by Bob Doran
Two high school seniors from Southern Humboldt spoke at a rally in Eureka Saturday to protest the U.S. Navy's plans to create a target practice range off the Humboldt County coast.
"The animals don't have voices so we have to speak for them," 17-year-old Kali Persall of Shelter Cove told the 50 activists who gathered at the foot of F Street.
"The mammals, fish and ecology of entire coast will be affected," said John McAlinn, a retired teacher and member of Humboldt Veterans for Peace. He said he is particularly alarmed at the potential use of armor piercing depleted uranium shells.
Persall and fellow student Katrina Warner, who are both taking broadcast training at South Fork High, were invited to speak after they aired a public affairs program on KMUD Radio opposing the Navy plans.
"I understand there are national security reasons (for the test range) but I am against the target practice if it happens at the expense of animals," Warner said.
Katrina Warner and Kali Persall, 17-year-old seniors at South Fork High School, have appeared on KHUM Radio to oppose the Navy's target range plans.
Although the Navy plans were the main event, protestors addressed other issues including the proposed widening of Highway 101 at Richardson Grove and the tug of war over the reuse of the Jefferson School site in Eureka.
As activists huddled against the brisk Bay wind, event organizer Jack Nounnan told them they had the spirit of a 2,000-person rally: "I can see your hearts are strong and that's what it takes to build a movement."
- Tom Abate