For great justice: if anyone has links to photo or video of the event in Pittsburgh, please leave comments on this post and I will add your links to the list at the end of this recap.
Well, the weather was somewhat better this time, thankfully. We peaked at around 35 anons, though some were coming and going throughout the day so its hard to say if there were 35 or more unique participants in total.
We got off to a bit of a rough start, as the owner of a shop near the sidewalk where we were gathering called the police to report a disturbance, and she accused us of blocking the sidewalk. A police officer showed up and Xenu and I spoke to him - he was really nice about it and basically didn't even make us move, although we did spread out down the street just to avoid future problems.
And, of course, there were drunks. We got there at 11 in the morning, and the drunks beat us there. For most the day, the drunks just found us amusing and screamed obscenities about Tom Cruise to the crowd. We saw a few of them stagger into the Scientology bookstore briefly, and I'm not sure what exactly came of that.
We had 30+ Anons sing "Happy Birthday" to L. Ron on video, which I assume will be found on YouTube by nightfall.
Again, they had a police officer stationed outside their store for the entire day. He seemed to like us, though. One Anon went over to offer him a piece of our birthday cake we dedicated to L. Ron after our song. He declined, but was very nice and told us to "have fun."
Also, when he left in his car toward the end of the protest, he honked for our signs (as did many others throughout the day). Epic win there.
There were two figures defending CoS that appeared and spoke to Anon during the day. Both were ostensibly on the South Side to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, based on the way they were dressed.
The first one was extremely polite and strongly defended Scientology's beliefs and said they helped him clear his mind and such. I spoke to him extensively, and I urged him to check out the Free Zone. He didn't outright the deny the cases I brought up, like Lisa McPherson's, though he did say they were only "mistakes." By the end of our talk, he said he would look into the Free Zone. I asked him if he'd be willing to divulge whether he was a member of the Church of Scientology or just a supporter of some of their beliefs, and he said that he was not a member, and he enjoyed learning about all kinds of beliefs. We shook hands before he left and he said I seemed very smart.
The other man who came and debated with members of Anon was not quite so polite as the first, though I mainly just listened to this one from the sidelines, since a small group had already gathered around him and started a dialogue. He seemed as though he was more interested in criticizing us for being there than he was in convincing us of the merits of Scientology, and again, he may or may not have been involved with them. He was with a friend dressed up in festive St. Patty's day stuff, so he may just have been a legit passerby. He didn't leave us on the best terms, and I saw a lot of frustration going on in that conversation. I'll leave further explanation to some of the Anons who actually spoke with this man extensively, and post here once I get details from them. (Edit: this guy confirmed unaffiliated with CoS; just looking for an argument.)
A woman stopped to talk to me and a few others when she saw the protest, and said that when she was living in Boston, her husband got involved with Scientology and they attempted to pressure her into joining and she couldn't stand it. We gave her some of our handouts and the URL for enturbulation's forums, and she said she'd be interested in writing up something about her experience and posting it there, so I'll be keeping an eye out for that. She told us she definitely supported us, as well.
Also, we had a very popular dancing Anon with speakers strapped to his belt. The drunks just loved that guy. He definitely kept morale up.
We pretty much ran out of fliers by around 4-4:30, and cleared out shortly thereafter, because the drunks were starting to get belligerent and curse at the protesters for no apparent reason.
One of our Anons went over to the CoS building when we heard they might be handing out DVDs about our hate crimes. They gave him a DVD, The Way to Happiness (not a hate crime one), and an amusing pamphlet about drugs that referred to Ritalin as "kiddie cocaine" and "Skittles." An Anon then went to Rite Aid and purchased Skittles for everyone.
The YouTube reporter who's been covering this, giv3m3truth, went over to the CoS building as well, after he taped interviews with us, and asked them if they'd like to make a statement about their stance on the protest. They refused, said something to the effect of "their actions speak for themselves" and shooed him out of there. Way to go, Scientology.
If anyone's got experiences to share that I missed here, comment please.
Media Coverage and Other Documentation of Great Justice:
WPXI Main Page slideshow
This is Pittsburgh
Brief (friendly) encounter with police after a storeowner complaint.