31 December 2006

Berkeley Photo Essay

Midday today was spent in the Berkeley area, as I made my first-ever visit to a Unitarian congregation and later moved on to Telegraph Avenue and the UC campus.

I am on a break right now - relaxing in my hotel room before the CodePink New Year's Eve party begins at 8 in San Francisco. I've partially printed out two copies of the Moonie article I recently posted here, so that I can give them to Medea Benjamin and Cindy Sheehan, and let them know of what they were going up against during their recent South Korean visit.

The Unitarian Church has this peace pole, in four languages. I absolutely loved the atmosphere here, being greeted by plenty of openly lesbian and/or transgender people (and of course, sympathetic straights). I talked about my novel, which partially takes place at this very church, and listened to the members' wishes for a more diverse crowd than the current overwhelmingly WASP makeup of the church. I told them that there is a lot of work to be done in my own Southern California, where fundamentalist preachers own entire immigrant communities.

Some left-leaning bumper stickers on Telegraph Avenue.

A sign also seen on Telegraph Avenue. If Pluto is to become planet again, at least three other celestial bodies would also have to be promoted - including one named after the lesbian warrior princess Xena. That would make my day.

A taped sign on Sproul Plaza on the UC campus, leading to what I presume to be a fasting place to help end Darfur genocide.

Also on Sproul Plaza: a "free speech" circle free of anyone's jurisdiction.