On Monday April 17th with my protest sign in hand, I walked through the main doors of 999 Lake Drive, Costco's world headquarters in Issaquah, Washington. I was greeted by a somewhat bewildered security guard sitting at a desk. He asked me what this was all about to which I replied, "My name is Steve Thompson and I am a representative of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and I will be your protester for the next 3 days." Then I added, "In case the senior executives here would like to discuss why I'm here I'll be just outside or else they can call me on my phone."
Throughout the remainder of that day I was greeted by many astonished faces, I'm fairly certain this was the first time many in Issaquah had seen someone protest against their beloved Costco.
Then at around 4:30 pm I was treated to a spectacle I will remember for quite a while. There is a main "through" road leading out of Costco's establishment through which streamed (quite literally) a lengthy caravan procession of several hundred vehicles, each being driven by a Costco employee; from the lowest shipper driving an old rusting Ford Escort to the highest senior exec driving a gleaming black S Series Mercedes Benz. All of Costco proceeded at a snail's pace past their solitary protester - many slowed down or stopped to ask me what this was all about, some were not pleased with what I told them, while others were clearly distraught with the thought that Costco, their employer, supports the Canadian seal slaughter. For these people, my response was akin to dropping a heavy weight on their shoulders.
The following morning (Tuesday, April 18th) I staked out the main road (Lake Drive) in front of a complex of two-story buildings with tinted windows that make up the center of Costco's headquarters. With my protest sign held high aimed towards these tinted windows I walked along the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. On one side of my sign it read: "Boycott Costco - Save the Seals" and the other side read: "Please Costco - Say No to Dead Baby Seals in a Bottle."
Throughout the day, I would alternate between walking a beat in front of the main buildings and standing in front of the main entrance to the Costco warehouse located a mere 100 meters away from the headquarters. A common theme for many Costco shoppers who drove past me was to gawk at the sign and, cell phone in hand, repeat the wording on the sign to the person they were talking to. No doubt a common question for Costco's management in that warehouse was in reference to my protest.
Then later on that day, around 2 pm while I was on the phone with Paul [Watson], I was greeted by the droning noise of a low flying plane dragging a banner behind it that read: