Seacoast Peace Response banner drop action,
March 18-20, 2005

New Hampshire Peace Action made the call for statewide banner drops from highway overpasses across the state between Friday, March 18, and Sunday, March 20, 2005, encouraging relative uniformity in message in keeping with the occasion: END THE US OCCUPATION OF IRAQ; BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW! The plan was for people to do their banner drops during times of heavy traffic for maximum visibility.
Seacoast Peace Resonse held a banner making party at Jamilla’s art studio in Kittery after the Friday vigil. Nine of us, Jamilla, Vivian, Pat G., Wes, Doug, Melissa, Jeff White, Cynthia and Dave painted four large banners at Jamilla's art studio in Kittery on Friday night. There were two each of: "STOP THE WAR AND BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW" and "U.S. OUT OF IRAQ NOW!" We did banner drops in Dover, over the Spaulding Tpke. on Saturday and Sunday and in Greenland, over I-95, on Sunday.
On Saturday Doug, Jamilla, Vivian, Wes, Pat G. and Dave met at the Dover vigil and did two bridges over the Spaulding Tpke., the ones at Cataract Ave. near McIntosh College and Washington St. Vivian and Dave were at the Washigton St. Bridge and discovered that banners tied behind the wire mesh fence that's on all New Hampshire overpasses are quite visible to traffice below, as we climbed down the bank and looked for ourselves. Response was positive, with lots of waves and honks. A member of the Seacoast Camera Club stopped and took our picture, promising to send us a copy if they come out.
On Sunday, Cynthia, Melissa and Dave did a banner drop at the Breakfast Hill Rd. overpass over I-95 in Greenland between 3:30 and 5 pm. Breakfast Hill Rd. is accessible from either Route 1 or Route 151. The traffic in the southbound lane (which probably had a high proportion of Massachusetts cars) was very positive, with people in half the cars waving and/or honking. The northbound lane was less enthusiastic. The southbound land had the first of the above-noted messages, which may have been more popular because of the mention of "troops."
We had a visit from a state trooper who told us not to sit on the railing, as their dispatch was flooded with calls from people thinking one of us was about to jump. Actually, it was quite safe, but the people in the cars might not have known that. The state trooper had no problem with our banners and left after giving his order. The two banners we had went back to the Clean Water Action office.
Pat G. and Wes also did a banner drop on Sunday, going back to the spot near McIntosh College in Dover where we all had been on Saturday. After they got the banner up Pat went to get them some coffee and Wes did computations. He figured that their banner was seen by one car per 2.335 seconds as there were about 1500 cars for the time they were there. They were only on the southbound lane and got a good reception. There were no "single digit salutes" thru the sun roof that day. There seemed to be as many cars going north as south the time period they were there but they only had one sign.
All in all, it was a worthwhile activity, as our messages were seen by a large number of people, and the feedback was good. Jamilla wrote that she would like to see us do the banner drops every Saturday so that the traffic heading North will see them and vice versa on Sunday.

Edited by David Diamond

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