This is a rushed post on short notice so I apologize in advance for being abrupt. Tomorrow and Thursday, the Westboro Baptist Church is planning a series of demonstrations in Atlanta. We are trying to round up participants to counter protest. Westboro Baptist Church is run by Fred Phelps who puts on the God Hates Fags protests. NOTE: Don’t click that link on a full stomach. It’s evil. They protest around the country spreading their message of hate at military funerals and other public events.
The best counter protests I’ve seen involve peaceful demonstrations that collect money for charities like this one.
Others take a more surreal approach:
Anyway, we are rallying the troops at the last minute. Details of what to do below the fold!
WHO: Anyone who can make it. Please email me at masala (dot) skeptic (at) gmail (dot) com if you can make it and I’ll get you in touch with the primary contact at that venue.
WHERE & WHEN: Check out this spreadsheet for a list of the protests they are going to be at and when. The spreadsheet has a primary contact, who is in charge of coordinating with the other participants. It also has a list of the other protesters who will be there. Our numbers are small but please come if you can!
WHAT TO BRING: A sign. Ideas for signs are all over the Internet. Be silly, be funny, be serious. Just make sure your sign is made out of appropriate materials. Use the Absurd Sign Generator if you need some ideas. If you are a primary on the demonstration, bring something to collect donations. We are collecting donations for AID Atlanta, a local AIDS charity.
HOW TO ACT: Be polite. If you are told to do anything by the police, DO IT. Do NOT interact directly with any of the Westboro folks. Do NOT engage them. Stand across from them, where appropriate, hold your signs up, chant if you can think of something appropriate to chant. (“Love Not Hate” is always a good one).
DON’T BE SURPRISED IF: They don’t show up. I looked at this schedule. If this is a single group driving across town to each of these demonstrations, they have severely underestimated Atlanta traffic. There’s a good chance they won’t make it. Of course, it’s possible they are breaking up into different groups for different protests. ALSO, they have been known to stop or call off demonstrations at the last minute. So, don’t be disappointed if you show up, with all your signs, all raring to go and nothing happens.
COMMUNICATE: Email me, please, with whatever information you can before, during and after the protest. Also, follow @atlantaskeptics on Twitter. I’ll post whatever information I have on that feed. If you are on Twitter, Tweet about the event, with pictures, if you can. Use the hashtag #wbcATL
DOCUMENT: Take photos and video if you can. Take photos of YOU with the signs. Also, please keep your signs when you’re done. I’d like to showcase them at Skepticamp, since I’m sure they’ll be funny and interesting!