BP Protestors met with apathy, anger

From Terry Holley, organizer of Hear Our Voice:

I don’t get it. This disaster is happening in our community. People all over the country and WORLD are incensed about the damage to the ecosystem and the arrogance, criminal acts and manipulation of BP and contractors. So WHY are some in Pensacola ANGRY about the protests ?

Last week when we marched from Ferdinand Plaza to Seville Square where the Thursday night music was being held, I specifically asked everyone to be respectful and not disturb, just march on the sidewalk with our signs and move on. We received little response, negative or otherwise.

This week, the around 60 or so of us who came did the same, but this time, we received many more hostile looks and yelled comments such as “Did you all WALK here?” (I told one man we all rode the same unicycle) and Why aren’t you cleaning the beaches (When I replied that we WERE and had been THAT DAY he said “Well, you need to go back and clean some more.”) We were stopped at the corner of the block by a man who identified himself as an event organizer (I doubt that) and said we had to leave the area, that it was for the event only. I said that it was a public event and we were the public and were not only not chanting or singing, we were not TALKING, and that in fact, he was being more disruptive then us. He threatened to call the police and I said “Go ahead”. The police said the same thing, we had to leave the block and when we argued with them that it was public right of way and we were not disturbing, he did the “Just doing my job” thing. Anyway, we certainly are not and do not want to be perceived as being agitators so we did leave the block at that point.

What the hell? None of our signs are offensive, nor are the people. There are many CHILDREN in our group and families. Why in the world would they be angry we are concerned about and ACTING for the protection of our home and THEIRS as well? Please explain it to me because I don’t understand why they aren’t out there WITH us much less so aggressively AGAINST.