By Miranda Nicholas, U2 360º Tour embed, Art for Amnesty
As the U2 360 crew rolled into Seattle we all expected a chilly, damp and overcast day. Not only would bad weather fit the precedent of the tour, but we also assumed bad weather (like coffee seafood and grunge rock) was a staple in the culture of Seattle. I have never been so happy to be wrong, as the day of show approached every cloud cleared from the sky to give us a sunny and breezy day to talk to fans. Every volunteer was likewise beaming with energy, excitement and passion. One volunteer had recently injured her leg but tirelessly campaigned around the stadium on crutches gaining more signatures than any other volunteer. With a total of 3,553 signatures in support of the Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011, it is safe to say the beautiful day was also a successful day.
Next stop was Oakland California, where we had the great fortune of another weather anomaly. Being across the bay from San Francisco, I couldn’t help but to think of Mark Twain’s assertion “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”. Sorry Mr. Twain, once again the sun shined down on us all day long, the only things cold to us in Oakland, was the crowd. San Francisco is rich with AIUSA history and was the location of our last annual general meeting, we assumed Oakland would be a walk in the park for petition signatures. Volunteers were ignored and endured name calling such as “communist” and “terrorist”, one volunteer was told by a fan that he would not sign our petition unless our volunteer was willing to kiss him for it. Many conversations just fell on deaf ears but the volunteers continued their campaigning diligently. Swimming against a current in Oakland, and never giving up even when it got rough, the volunteers still managed to pull in 2,695 additional signatures for the Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011.