Westboro Baptists Melt in the Rain.

Either that or they have people checking to see if they will be met with large amounts of peaceful opposition, and choose not to bother a town that will meet them and prevent their intended targets from seeing or hearing their hatred.

Which is what happened last night.

Even in the cold, nasty rain over 100 people (maybe even near 200 people) gathered together to show support and solidarity for the Brookfield Theater and it's actors who were showing a play about Mathew Shepherd last night. The opposition was originally organized by high school students, and quickly grew to include college students, neighbors, adults and citizens from all over Connecticut and Rhode Island, even. The "Guardian Angels" were there, and the tactic was highly impressive to say the least. The kids constructed tall wings with PVC piping, and covered them in white sheets to make them look like angel wings. The idea is that they are tall enough to prevent the WBC's hateful signs and messages from being seen by their intended targets. They students and adults alike donned the huge wings, and lined up to make a giant, angelic wall of protection just in case in the WBC decided to show up.

Even though their wings were soaked and very heavy, and even though they were soaked and very cold, they stood guard for nearly two hours. Alongside the angels were protesters of all stripes with signs ranging from love-promoting bible quotes to funny signs like "Lord knows pirates kick ass" and "Don't be hatin' ~ God".

The neighbors adjacent to the property volunteered to open up their home to us, allowing us a place to warm up with hot chocolate, coffee, and food, store the wings, and use their bathroom. These brave souls had hundreds of people coming and going, tracking water and mud all over their floors - and they were thrilled to do it. I know I am personally thankful for their constant production of coffee! The couple had no other connection to anyone present other than their property was there, and they too can't stand the WBC, so when they saw that the kids were organizing, they contacted the group and immediately volunteered their property for the project.

Before the show started, the cast came out to thank us for being there to show support and solidarity against hatred - even if the WBC didn't show the fact that so many people cared and showed up despite the terrible weather was a massive comment on people's priorities. The cast sang a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace for us before getting ready for the show. It even made me tear up a little.

When all was said and done, we were soaked through, freezing cold, and very happy. The participants considered this a wonderful victory for love, peace, and equality.

I'm certainly glad I made the trip, and met so many inspiring youths (and adults!) who were all too happy to sacrifice their Saturday night to stand up for what they believe in. It renews my faith in humanity, if just a little bit.

When I can get my hands on some photos, I will post them for your viewing pleasure!


Kelly W. Patterson said...

I'm not surprise they didn't show up. From what I've read, that's mostly the case these days. They just scour the news for stuff and then write press releases saying that they will be protesting there. It's all for the publicity.

But good show on your part, nonetheless.

Anok said...

They definitely scour the news as the Phelps even commented on a local piece stating when the show was going to take place, and how many people opted for a counter protest.

Something along the lines of "oh, they'll look stupid standing around when we're not there..."

Chickens LOL.

They did drum up publicity though, for the show - it was sold out!

Body of Words said...

Did you see the interview where Anonymous hacked them live? Worth a google.