Group engages in ‘civil informationing’ in support of Women’s March

By terryl asla

Kitsap News Group

KINGSTON— Some 60 women, children and men gathered in the rain with their signs Jan. 21 at the busy Kingston Crossing intersection of Highway 104 outside Kingston. They were there to show their support for the nationwide Women’s March and other social issues.

“This is going to get me in trouble with all my friends who don’t think it’s OK to be against your government,” Doreen Valverde said, standing with her “Kingston the Port for Peace” Sign. “It’s not that we are against our government. We’re just asking that our government be with us.”

Tim Duncan, one of the men that made up over a third of the crowd, said, “I’m here to express my voice. The whole issue with the hate and nastiness in the country … affects women’s rights and everything else.”

The organizer of the event, Robin Hordon, explained that the group was not demonstrating or engaging in civil disobedience, rather it was “civil informationing.” Think of the signs they held as a low-tech version of tweeting, he said. The hundreds of drivers who pass through the intersection going to and from the Kingston ferry are exposed to these “information bites.”

During its informationing, the group was careful to obey all laws, crossed roads inside crosswalks and only with lights, and never interfered with the passage of vehicles or pedestrians.

Driver ‘rolls coal’ on peaceful gathering

Judging from the honks, smiles and waves, many drivers supported their efforts. The major exception was the driver of a diesel pickup truck with oversize tires. It stopped directly in front of the crowd on the corner, revved its engine and then peeled out — completely obscuring much of the crowd in a huge smoke screen of oily black exhaust— and headed off in the direction of Hansville.

This was probably a case of what is known as “coal rolling,” a particularly nasty form of protest described in a recent New York Times article. Some diesel vehicle drivers are intentionally souping up their engines and removing the emissions controls, so they can “roll coal,” or belch black clouds of smoke, at unsuspecting pedestrians, cyclists, hybrid car drivers — or in this case, peaceful women, men and children exercising their First Amendment Rights.

Terryl Asla is a reporter for the Kitsap News Group. Contact him at tasla@soundpublishing.com.