A Sarnia man is planning a “moon the balloon” demonstration to protest the surveillance camera a private security company has aimed at Sarnia from a dirigible hovering 1,000 feet over Port Huron, Michigan.
“Canadians are known for their sense of humour about stuff and I think a good old touch of mass mooning is the way to deal with this,” said Eli Martin, a 49-year-old city musician.
Martin, a former teacher, said the 50-foot surveillance balloon launched last week shows a lack of respect for Canadian sovereignty.
Willing participants are invited to Centennial Park on Aug. 15 for a co-ordinated mooning of the aircraft at 5 p.m., said Martin, who plans to videotape the protest and post it on YouTube.
“No cheeks will be turned away.”
The balloon, owned by the Sierra Nevada Corporation, is shaped like an airplane wing and carries a $1-million camera sensitive enough, U.S. officials say, to read the name of a ship from a distance of nine miles.
The company is testing it at the at the St. Clair River international boundary and hopes to sell the technology to U.S. Homeland Security.
Martin, who goes by his performance name, said the U.S. government already has armed ships and helicopters patrolling the border at Sarnia and is preparing to install a series of surveillance towers on the river between Sarnia and Walpole Island.
“Why do they need a camera that can go nine miles?” he asked. “It’s redundant, it’s potentially invasive, and I don’t trust that technology with anybody.”
Sarnia artist Ron Capser is offended by the balloon’s overbearing design.
“You might as well put a swastika on the side of it and say it’s the Hindenburg,” said Capser, who was born in the U.S.
“I’m saying to the artists of the balloon, ‘Pull your head out of your ass and make it in the shape of a Sponge Bob.’”
Shawn McKnight, a local environmental activist, said he independently came up with same idea as Martin, to line people up along the riverfront and moon the balloon, perhaps setting a world record.
“I think it’s fairly funny,” he said.
The money spent on the balloon, which has been raised and lowered repeatedly in recent days, could have been spent on something more useful, McKnight said.
“I also heard they take it down during inclement weather, when it’s really windy or stormy,” he said. “If I was a terrorist I’d just wait till it was stormy. I think it’s ridiculous.”
Musician Dave Hoyt-Walterhouse said he might just drop his drawers at the Aug. 15 demonstration
“I’ve seen people stare up at the balloon and give the two-finger salute,” he said. “I don’t know if they can actually see it or not, but I think any protest ... I think it still raises awareness.”
To share your opinion, visit www.theobserver.ca and answer our poll, which this week asks whether you think the eye-in-the sky is an invasion of privacy.
Video at Link: http://www.theobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1678317
DateLine~August 15~2009....In responce to the recent actions of an NWO Corporation doing work for the United States of Americas HomeLand Security....The Canadians decide that action had to be taken. Canadians have always been known as a Cheeky bunch and on this day set out to show the world just how "Bummed Out" they are....Keeping with the good lords advice to always "Turn The Other Cheek", this is what they have seen as a fitting and just responce....
Moon The Balloon Final CountDown