Obama, Hit a Home Run for the Whales

by Alexis Sadoti

April 7, 2010

Yes, today our beloved National’s had a sold out season opener against the Phillies and it was the perfect day for a baseball game; 80 degrees, sunny, and a slight breeze. So of course a group of us had to take advantage of the beautiful day and spend it in the stadium. It was the 100th anniversary of a president throwing the first pitch and there was a giddy feeling radiating from the stands at the mere thought of seeing Obama.

Here’s how our day went:

We met at the stadium at 7:30 am to sit in line surrounded by rowdy fans to get tickets. A couple of activists took a “break” where they proceeded to wrap our banner with a message to Obama around their legs to get it through security…just in case. Then, we waited…and waited…and waited. At 10:30 they started selling the five dollar tickets we had been waiting for. We got our tickets and headed up to our seats.

Obama was set to throw his opening pitch at 12:55 pm, ten minutes before the actual start of the game. This was our big chance for direct contact. We would hang the banner just as Obama was throwing his pitch so that he’d be on the field just as our “Obama Go to Bat for the Whales; Save the Moratorium” banner unfolded in front of thousands and thousands of people.

The time came for our plan to be put into action, and it went off without a hitch (despite some fan protests about having an obstructed view). Our bright yellow banner stood out in the sea of red and white and displayed our message proudly. Then it was time to sit back, relax, and enjoy some of America’s favorite past time.

It may all seem like a good time, but it won’t be for the whales if Obama doesn’t take this seriously. The United States delegation of the IWC (International Whaling Commission) is prepared to support the legalization of commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary. As a candidate, President Obama said, “As president, I will ensure that the U.S. provides leadership in enforcing international wildlife protection agreements, including strengthening the international moratorium on commercial whaling. Allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable.” (March 16, 2008 – Greenpeace candidate questionnaire). We should not be legitimizing whaling, we should be phasing it out!

We have made so much progress in conserving our whale populations, legalizing whaling would just be a step back. Yes, today was fun but that does not mean we don’t take the issue of whaling seriously. Whale species need all the help they can get; whether it be from Greenpeace activists or baseball fans.

It’s the 9th inning, two strikes, the whales are running out of time. Take action and tell Obama that he should be helping to save the whales, not whaling.

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