Bohemian Grove foe resurrects protest
Published: Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 4:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 8:45 a.m.
Veteran activist Mary Moore of Camp Meeker is emerging from what she calls "retirement" to organize a protest at Bohemian Grove for the first time in 10 years.
Moore, 76, is reviving her Bohemian Grove Action Network to stage — in collaboration with the Occupy movement and about 20 other groups — an event called "Creation of Care" from noon to 4 p.m. July 14 at the Monte Rio Amphitheatre.
It's intentionally set for the same day as the "Cremation of Care," the ceremony that traditionally opens the midsummer gathering for the wealthy and powerful Bohemians at their 2,700-acre enclave, also in Monte Rio.
The "m" dropped from cremation to spell creation "stands for murder and money," Moore said.
Critics of the San Francisco-based Bohemian Club's retreat, which dates to 1878, say that the power brokers and plutocrats meet under the redwoods to plot the course of government and industry.
The Cremation of Care ritual involves the burning of a human effigy at the foot of a massive owl statue, symbolizing the Bohemians' casting off "dull care."
The 2,400-member all-male club is "dedicated to theater, music and the education of its members," said Sam Singer, club spokesman.
The club, which maintains tight security to keep strangers out of the grove, has no objection to law-abiding protests held on public property and without infringing on members "rights of free assembly," Singer said.
The encampment runs from July 12-29, and requires a staff of about 700 people, many of them local high school and college-age youths.
Moore emphatically distances herself from those who allege the Bohemians engage in such things as satanic worship.
"The truth is scary enough," she said. "They're basically rich guys making money off stuff that hurts people."
Moore, whose activism began in the 1960s civil rights movement, founded the Bohemian Grove Action Network in 1980 to organize protests at the grove gates that took place on and off for about 30 years. She scaled back her involvement in 2001, intent on working on other issues and hoping others would sustain the Bohemian Grove protest.
But that did not pan out, and Moore, attracted to the Occupy movement last fall, started work in March on Occupy Bohemian Grove, intended "to expose the 1 percent," she said.
Cindy Sheehan, a war protester whose soldier son died in Iraq, and the Fukushima Mothers Delegation will participate in the July 14 event, along with other activists and entertainers.
The Fukushima delegation, which includes women who witnessed the Japanese nuclear disaster in March 2011, will tour California during early July, Moore said.
The nuclear power issue represents a "coming full circle" for her Bohemian Grove network, itself an offshoot of the Abalone Alliance, a statewide group that opposed the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in the late 1970s.
A flier for the event makes no mention of a march to the grove gates, which means "we are not endorsing it," Moore said.
July 14 is also Moore's 77th birthday, and she hopes to finally be done with Bohemian Grove.
"It's time for the younger people to step up and do this," she said. "I want this to be the last year I'm doing it."
(You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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