (Keith) was also naked? I said yes. He asked if Keith could put on his underpants too? Keith did.

The sign says CALGARY. My hometown, where last week both my childhood homes were under water. It's a New Orleans-Hurricane Katrina kind of wake-up call. One of my best friends who grew up there died under suicide-like circumstances earlier in June. Last year around the same time, a close relative from Calgary committed suicide. As someone who has extensive experience with emotional pain, I understood these women were in emotional pain and were unable to express their pain to people close to them or even satisfactorily to themselves. In my opinion, the culture we grew up in was not conducive to our emotional health. I feel sad about Calgary for a lot of reasons.

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