Interview With a Resister Sister of Ocean Beach

by on April 12, 2018 · 19 comments

in Ocean Beach

Editordude: The following is an interview between the OB Rag and a Resister Sister of Ocean Beach via email and originally published on April 12, 2018.

Question: Without revealing your name, just who are you?

Answer: Hi, I’m the 63-year-old lady you see at the grocery store or walking her dog, but I have a secret hobby.   I make anti-Trump signs — BIG anti-Trump signs — and hang them over freeways in San Diego and a few other places around town.

Q: What’s your background?  Are there really sisters from OB doing this?

A: I’m a born-and-raised OBcean:  OB Elementary, Collier, and Point Loma High.  I make the signs, and I have two Resister Sisters who help me hang them, one of whom is from Ocean Beach.  No, we aren’t blood sisters, but we’re “sistahs” at heart.

Q: What got you started hanging banners off freeways?  How did you come up with this idea?

A: Like so many of us, I was absolutely devastated when Trump was elected, and I wanted to do something, anything.  But after I’d written the letters, made the calls, and marched, what was next?

My first project was writing TRUMP after the STOP on the pavement next to a Stop sign. I did a few other messages on the pavement, which was fun, but it involved going out in the middle of the night with spray cans, and that’s a bit much.

When I saw the giant RESIST sign that Greenpeace hung from a crane next to the White House, the proverbial light-bulb went off, and I was happy to make the transition from the pavement to signs that I could create in the comfort and security of my own back yard.

Q: How do you decide what to write on your banners?

A: There are two issues involved with the signs:  What to say and where to put the signs.  Space is limited and the message has to be very concise!

My brother has given me some of my personal favorites, such as “Jail to the Chief.

There are a couple freeway overpasses I have primarily used, and I’m very much constrained by size.  It’s my understanding I can only use the bridges with a “cage” of chain link fencing that is there to prevent pedestrians from throwing things onto the freeway.  If you look, you can see that each panel is hung between the poles holding the chain link cage.

Q: How long do you leave them up for?  Do you take them down?

A: No, I don’t take the signs down.  I call them disappearing signs because they get taken down by Trump trolls, as I call them.  Sometimes the signs last a few hours, and if I’m really lucky, 24 hours.  As soon as I hang them, I take pictures to post on various Facebook pages.

This was one of the most popular banners hung by the Resister Sisters. It had thousands of reaches on OB Rag facebook.

Q: What’s the best type of fabric to use?  What kind of paint do you use?

A: I’ve bought plasticized banner material, but I find what works best is plain old muslin.  I’ve used spray paint in cans, which I’m not crazy about because it’s so wasteful.   Just one big word, RESIST, takes almost a can of paint!  So I’m looking at air sprayers and also spray chalk.

I started out with 36-inch stencils, but they make such huge signs that eventually I bought 24-inch stencils.  The stencils are expensive, hundreds of dollars for each set.  In fact, I’ve spent well over $2,000 on the signs, but I’ve done 40 or 50 signs.  Each panel costs anywhere from $15 to 25, and the signs are made up of one to four panels.

Q: Have you ever had any close calls, where you might have been caught?

A: I’ve been very lucky and haven’t had much in the way of close calls.  A few people have yelled at me and called me an idiot, but most people are pretty positive, and believe me, these are very public places and I’m right out there for the whole world to see.

As far as legality, I’m told it’s not illegal to do the signs over the freeway, so I’m not too worried.  Back when I did signs on the pavement, I kept the phone number of an attorney friend in my pocket, just in case, and luckily I never needed it.

Q: Where else besides freeway overpasses have you hung your banners?

A: The OB Pier and the Cardiff Kook and the Bed Bath & Beyond.  I have some ideas for other places for signs, in particular, hillsides along freeways with good visibility, which might accommodate larger signs.  If anyone lives near such a site, please let me know, or if you have other suggestions for locations.

Last year at a big sporting event — such as the Super Bowl or something — someone had hung a great anti-Trump banner in the stadium.  If you’d like to try that, let me know and I’ll make you a sign to hang.

Q: What else would you like to tell our readers, or the people of OB or San Diego?

A: If anyone is interested in doing signs, I highly encourage you!  It’s fun and easy and, as far as I know, legal.  You don’t need expensive stencils.  Use old sheets and Sharpies!  It’s a great feeling when you step back and look at YOUR sign and YOUR message over the interstate.  Very rewarding.

The Cardiff Kook

This is not exactly how I planned on spending my golden years, and my signs won’t change anyone’s mind, but I’ll keep doing them because I think it’s important to keep the resistance in the public view and remind people that this is not normal.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

bo bo April 12, 2018 at 1:44 pm

I love you resister sitstas!!


Brian Brady April 12, 2018 at 6:02 pm

Here is the solution to your short term vacation rental issues. If they deface the town with anti-Trump graffitti, then they are A-OK


OB Joe April 12, 2018 at 8:30 pm

We’re so proud of these sisters; they are standing up for all of us. Right on, sisters!


Molly April 12, 2018 at 8:38 pm

If one wanted to join the sisters, how would one do it?


Mike Dennis April 13, 2018 at 2:02 pm

If you’re really interested, I’d be glad to put you in touch with the Sisters. They’re always looking for another Sister. Maybe you could meet up for coffee!


Mike Dennis April 13, 2018 at 2:10 pm

I think the Sisters are always looking for a fellow Sister to help fight the good fight! I could put you in touch and maybe you could meet for coffee and talk about it.


Ol OB Hippie April 12, 2018 at 8:45 pm

She’s our modern day guerrilla artist, maintaining a fine tradition of mixing politics and art and guts. It takes guts to go out on those freeway bridges early in the morning or late at night and hang those banners. Thank you.


Garedawg April 12, 2018 at 10:12 pm

Doesn’t she have anything better to do? I wasn’t too fond of Obama when he got elected, but he was duly elected and I didn’t go around putting up signs against him. But I guess it’s still a free country.


RB April 13, 2018 at 5:59 am

Of course, everyone will be so surprised when the next President is met with the same level of hatred from the other side.


unwashedwallmartThong April 13, 2018 at 8:56 pm

Mom! Is that you?
I’d be wary of anyone trying to discover the identity of the Sisters; trolls abound; vet everyone.

Also, try using cheap Oops! paints at your local big warehouse store, & paint plain old bed sheets w/ a roller; it stiffens them up & makes it easier to paint on them.


asisterfromid April 17, 2018 at 7:23 am

Good to know OB is still the best at resisting and persisting.


Gretchen Gordon April 21, 2018 at 12:04 pm

Great work resistor sisters!


GG April 22, 2018 at 8:23 am

What better way to get busy people to begin a conversation and pay attention –for just a moment–to what is happening in DC, than with a timely, humorous but serious comment? I have nothing but RESPECT for this resista sistah!


Frances O'Neill Zimmerman July 24, 2018 at 4:03 pm

Thanks to OB Rag Editordude for bringing Resister Sisters to our attention. I personally
liked the simple and hard-to-erase street-stencil of “Stop Trump.” I also liked that she carries her lawyer’s phone number when she’s out working. Actually I just liked the
whole wonderful story. By the way, that “Resist” sign on the crane near the White House
was a Greenpeace action. Long live everybody involved!


Patrick Randall July 26, 2018 at 9:39 pm

Cardboard. Painted white. Lettered with a projector (trace and paint.) 100 times quicker, easier, better looking, allows for much longer messages in a variety of fonts, more versatile in size, shape and posting opportunities. Mere pennies for the paint and allows you to make, if necessary, dozens of large signs in a single evening. Also substantially quicker to post. And other advantages too numerous to mention. freewayblogger at yahoo if you have questions.


Frank Gormlie July 27, 2018 at 10:51 am

Patrick – how the heck are you? Good to hear from you. Where, pray tell, do you reside these days?


unwashedWalmartThong September 29, 2020 at 9:38 pm

Yep, the overhead projector really works well. Lines are crisp, & you just fill in, like painting by numbers. I wonder if the sistahs concocted the sign at Laurel St Bridge during the RNC convention. RNC Only indicted are invited. Snappy!
freewayblogger was quite active during the bush/cheney debacle.


unwashedWalmartThong September 29, 2020 at 9:43 pm

Or was it:
If you’re not indicted
You’re not invited


retired botanist September 30, 2020 at 5:23 am

Love these gals! OB’s Banksy! I actually emailed Banksy a couple years ago, asking him to come to OB and make a statement about STVRs. Of course I didn’t get a reply, but that’s ok b/c we’ve got the Sisters!!
March For Our Lives did a great chalking outside Bitch McConnell’s house, and it was a brilliant idea, as Trump would have had trouble arresting them for “violent defacement” or other without having to similarly arrest millions of hop-scotch players!
Thanks for high-lighting their work, and thanks to the Sisters for being my voice! Resist on!! :-)


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