Ask Alexandra – July 2010
Ive been a fan of yours for many years. Looking on your site Ive found a few things about you I never knew. I see you were arrested more than once for standing up in what you believe in. Good for you. I also see that you re quite an athlete. Things I admire you care about the Earth, and appreciate the resources. With that said I wonder what your view is upon the situation in the Gulf with the Bp oil spill. I think it is horrible and something that will effect the area with a huge impact for years. What in your opinion can be done to protest Bp, and push for this to be resolved quickly. Because in my opinion Bp should have been ready for this kind of emergency.
I have written an article for the Huffington Post about how to prevent this disastrous oil spill from happening again.
The best way to punish an oil company for its misdeeds is not to buy their product. Since you cannot tell for sure at which gas station BP oil ends up, that means not buying gasoline from any gas station. This means taking a hard look at how we live our lives. Lifestyle changes like this are a lot harder than participating in a protest, but a lot more effective in the long run at stopping oil spills once and for all.
Thank you for exploring my site. I am always indebted to my webmaster, Vietly, who created it more than a dozen years ago and continues to update it for me.
Please let me know your thoughts about the Huffington Post article.
My question is: in Baywatch u wear a yellow watch?!?! what kind of watch was it u know the name of the brand maybe the model?!? I had a similar (ot the same i dont know) when i was young and i loved this watch but i dont remember the brand…. maybe u can help me!!!
The yellow watch I wore on Baywatch was one of the only things I kept from the show. I just took it out of the plastic bag in which I keep it: It is by Casio, and it is called Sensor. It also says “depthmeter” on the watchband. I loved that watch! They offered me others to wear as the seasons wore on, but I liked the yellow and the sturdiness of this one. I wore it at least 3 seasons. I think I wore the same jean shorts for 3 seasons too… when I like something I stick with it.
They dont seem to make the Sensor Depthmeter anymore, but they make something like it – the Casio Twin Sensor Pathfinder looks the most similar, although I couldnt find it in yellow!
Thank you for writing,
I want to first thank you for being so accessible on your site! I really means a lot that you take the time out to answer people.
You are so amazing in all the causes you have stood up for. I am a journalist, and there are many causes I feel passionate about, and would like to demonstrate, but I am a little nervous about the consequences and embarrassment of arrest and jail. You are a very public figure and a famous person, so have you ever been nervous of your mugshots or pictures ending up on the internet or something? If push came to shove, and I had to go to protect my sources, I surely would – at that point I would have no other option, but I still would be nervous.
My question is, in the times you have been arrested, and the one time you have gone to jail, what have your feelings been? When you were arrested and put in handcuffs were you proud or embarrassed? I get nervous about the thought of being in handcuffs, so I figured I’d ask someone who has truly lived it. Were you in the metal ones or the plastic ones, and also, do they hurt? Last thing, when you were in jail the one time, was it federal prison? Was it like on TV, and were you searched and in a jumpsuit, and were all your possessions taken away?
I have never been nervous about my mugshot being on the internet, because I always got arrested for what I believe, through civil disobedience. I have actually been in jail several times: After protesting nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site in 1989 and because I couldnt in good conscience pay the $50 fine (since the government would get the money and then use it for more bombs), I spent 3 1/2 days in the Beatty and Tonopah jails. Soon after that, due to the expenses of incarceration, protesters were just cited and released, so henceforth I was arrested about a dozen more times there, but released within a couple hours from a holding pen right there in the desert.
In 1990, I was in jail for a few hours with activists in the gay community asking the FDA to fast track the drug Compound Q to AIDS patients. There is a photo on my site from this arrest taken by an LA Times journalist. Notice how the police officers are wearing rubber gloves- that was how scared people were then of getting infected by anyone gay. That might have been the only time I was afraid during an arrest. It had been a quiet leafletting vigil with about a dozen activists, until the cops came and ordered us to leave. Since we were there legally, we sat down on the sidewalk and refused to move. They brought more cops in, with batons and some on horses, and because they were scared of these activists whom they assumed had AIDS, the police were very much on the defensive. The arrests werent planned, and I was in a holding cell for only a short while, but it sure wasnt what I expected when I agreed to vigil that day!
I dont recall whether I have had metal cuffs on – the plastic ones are cheaper,so at protests the cops use those. They hurt if they are pulled too tight, and with the plastic ones you can tighten but not loosen them, so you have to be careful not to make them tighter yourself!
Click here to read a detailed account of that whole experience, but to answer your particular questions:
I spent 5 1/2 days in jail in 2003, after peacefully protesting the Iraq War. After each arrest, I was booked, then released. I went before a judge several months later for those 2 arrests, with a lawyer whom I had hired. After I was sentenced to 6 days in jail, I had a couple days to go home and then I showed up on my own recognizance at the LA Detention Center. It was a federal crime (the building at which I was protesting was federal property), but I didnt know where I would be sent – it depends where there is a free bed. I was lucky not to end up in a county jail – those are much worse than the federal detention center they kept me. I was strip searched and they let me take my contact lenses and solution with me. The guard let me take a copy of Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. It was pretty much like tv otherwise.
Civil disobedience might not be for you. That is OK – there are many ways to be an activist and make a difference. The most important thing is that you maintain your integrity and that you contribute to making this world a better place.