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News :: Education : GLBT/Queer
United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
07 Jun 2005
The Massachusetts recruiting tour of the “Rev.” Fred Phelps was soundly defeated by a wide range of progressive forces and community members June 4-6.

Phelps, known for leading a vile anti-gay protest at Matthew Shepard’s funeral, didn’t attend any of the events in Massachusetts; instead his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper led the bigoted tour for the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, the Phelp’s church.

The bigots targeted religious institutions and individual schools in Dracut, Lexington and Bedford but were met with rejection by the majority of students, teachers and community members there.

Phelps said he chose the state for the recruiting tour because of its recent legalization of same-sex marriage and other pro-LGBT laws. The Phelps tour was made easier by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s ongoing denunciations of same-sex marriage and other ongoing attacks on the LGBT community.
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United progressive forces send the Phelp's bigots packing
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United progressive forces send the Phelp's bigots packing
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United progressive forces send the Phelp's bigots packing
In Brookline the bigots targeted the high school graduation because of the popular and well-known Gay Straight Alliance at the school but were met with a militant, angry counter-demonstration that drowned them out.

As soon as the counter demonstrators spotted the bigots being escorted to a “free-speech” area by the police, the chant “Bigotry-shut it down. Fred Phelps out of our town,” began. Other chants included “Gay, Straight, Black and White: All unite to fight the right,” and “Brookline High Under Attack: What do we do? Act Up Fight Back!”

Knowing the Phelps group brings racist and bigoted signs to their events, a group of high school students unveiled a beautiful hand-made multi-colored banner. Hoisting it in front of the “free-speech” area to prevent the graduates and their loved ones from having to view the Phelp’s signs, it read: “Congrats ’05: All forms of love are beautiful. All forms of hate are ugly.”

Other banners and placards held by counter demonstrators entirely surrounded the Phelps group except for the exit/entrance to the “free-speech” area which was guarded by police.

Many graduates and their loved ones thanked the counter demonstrators or joined in the anti-Phelps protest before and after the graduation ceremonies.

After about 45 minutes the Phelps group packed up and scurried to their vehicles escorted by Brookline police and trailed by dozens of protesters chanting “Bigots go home.”

A few Neo-Nazis who came to support the Phelps group also were run out of the area by the progressive forces.

Many local youth and students participated in the anti-Phelps Brookline protest as well as members of the AFL-CIO Pride at Work, Anarchist Black Cross, the Communist Party USA, Gay and Lesbian Labor Activist Network, the International Action Center, the International Socialist Organization, Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST), SEIU Local 509, Stonewall Warriors, UNITE HERE Local 26, USWA Local 8751, the Women’s Fightback Network and Workers World Party.

-- 30 --
See also:
http://www.fiercenyc.org
http://www.alp.org

This work is in the public domain.
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BRYAN IS AWESOME
07 Jun 2005
His articles are the best on Boston Indymedia. Good job anti-fascists smashing up Phelps' stupid hate-fest.
Re: United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
07 Jun 2005
interesting that at least five of the groups listed are ANSWER groups (like FIST and the IAC). the vast majority of us were students.
a plainclothes cop assaulted a student protesting, and if people are looking for his badge number it was 58700.
Hate Isn't a "Family Value"!
07 Jun 2005
You guys rock! I would've been at the Brookline protest, but I couldn't get a ride there...
Anyways, great job of driving the bigoted homophobic bastards and thier message of hate away from our state!
Re: United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
08 Jun 2005
Good work! The Phelps bigot circus came to Fayetteville High School here in Arkansas last year because the school has a gay/straight alliance. They got their asses kicked out of here too. Maybe if they get the same treatment everywhere they'll eventually get the message and stop; although I doubt it. I'm waiting for all of these right-wing fundamentalists to hurry up and get raptured myself. Then we'll be rid of them once and for all.
Re: United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
08 Jun 2005
Any group or orginization that teaches hate of ANY other group or orginization, is NOT a group working under, or guided by God. PERIOD
Re: United progressive forces
08 Jun 2005
U>N>I>T>Y>
its always a beautiful thing, Thanks for writing this up Bryan... the photos are good - lets see some more images from other groups, like the local youth and students.

Yeah, mad props to the big first banner painters, hell, to _all_ banner painters and puppet makers!. good big Banners & Puppets rock. Hold more banner painting parties

lol "manyhats" - sure, one day, "god" willing, these haters will get "caught up in the Rapture of love"... sigh.

Thinking out loud:
we must Be the peace we wish to See.. right..?
soooo all the intra-group hating-fest simply isnt that helpful.
Lets work on easing the hating and the competitive stuff...

That is, if we're really trying to build a progressive, fairer, freer society & throw out the old Bosses (and prevent the rise of the NewBoss from the ranks of the Revolutionarys)
.... look out for those jockying to be NewBoss. BigBrother can come up like a Hitler... activist running in the streets, only kinder & gentler seeming at first... hell, next time Boss could be a person of any color.. who knows? All I know is, Hate and ridicule and sneers arn't ever positive to rally-round. I agree w "Brian"

Musing: Do any of y'all ever get this feeling like...
It seems like the Revolution is always Coming in America, but it just never gets here. How? What? Where? Who? When? discuss amongst ourselves, ten-twelve minutes ;)

In the meantime,
waiting/working for The Revolution, it seems to me like building Unity across all our differences, and organizing creative resistance to oppression using all of our skills, are among the best things we can do.

Peace.
Re: United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
08 Jun 2005
i dont know what people are referring to in this thread about solidarity in the movement- what are you responding to? and also, just because people share an enemy does not mean they should work together, because they can still be fundamentally different. i am not willing to be in a 'movement' with fascists and authoritarians. and as far as jockying for power goes, ANSWER seems to be the main group trying to do this, with all their subgroups etc etc. we are fighting for different things, and just because you label us all as left wing and progressive doesn't mean we've got to work together. anarchists aren't looking to rule over anyone except ourselves. groups that claim to be the workers vanguard, however, clearly need to be watched.
Re: United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
08 Jun 2005
Dear Indymedia,

Why the fuck did you delete the Nazi's comment and my response? Since when does censorship fall in line with radicalism (excepting authoritarian-commie bullshit)
Re: United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
08 Jun 2005
I hid the Nazi's comment because, well, he was a Nazi. He was also being insulting and disruptive. If you'll look at our revised editorial policy, you'll see that we now hide posts that are insulting, as well as our long-standing policies of hiding disruptive posts and posts by people promoting hate speech. We decided to implement this new policy around insulting posts because we were rather distressed with the extremely nasty turn some of the discussions between progressives taking place on the site had taken. We are hoping we can promote some measure of civility with this policy. Your post was hidden simply because you were responding to him and it made no sense without the original post.

From your comments, it sounds like you may be one of those folks who oppose hiding anything at all on Indy Media. There are definitely others who feel like you and, when Indy Media was originally founded, nothing was hidden out of a desire for open dialogue. Unfortunately, that policy just didn't work. It allowed bigots, trolls and nut-cases to take over the website by posting more than anyone else, effectively shutting down meaningful dialogue. Our policy of hiding certain sorts of posts is necessary to keep Indy Media useful as a resource for progressive Boston-area activists. Every Indy Media Center that I know of has a similar policy, although the details differ. And, it is worth noting, that we have also had complaints from many users that we do not hide enough posts.
Re: United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
08 Jun 2005
word to mikey. it is completely against everything us radicals stand for(except ANSWER folks. fuck ANSWER!) to censor them whether they believe in what we do or not. no offence to indymedia, but if we did that at a nazi site, tolled, shut it the fuck down, we'd be heroic anti-fascists. we cannot be effective for change if we are hypoctites like that.
Re: United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
08 Jun 2005
also i was in lexington, and the folks there pissed me off. we can turn our backs all we want, but these bastards will think they can come to OUR state, OUR towns, and promote this hate. we need to be more militant, if not hurt them, which we should also do.
Re: United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
09 Jun 2005
isn't it odd that the main gripe you say is that these people

"do not tolerate"

But yet you do not tolerate those that do not tolerate?

grow up

If someone is anti gay then what's the point of trying to argue with them are you trying to convert them?

More often than not if you let people that are racist, sexist etc speak they reveal themselves and it isn't pretty and doesn't attract things.

By protesting them it gives them the satisfaction of attention
Tolerance is not Agreement
14 Jun 2005
I didn't hurt, kill or restarin any of the anti-gay people that were at the protest, therefore I tolerated them. I do not how ever agree with them, so I showed up and gave my support to the side that I agree with. Do I think that I am going to 'convert' these people who believe so strongly in this that they give up a huge amount of their lives for it? Of coures not. The reason that I go to show support for the opposition is so when some one who is gay turns on the TV and see's these anti-gay people, they also see that there are others (whom have more support) on their side. Imagine how many people would be afraid to be gay if the only people that voiced their opinion, were the people who would like to see a homosexuals dead.
Re: United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
14 Jun 2005
Someone mentioned that you wanted to see more youth and students, well, I'm one of those and I'm in the picture -- I'm with F.I.S.T. and Authoritarian Totalitarian Gut-Wrenching Genocidal Workers World Party. You guys have no clue. Fight for Unity, no stupid squabbles please :)
Re: United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
15 Jun 2005
I am so proud that the BHS community was able to pull this off so successfully, and sorry that I couldn't have been there to support you all. Thanks to everyone who was there, students and those who'd never heard of the school before. Keep standing up for eachother!
Phelps Is the Ultimate Fruit of Social Conservatism
01 Feb 2006
.

Phelps is what we call a secular religionist, or one who uses religion in order to avoid paying taxes, while turning his ‘ministry’ into a sideshow. He is just a pip compared to the mainstream monsters.


Trough feeders, who swindle big bucks from the very people that their tongues mislead and oppress, buy airtime so that they can spew more hatred and cause vicious deaths. It makes my blood boil when I think about their propaganda, and how it causes violent deaths like that of the innocent young man Matthew Shepard.


Falwell and Robertson, those obvious false prophets, then hide behind flaws in the First Amendment, saying that it is their right to believe and to speak hatred disguised as ‘good news’. I can imagine that those thugs who killed Matthew Shepard did so rationalizing ‘Fag, sinner, scapegoat, who cares the churches condemn them, and the courts do not seem to care either’. I am sure it was nothing like, ‘He is the son of a Supreme Court Justice – we will get slaughtered’.


I am proud of Matthews’s parents for speaking out against the Death Penalty. I am glad to see that instead of going to sleep – nighty-night – Matthew’s killers can haul their little butts down to the machine shop and make ‘license plates’ until they rot, or else write something that would inspire peace among humankind - like Tookie Williams did. I will refrain from going on about the innocent people slaughtered by government-sanctioned death, and how I feel that it is the family’s right to decide the fate of their loved one’s killers. Again, those nasty preachers who stir up controversy with the abortion issue, are so quick to turn to the death penalty with their eye for an eye rhetoric, while ignoring the fact that the death penalty is the ultimate act of not forgiving and failed atonement.


I am a deist who sees the two-spirit being as a very important transition to the perfection of human spiritual development, and their oppressors as agents of evil, who trample scapegoats while biblically ‘justifying’ their cause (i.e. Hitler) as ‘God’s will’.


I cannot encourage or forbid abortion, nor leave it to the courts to decide, because they are merely comprised of flawed beings that are no more capable of judging Jane Doe that the rest of us humanoids. Abortion is exactly that – an issue of individual judgment – not collective prohibition imposed by those who will hand such decisions to a Vatican-guaranteed five-out-of-nine Supreme Court decision.


~ Richard Kobzey February 1, 2006 12:25AM PT
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04 Jun 2006
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