Bohemian Grove protesters share objectives
Date: Thursday, July 17 @ 10:48:51 EDT
Topic: The Elite and their agendas

SEE: “GROWING GLOBALIZATION” “ # 5” under “Top 10 Articles” & “NWO Government, Globalization,EU, & UN”

Activists contend members discuss global policies away from public scrutiny

By JEREMY HAY THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

In the 23 years since they started, Christine Gibson of Sebastopol has never joined the protests against the Bohemian Club's annual three-week summer retreat in Monte Rio.

The 57-year-old nurse practitioner said she'd heard very little about the demonstrations at the 2,700-acre Bohemian Grove, and besides, "I've never considered myself an activist until very recently."

But, she said, "I've become more alarmed at our government's policies and how they affect people in the world," and so on Saturday she went to a meeting about the Bohemian Grove "to hear what was the real purpose" of the protests.



The forum, sponsored by the local chapter of Not in Our Name, an anti-Iraq war group, was held in the Monte Rio Union School's gymnasium and Gibson heard a lineup of speakers who said that among the grove's idyllic redwood stands, club members and their guests discuss government and corporate policies that shape people's lives the world over.

In twice-daily Lakeside Talks, "major policy talks are given without public scrutiny," said Mary Moore, the longtime Monte Rio activist who started the protests in 1980.

From her seat on the room's stage, Moore directed an audience of about 85 people to examine a list of lakeside speakers.

The list shows that since 1980 speakers have included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, the longtime Saudi Arabia ambassador to the United States; former British Prime Minister John Major and Frank Popoff, former chairman of Dow Chemical Co.

The men at the grove are "the agenda-setters and policy-setters for this nation," said Peter Phillips, a Sonoma State University sociology professor who has studied the Bohemian Grove for more than a decade.

The grove's motto, "Weaving spiders come not here," (from William Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night Dream") decrees no business be conducted during the encampment.

But, clearly, most if not all of those at the forum agreed with Phillips, who said: "When you put 2,500 white corporate executives somewhere, of course they're going to talk business."

Gibson went away convinced. She said she doesn't care what else takes place at the male-only club's retreat, "That's their business."

"But in a democracy," she said, "how policies are made should be public."

So she plans to join the activists who plan to march to the grove's gates July 19 to call on the club to, at the very least, make the texts of the Lakeside Talks public.

"We will continue to watch, we will continue to hold them accountable -- this is one step in a mass movement," said Antonia Juhasz of the San Francisco-based International Forum on Globalization.

A club official, while disagreeing with activists' contentions, supported their right to speak out.

"We think the premise of the demonstrations is ill-informed and mistaken, but we respect the right of the protesters to gather and protest," Matt Oggero, the club's general manager, said Friday. "In return, we hope they respect our rights to privacy."

Susan Lamont, a protest organizer, said she didn't know how many protesters will appear, but "there are lots of groups all over the Bay Area who have said they're bringing members."

"I'd love to see 1,000 people," she said.

Greg Haas, a Monte Rio businessman and board member of the Russian River Recreation and Park District, wouldn't love that, and told the audience as much, adding he felt like a "black sheep" in the room.

While the grove contributes money to support arts and recreation to the financially strapped town of about 1,100, the protesters "bring nothing but bad vibes to the Vacation Wonderland," said Haas, owner of the Pink Elephant bar.

Haas' argument that the protesters hurt Monte Rio's image appeared to sway no one, but many thanked him as he left.

"I came because of what you had to say," Steven Thornton of Santa Rosa, a grove protester for about a decade, told Haas.

"I've always been concerned that possibly we've offended some businesses or residents," said Thornton, a former Sonoma County spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Dan Piosalan, 29, of Santa Rosa, said the forum's message was right on and he plans to attend next Saturday's protest. But for more young people to take up the call, another medium was needed, he said.

"Perhaps a dance party in the name of awareness, to encourage people to do their own research and arm themselves with knowledge," he suggested. "Because this stuff, it's moving, but who wants to sit around and listen to it?"





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