Ont. residents expected to moon U.S. surveillance balloon
Canwest News Service August 15, 2009 10:01 AM
Police officers look at naked protesters. (File photo)
Photograph by: Pierre Obendrauf, The Gazette
SARNIA, Ont. -- An anticipated 1,500 people were expected to drop their drawers Saturday and give a balloon with a surveillance camera trolling the Canada-U.S. border a piece of their derriere.
Adam Bush of Sarnia, Ont., the creator of a Facebook group called "Moon the Balloon" said as many as double that number of protesters have signed up on the social networking site.
The group is protesting the 15-metre long Aerostat balloon which has a high-tech camera with the capability of identifying the name on a ship 12 to 15 kilometres out in Lake Huron.
The camera was set up last week just across the St. Clair River in Port Huron, Mich., aimed at the border in Sarnia.
The Sierra Nevada Corp., the company that owns the balloon, is testing the technology that could eventually be used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Protest organizer Eli Martin, who does not want to reveal his last name, said he wants to make it clear to the U.S. that Sarnia residents do not like being watched.
"What started as an idea over a couple of beers has gained the interest of the international media," he said.
The ex-teacher turned musician said he doesn't expect everyone who attends the protest to bare their buttocks but said the message is the same.
The group was meeting at 5 p.m. Saturday at Sarnia Centennial Park, stand in line, pull down their pants and moon Michigan.
Organizers said there was a possibility the group may make it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest mass mooning. They believe that record was set when 2,000 people mooned in protest of former U.S. President George Bush visit to Australia in 2007.F
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said he also has written to Prime Minister Stephen Harper about his concerns regarding the tethered balloon. He was not planning on attending the event.
Sarnia is 100 kilometres northeast of Detroit.