Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Alameda, CA: All Souls Day

Larry and I participated in an action with a group of performers from HYpE Oakland at the Pete Stark town hall meeting at Alameda City Hall on Saturday. I take no credit for the design and coordination of the action - I just showed up!

We dressed in white clothes and wore white body make-up. We wore placards with the names of people who had private insurance but died from treatable illnesses because their claims were denied or delayed. I represented the life of Belinda Bach, a 28 year old musician from Los Angeles who died in 2007 from the failure of a delayed liver transplant. My fellow players represented similarly tragic stories.

We had originally planned to interact with the crowd inside the building. However, when we arrived there was already a large overflow of people trying to get inside. We took advantage of the wide sidewalks and began to interact with people. We remained silent but distributed quarter cards and periodically posed in sync with each other.

Most people gave really positive feedback - if only for keeping the umpteenth town hall meeting interesting! There were two right wingers with large signs who kept engaging some of the performers. Their arguments were weak and they couldn't come up with much more than unverified Bible quotes. When we finished one of the men approached our group and commended us for the presentation.

The group plans to develop the performance for future events. Stay tuned!

Photos by Aryeh Shell

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