TEST-DRIVE: A REPORT FROM PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL

Carnage in Gaza. Iraq. Afghanistan. A tanking economy with all the misery that brings. These dark days of winter weigh heavy on us grannies. It would be tempting to take a small break and indulge ourselves in a little Obama-phoria, but this is not time to take our hands off the wheel and this is not a group of slackers. Meetings, demonstrations, vigils and actions crowd our calendars and yesterday the phone-a-thoners were back in action.

Noon was shape-up time at Port Authority Bus Terminal and eight grannies set up shop in the South Terminal. We seemed to be invisible to the very young police officers on patrol, but not to the folks to-ing and fro-ing on New Jersey Transit.

2009_01_15portauth1
Twenty minutes in, two members of the security staff approach and ask to see our permit and a print out of Wolin v Port Authority is produced. It is a polite, respectful encounter. The upshot: we are given instructions for obtaining a future permit and we keep leafleting, talking, calling. The bottom line: Port Authority is a good, solid venue for outreach. However, the permitting process is beyond cumbersome (read Byzantine) and along with our permit application we must submit samples of our leaflets for “review”. So the jury is out — we will make application at 8:30AM on January 22 for January 29 (don’t ask!) and we shall see what happens. Can the content of our literature be censored in a public space? Stay tuned.

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Thank you.

– Fran Sears
photos, Eva-Lee Baird
Granny Peace Brigade

Please join our next Phone-A-thon at…
Noon – 1:30PM
Thursday January 29
Port Authority Bus Station,
South Terminal (entrance on 8th Ave between 40th & 41st Streets)
Main floor

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