A counter protest aimed at members of the Kansas based Westboro Baptist Church drew hundreds to downtown Raleigh Saturday.In other news, the same assholes from Westboro showed up in my son's neck of the woods yesterday. McAlester, OK a very small, rural, almost tiny town, has been a target for Westboro after their last military funeral protest there found their van with two slashed tires.Keep in mind that OK keeps electing the rightwing nutter/neocon Tom Coburn to Congress, so to me, the fact that they stood up to the hate-filled assholes from Westboro speaks volumes. From the NewsOK link:
Organizers said they sought to drown out the anti-gay group which sent members to Raleigh to protest at the Elizabeth Edwards funeral - saying she advocated for homosexual rights during her life.
By 11:30 Saturday morning, Westboro members were yelling at the counter protest group calling itself the Line of Love, but it was hard to tell what they were saying. The Edwards supporters responded with cheers and applause.
Under the guard of about three dozen law enforcement officers, eight members of the Westboro Baptist Church picketed three locations in town for two hours Friday and left the city with their tires intact.It makes me really fucking angry that small cities like McAlester are forced to spend thousands to actually protect the fuckwads from Westboro. That is one of the reasons why I believe hate speech should not be protected by the 1st Amendment.
Stung by their last visit to McAlester, the church members and their van were provided a police escort to each protest site and then promptly out of town.
While the church members protested, police stood guard over their van to prevent a repeat of their last visit, when two of the tires on their vehicle were slashed.
Assistant Police Chief Darrell Miller said officers were ordered to protect the van because “We want these people out of here as soon as possible.”
The heavy police presence was expected to cost the city of McAlester nearly $1,500 in overtime pay, Miller said.
Seven evening shift officers had to be called in early to provide protection, and 10 SWAT team officers also were used, he said.
Assisting McAlester police were troopers with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Pittsburg County sheriff’s deputies and a few officers from nearby Krebs.
When the church members last visited McAlester to picket at a soldier’s funeral on Nov. 13, they were met by nearly 1,000 counter-protesters.