Lemoor Naval Air Station Day 1 2nd Stop!
A few minutes before we are due to arrive at Lemoore, I get a call from a man who identifies himself as a sergeant with the local police. He wants to know if we're still coming. When I tell him we definitely are, but we're running a little late, he informs me they have set up a 'safe' area for us to protest in.
Oy vey. I ask him if he's referring to a "free speech zone". He is unsure how to answer.
He hastily attempts to explain they are only concerned for our safety, (HA!) it is a highway after all that the base is located on, and we might get hurt protesting on the highway.
I reassure him that we are competent, capable womyn - and Ralph - and we really do not need them to protect our safety from any highway danger.
We NEED them to protect our constitutional rights to protest. Period. He stammers and stutters while I thank him for doing his best to protect our rights while we will take care of protecting our bodily safety from highway vehicles.
When we arrive about 45 minutes late, there are only 3 police cars waiting for us. Sadly, several people had been there and gone, including the press.
We pull into the visitor's parking lot and disembark and the police pull in shortly behind us. They inform us that the military does not want us on 'their' visitor parking lot site - isn't that amazing? The military has a visitor lot but doesn't want the Americans on this bus to be 'visitors'!
But they, the police, have told the military we MUST have space off the highway and have 'negotiated' this (suddenly) closed visitor's center for us. We are not staying anyway. The young police officer is quite relieved, as they all profess to be sympathetic to ending war and overly concerned with our safety.
As we pull out towards the highway, we stop at the entrance in front of the long wall that proclaims the name of this base, hop out our vehicles, and take pictures, much to the vexed police. They do not do anything but pull close and record the license plate number of the truck.
We head on out so we won't be late for Fresno!