Category Archives: Tennessee

Memphis SP Statement on Obama’s Commencement Address at BTW High

[This originally appeared on the Memphis Socialist Party’s Website]

While Memphians celebrate the victory of Booker T. Washington High School in President Obama’s 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, a critical analysis of the President’s educational policies has been absent from public discussion, despite the fact that schools like BTW could eventually fall victim to the administration’s tacit goal of mass privatization through the President’s market-based “reform” agenda.

Although President Obama’s administration does not use the anti-public education rhetoric of the hard right, he is clear about his ideological alignment with Bush’s No Child Left Behind program. Moreover, Obama’s Race to the Top—a competitive program of corporate school reform that pits public schools and communities against one another for scarce federal funding—is a natural continuation of the neoliberal agenda, which seeks to create a favorable market for profit-driven charter schools by busting teachers’ unions and closing schools in communities reeling from the disastrous effects of global capitalism. Race to the Top ensures that the most vulnerable students will continue to be marginalized as their schools remain underfunded and understaffed, if they remain open at all.

Teachers, students, and parents understand that successful schools have small class sizes, support staff such as teachers’ assistants, nurses, and counselors, and an approach that values a variety of learning opportunities for individual students with different needs and talents. The Obama administration and its corporate partners, however, take a regressive approach that focuses on standardized testing as a measure of student achievement and teacher effectiveness while firing masses of school staff and replacing neighborhood schools with charters, which are unaccountable to communities and no more successful on average than their public counterparts.

However, barriers to providing a quality education for all people will remain in one form or another under any reformist agenda no matter how progressive or student-centered the approach. Education reform will not solve the major problems created or reinforced by global capitalism: poverty, segregation, institutional bigotry, mass unemployment, mass incarceration, labor exploitation and social alienation. The corporate think tanks and foundations responsible for creating and implementing Obama’s educational policies have no interest in educating all students; in order to maintain low wages, low expectations, and high profits, capitalists depend upon a large unemployed population and a much larger population of working poor.

The recent uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, organized largely by disaffected youth, have provided more concrete evidence for what the capitalists already know: if society provides an education without providing jobs, the people will revolt. The ruling class is much too sophisticated to risk losing power by providing effective education beyond what is necessary for them to continue to develop new consumer products and instruments of war. Until the masses of people on the losing end of this rigged system organize and commit ourselves to a revolutionary restructuring of our social and economic relations, those who write the rules of the game will continue to have access to quality education while the rest of us will continue to be denied that right.

The students of historic BTW will always remember the day that the first black president of the United States delivered their commencement address, but they deserve much more than empty platitudes about hope, change, the “American Dream” or “Equality of Opportunity”—they deserve a future where their children will not have to compete with their sisters and brothers to “win” an education; they deserve a future where their neighborhood is safe and clean, and where all people have a right to engage in meaningful work. This future will not be created for us.

As revolutionary socialists, we believe that workers and the poor have the ability to create a better world than the status quo maintained by the capitalist class—capitalists’ power lies not in god-given mandates or managerial prowess, but only through convincing the people that we are incapable of controlling our own lives. We reject this notion, just as we reject the notion that the solution to the harms inflicted by global capitalism lies in education reform alone. Instead, the situation today compels us to organize ourselves and our communities to create an actual and revolutionary change in socioeconomic relations. Together, there is a world to win and a world to defeat!

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, labor movement, Leftists in the U.S. South, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, Tennessee

Murfreesboro vs. Islamophobia

[this post originally appeared on the Solidarity Website]

 

— Jase Short and Andy Woloszyn

WHEN THE MUSLIM community in Murfreesboro, Tennessee sought a permit to build an expanded Islamic Center, local bigots saw an opportunity to exploit the same “moral panic,” invented by the Tea Party, the Christian Right and much of the corporate media, that would also emerge in New York around the so-called “Ground Zero mosque.” The amalgamation of racial, ethnic, religious and national identities into a demonic Islamic “Other,” has been spreading throughout the United States as well as Western Europe.

It was in this context that forces in middle Tennessee — representing some of its most reactionary elements such as real estate mogul and neo-Confederate ideologist Howard Wall — signed on with the national Islamophobic campaign, expecting an easy escalation of anti-Muslim sentiment across the area.

It‘s a condition of the Religious Land Use Act and Tennessee’s zealous equivalent (passed, ironically enough, as an agenda item of the Christian Right), that there is precious little legal space for county planning commissions to bar — for any reason at all — a permit for land use by a religious institution as long as it meets certain legal criteria. The case of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro’s (ICM) purchase of land for an expanded Islamic Center, serving their growing congregation (several hundred families), was no different.

The Rutherford County Commission approved the permit for construction by the ICM without any controversy. Controversy arose at the following County Commissioner’s meeting in May, when hundreds opposed to the construction of the new Islamic Center packed all three floors of the County Courthouse to register their absolute opposition to the rights of Muslim Americans in our county.

This involved elements from the Wilson County Tea Party, forces involved with the Tea Party campaign of Lou Ann Zelenik, and congregants of the World Outreach Church (WOC) — a massive facility in Murfreesboro whose services often end up shutting down the flow of traffic in town. The role of the WOC (especially via its pastor Alan Jackson) is especially ironic as one of the “mainstream” reasons oft cited by the opposition is that the mosque would result in traffic jams.

In the midst of this meeting — which was extended in order to allow as many speakers as possible time to spout ignorant and vitriolic slander against their fellow citizens — it became clear that the public face of opposition to the mosque had been established: Kevin Fisher.

The fact that Fisher, by most accounts, was the only person of color at any of the mosque opposition’s events led to many questions as to why he surfaced as their leader. Fisher — a committed fundamentalist Christian whose idea of an “interfaith” service involved only an interdenominational invitation — also raised many eyebrows after it was discovered that his ex-wife had converted to Islam upon leaving him.

Whatever the reasons for this choice of spokesperson (one cannot help but entertain the idea that a Black spokesperson was chosen in order to fend off accusations of racism), Fisher announced in the local paper, The Daily News Journal, that he would be leading citizens to march on July 14th through the town square in order to present a petition to the County Commission calling for a reversal of its approval of the ICM’s paperwork.

In spite of all the racist discourse about Muslims and people from the Arab world, Fisher maintained a strict party line at this point: this issue was about due process; the citizens who live on Veals Road were not given proper notification by the authorities (or so he claimed to the exasperation of the county’s legal representatives, who time and again pointed out that no such notification is required due to Tennessee’s state level variant of the Religious Land Use Act); tests should be conducted by the relevant authorities on the environmental impacts of the graveyard planned by the congregation (apparently because the lack of use of coffins presented an environmental hazard…); and so forth.

These pretexts were all familiar to us in Tennessee: “if they move in, my property value will decline” is ultimately the main argument for informal segregation that has been used following the Civil Rights movement.

Mobilizing for Religious Freedom

Upon reading the article announcing this march, members of Middle Tennessee Solidarity formed a Facebook group called “Middle Tennesseans For Religious Freedom” (MTRF) — we consciously chose “freedom” in order to avoid the liberal “tolerance” perspective — and called for a meeting on the Middle Tennessee State University campus by all interested parties.

More than 20 people showed up to this initial planning meeting and it was decided to plan a counter-rally on the square the day of the mosque opposition’s march. Activists from local environmentalist, LGBT, civil rights, interfaith and other progressive groups gathered together to form a united front for a coordinated fightback against this wave of Islamophobia. We were determined that, if nothing else, we should make it clear that not all citizens of this county are propelled into the streets by a call to hate.

After many phone calls, press releases, flyers, door-to-door drives and phone-banking, MTRF managed to hold a second meeting with 70 members present. A good portion (80% or more) of the meeting was comprised of local (and some Nashville) residents over 30 years of age — a significant fact, since the opposition regular critiqued MTRF by saying we were youth hired and paid, apparently by the distribution of marijuana, by the Islamic Center or by some left-wing shadow organization. It was here that the organizers planned a counter-rally for July 14th.

Many local activists with lots of experience told us we were fighting a losing battle. We would never be able to pull out enough people to adequately respond to the bigots’ numbers; people would not be able to sustain a campaign over time that involved multiple mobilizations; we did not have the knowledge, expertise or experience to properly defend the Islamic community; we were presuming to speak for the ICM (in spite of their representation at our meetings and our seeking their approval for all of our actions) in a manner that perpetuated white privilege. Our experience on the 14th would show these positions to be unfounded.

Most stunning of all, not an insignificant minority of “liberals” expressed concern with any defense of Islam as it was a “backward” religion that oppressed women and homosexuals.

July 14: “Murfreesboro Coexist”

Roughly 15 organizers of MTRF met on July 14th before our counter-rally to discuss last-minute logistics. “Murfreesboro Coexist” was written across a number of posters to be held up by a group of citizens when the opposition’s march approached the courthouse.

It is interesting to note that this slogan, and the images of people holding up the signs, eventually became the MTRF’s icon. The easily recognizable reference was consistently photographed at subsequent events and made national (and even international) news. A key to our success was encapsulated in this ability to communicate on a level of symbols.

When we approached the meeting location, a group larger than anticipated was already forming in the middle of the square — in fact, some of the organizers were contacted by shocked employees of the local Democratic Party campaigns couldn’t believe belief such numbers could be turned out for a progressive cause. Organizers immediately began rallying the crowd as several news teams converged on the location. The local police were few in number at this event and fairly cooperative.

Kevin Fisher and the rest of the ICM opposition marched about half a mile from a local school. This particular event was their only specifically designated rally and would prove to be their largest public showing. Our counter-rally met them on one side of the courthouse in silence, as voted and decided upon at the community meeting, while the opposition sang “America the Beautiful.”

The attitude of the anti-mosque protestors was restless and somewhat aggressive as several members of the march heckled our side; yet we kept our silence in the face of their vitriol and met them around the other side of the courthouse.

Several key members of the opposition’s leadership presented their petition to officials in the courthouse. The code of silence agreed upon by our group slowly deteriorated as the two sides began exchanging words. Breaking the silence drastically altered the feeling of the counter-rally.

A number of arguments ensued, but MTRF organizers were able to monitor and enforce a safe space between the participants. The confrontation culminated in the opposition singing “Amazing Grace” as MTRF responded, louder and in chorus, with “the Star-Spangled Banner.” Our organizers decided shortly after to instruct the counter-rally to turn their back to Kevin Fisher’s group and march out in silence and dignity before the situation devolved into unnecessary conflict.

Continuing the Struggle

After July 14th the ICM issue remained on the lips of city residents and became the number one news item for every major media outlet in the area. The counter-rally was not only an impressive show of force but a statement that much of Murfreesboro was unhappy with the town’s current image. MTRF almost immediately decided to organize a presence at the next County Commissioner’s meeting on August 12th.

Kevin Fisher’s group turned out significantly fewer people than the previous month, but many of their leaders and benefactors were present including local real estate giant Howard Wall.

MTRF organizers failed to investigate how to register for public notice and didn’t realize that speakers were prioritized on a first-come, first-serve basis whereas the opposition knew from its previous experience. Ten citizens spoke — nine were members of the opposition and the tenth spoke about an unrelated matter.

Though we turned out a significant crowd, our lack of a voice at the meeting appeared as a defeat in the eyes of the public. Coupled with the recent red-baiting that was flung at MTRF by local talk radio, this public setback significantly impacted the activists’ morale.

The mosque opposition, however, was dealt a blow just before the County Commission meeting: the defeat of Tea Party candidate Lou Ann Zelenik in the Republican primary for Tennessee’s 6th District, although by a very narrow margin.

With the loss of Zelenik’s campaign the wind was somewhat taken from the sails of the mosque opposition: the single issue that propelled Zelenik’s candidacy from her previous position (far behind in the polls) seemed to be discredited with Zelenik’s defeat. Whatever the residents of the county thought of their Muslim neighbors, it did not seem as high on their agenda as it had previously seemed.

This was the context of the sudden and dark turn that the whole affair took at the end of August when some unknown arsonist(s) (shades of the 2008 burning and swastika-tagging of an Islamic Center in nearby Columbia, Tennessee) set fire to construction equipment at the future site of the Islamic Center on Veals Road.

Organizers of MTRF quickly responded with a candlelight vigil the following Monday, as a way for the community to publicly condemn the crime and gather in solidarity with their Muslim neighbors.

The numbers present amazingly rivaled the crowd organized back in July, and the rally itself also marked the largest presence of media at any MTRF event. Speakers at the vigil included a Catholic priest, a rabbi and a Neo-Pagan priestess.

Kevin Fisher’s group had zero presence in response (though Fisher condescendingly made a comment about holding candles for “broken farm equipment” a few days beforehand). At the end of the vigil, however, organizers learned that a group of bigots had been circling the square in a truck and were arguing on the outskirts of the courthouse.

Participants were warned of possible aggressors, but the event dispersed without much more than a few heated debates — all of this occurring with a backdrop of federal agents, national and international media and the largest police presence the town had seen since the Civil Rights Movement.

Bigotry Defeated

With the defeat of Zelenik and the public relations disaster of the arson, things turned bleak for the mosque opposition. At the final County Commissioner’s meeting held September 16th, MTRF spokespersons would secure a majority of the time slots for speaking. The opposition had called for a rally, but MTRF activists who went to their convergence site to report on their numbers informed organizers within the meeting that fewer than 10 people had shown up, and subsequently dispersed.

At this point it became apparent to everyone involved that, at least in the contest of the streets, our side had won. The contrast of the failed opposition rally with the powerful speeches given at the courthouse — for the first time on the public record — drove home a realization to the organizers that has become increasingly rare on the left: the sensation that we had won this battle.

Following these events, multiple mainstream  churches held public meetings in support of the ICM. The Imam — now with the support of mainstream clergy — was no longer afraid that his presence in public would harm the ICM’s efforts. The opposition has now turned to a dead-end legal strategy (the point of the court case is to rule that Islam is not a religion), and the community’s wounds are beginning to heal.

MTRF’s  efforts effectively galvanized multiple interfaith events and other public shows of support for religious liberty and respect for our Muslim neighbors. While organizers realize that the situation here can rapidly change (especially with escalations of the wars against predominantly Muslim countries), we know that there is now a solid force to fight any future threat of Islamophobic scapegoating.

Our small grassroots network took on a megachurch, the local Tea Party apparatus, various national Zionist organizations, the ridiculous assertions of Pat Robertson on the 700 Club, death threats and the general climate of ignorance and reaction — and we won, at least for now.

ATC 150, January-February 2011

Leave a comment

Filed under Imperialism, Islam, Leftists in the U.S. South, Tennessee

Communist Party USA Southern Organizing Tour to Launch from Dallas

Originally posted to Texas Communist Party

Although hundreds of Southerners have joined the Communist Party, USA, many of them have never had a sit-down discussion with a party leader. Vice-Chairperson Scotty Marshall and I plan to confront that problem with an organizing tour of Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana November 11-24.

The New Members Committee of CPUSA sent out an invitation: “Interest in the Communist Party, USA is rising across the South. We have gotten inquiries about our party, our program, our philosophy and our strategy, from all the Southern states. Many are asking how to join and become active. Many also want to know how we are organized and how to form clubs or study groups. Many have also participated in our on-line webinars and discussions. Because of this interest, and because we are seeing clusters of inquiries from areas of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky, we are planning a two week trip through these areas….”

Responses from Southerners were immediate:

“I would strongly urge you to visit Mobile. I know a few of us would love to meet and talk over drinks and good topics.”

“Please do contact me when you make it into Mobile. There aren’t many people to my knowledge that are educated about CPUSA, I’m really looking forward to changing this and becoming more informed myself.”

“I live in Arkansas. You guys should come through Little Rock.”

“Hello from Arkansas! I would Love to meet with you if you come. I live In Hot Springs. Let me know if there is any thing I can do to help on your trip.”

“Where will you be in Kentucky? Thank you for all your hard work!”

“I want to become involved in the activities of the Party again and you can
instruct me on what you might want me to accomplish to prepare for the Southern tour to visit here in Louisville.”

“Yes! I would definitely be interested in meeting with CP-USA when you come through Kentucky.”

“I am trying to get as many as possible to meet with Scott Marshall and Jim Lane in one location, most likely my city of Louisville.”

“If you could, let me know when you’d be available in Louisville Kentucky. And heck you can even give me a call if you like.”

“Howdy, I’d love to meet up. I live in Louisville, KY. I don’t know of anybody else that would be interested in meeting up, but… I might be able to get one or two other people together for a powwow.”

“I have a friend who is very interested in meeting up, and has a place to hold a meeting. Anyway, you’ve got a place to meet and speak here in Louisville.”

“I would like to meet some locals interested in organizing. Will you all be in New Orleans?”

“I would like to be able to get in contact with more people from Baton Rouge and discuss coming together and starting something here. Any information you could give me would be great.”

“I am interested in meeting with you. I live in Memphis. I am not a current member, but am interested in opportunities to find out more about the Party’s work and possibly become a member.”

“I would love to meet with any or all of you to discuss what work you’re doing and how I might be able to help. If you are in Memphis please let me know.”

“We’re both living around the Memphis area, and we’re very interested in meeting with the two of you. We’re extremely enthusiastic to get acquainted with fellow comrades within the national party. Thank you so much for sending this to me.”

“I am interested in joining CPUSA. I live in Memphis. I would like to meet with Scott and Jim if they pass through here.”

Scotty and I have wanted to carry out this tour for some time. We’re hoping to help progressive Southerners come together into regular CPUSA clubs. CPUSA has a rich tradition in the South, and there are a number of longtime comrades scattered here and there. Additionally, young people are more and more realizing that capitalism has no solutions for them and are seeking information from CPUSA.

In addition, Scotty and I intend to report regularly to CPUSA publications so that all progressives in America can better understand Southerners and one another. Our hearts are really into this trip! We depart Dallas and head toward Little Rock November 11!

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Arkansas, class struggle, Communism, Communist Party USA, Gulf States, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, other announcements, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, Tennessee, Texas, Uncategorized, United States, Upcoming Events, workers

Seize BP National Days of Action

The Seize BP campaign has called for more national days of action this week.  Some have happened and many more are planned for tomorrow (Saturday the 5h).  Many cities in the South are holding demonstrations (along with cities all over the country) to demand the seizure of BP’s assets.  The campaign was even mentioned on CNN recently.

The oil spill has now reached Florida and is likely going to continue to spread.

Below is a partial list of newly announced actions. Details for additional events are still coming in and being compiled, so check our website regularly for updates.

CALIFORNIA

Claremont, California
Thursday, June 10, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Arco station
701 E. Foothill Blvd (Corner of Foothill and Claremont Blvd)
Contact: Claudia Strauss, straussri@aol.com

Long Beach, California
Wednesday, June 9 at 4:30pm
Long Beach Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Way (Aquarium Way & Shoreline Drive)
The Aquarium, which claims its mission is “to instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems” just took $1 million from oil criminals BP and unveiled a “BP Sea Otter Habitat.” This sickinging double-standard shows the utter bankruptcy of the Aquarium’s board of directors and attempts to provide cover for BP’s crimes.
Contact: 213-251-1025 or la@seizebp.org.
Click here for map and parking.

Los Angeles, California
Saturday, June 5 at 12 noon
Palisades Park at Ocean Ave. & Colorado Ave., Santa Monica (near the Santa Monica Pier)
Contact: 213-251-1025 or la@seizebp.org
Click here for a map.

Oceanside, California
Saturday, June 5 at 2 p.m.
Bp station, 160 Davison Ave
Bring signs and loud voices.
Contact: nfkut2001@gmail.com

San Francisco, California
Tuesday, June 8 at 5 p.m.
BP Offices
90 New Montgomery St. (near Mission St.)
Contact: 415-821-6545, sf@seizebp.org

Santa Cruz, California
Friday, June 4 at 2:30 p.m.
The Clock Tower
Contact: http://www.meetup.com/Seize-BP

CONNECTICUT

Milford, Connecticut
Saturday, June 5, 12 noon
BP Gas Station, 231 Cherry Street
Picket along the sidewalk in front of station. Bring signs or pictures. Only a few will be made by organizer.
Contact: megangrosso@yahoo.com or 203-556-9133 or Facebook page (click here)

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Washington, D.C.
Thursday, June 3 at 5 p.m.
BP Amoco Gov’t Affairs Office
1101 New York Ave., NW (on the north side of I St. b/w 11th & 12th Sts.)
Contact: 202-265-1949 or info@seizebp.org

FLORIDA

Destin, Florida
Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m.
202 Harbor Boulevard – Ground zero for Okaloosa county

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m.
South Fort Lauderdale Beach Park on A1A (Enter park just south of SE 5th Street) across from the Bahia Mar Hotel
Contact: 954-707-0155 or florida@seizebp.org
Click here for a map.

Orlando, Florida
Saturday, June 5, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Lake Eola Park (meet up at the corner of E Robinson St and N Eola Drive)
Street Meeting and Outreach Event
Contact: 321-437-4785 or florida@seizebp.org
Click here for a map.

Tallahassee, Florida
Saturday, June 5 at 11 a.m.
Old Capitol (corner of Apalachee Pkwy and Monroe St)
Contact: Florida State University Center for Participant Education at fsucpe@gmail.org (www.fsucpe.org)

Tampa, Florida
Saturday, June 5 at 3 p.m.
Corner of Bearss and N. Florida Ave.
Contact: jpegan@mail.usf.edu

GEORGIA

Atlanta, Georgia
Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m.
BP Station, 350 Moreland Avenue
Arrive at the BP station with signs, posterboards, megaphones and demand that BP end this oil spill now and demand the government seize BP’s assets! Enough is enough!
Contact: Allyson Bowers, (404) 731-3941

HAWAII

Anahola / Kuhio, Hawaii
Saturday, June 5 at 12 noon
Anahola / Kuhio Highway – Meet at the Lei stand
Contact: Marcia McPhail at 808-640-5761

ILLINOIS

Chicago, Illinois
Thursday, June 3 at 5 p.m.
BP Offices in Chicago
Corner of Randolph & Michigan
Bring your signs, banners and voices of protest!
Contact: 773-463-0311

KENTUCKY

Louisville, Kentucky
Wednesday, June 2, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
First Unitarian Church, 4th & York
Meeting for Louisville-area residents to discuss how they can respond to this overwhelming ecological catastrophe.

MARYLAND

Baltimore, Maryland
Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m.
General Sam Smith Park (SE corner of Light St. and E. Pratt Street., by the flag pole nearby the Inner Harbor)
Visibility action
Contact: baltimore@seizebp.org

MASSACHUSETTS

Boston, Massachusetts
Friday, June 4 at 5 p.m.
Park St. T station
Visibility action
Contact: 857-334-5084 or boston@seizebp.org

MICHIGAN

St. Joseph, Michigan.
Wednesday, June 9 at 5 p.m.
BP gast station on the corner of Napier (2501 Niles Ave.)
Contact: jbounds1029@gmail.com

NEVADA

Las Vegas, Nevada
Sunday, June 6 at 10 a.m.
Flamingo and Maryland Parkway intersection.
Demonstration at one or more corners of the busy intersection. Bus stops there going all 4 directions. Will pass flyers to bus riders and pedestrians. Traffic flow should be busy.
Contact: David K. or Teri K. at 702-408-4819 or 408-5622 or pulbiz@aol.com – Please RSVP

NEW MEXICO

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Saturday, June 5 at 12 noon
Tulane at Central
Contact: 505-268-2488

NEW YORK

New York, New York
Thursday, June 3 at 5 p.m.
JP Morgan Chase World Headquarters*
270 Park Ave. (at 48th street)
*Chase owns close to 30 percent of BP’s public stock
Contact: 212-694-8720, nyc@seizebp.org

Syracuse, New York
Saturday, June 5 at 2 p.m.
ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave.
Volunteer Meeting: “BP’s Gulf of Mexico Disaster: Who will pay the price?” Hear presentations about the case for seizure and find out how to get involved in the Seize BP campaign in Syracuse.
Contact: syracuse@seizebp.org

PENNSYLVANIA

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wednesday, June 9 at 5 p.m.
Location to be announced.
Visibility action
Contact: philly@seizebp.org

TEXAS

Austin, Texas
Saturday, June 5, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Southeast corner of 6th and Lamar
Signs will be available.
Contact: austin@seizebp.org

Irving, Texas
Friday, June 4 at 12 noon
ExxonMobil Corporate Headquarters, 5959 Las Colinas Blvd
Click here for a map.

VIRGINIA

Front Royal, Virginia
Sunday, June 6, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
BP station on the corner of Hwy 522 and Hwy 55
Contact: lowendunlimited@yahoo.com

Virginia Beach, Virginia
Friday, June 4 at 10 a.m.
21st Street and Atlantic Ave (on boardwalk)
Contact: Facebook page for more info and to rsvp to event.

WASHINGTON

Seattle, Washington
Friday, June 4 at 4:30 p.m.
Westlake Park (4th and Pine)
Contact: seattle@seizebp.org

Leave a comment

Filed under ANSWER Coalition, Demonstration Announcements, Environment, fishing, Florida, Gulf Oil Spill, Gulf States, Leftists in the U.S. South, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oil, Southern United States, Tennessee, Texas, Uncategorized, United States, Upcoming Events

Nashville Westboro Baptist Church Counter-Protest

The day after the Mississippi Dignity Caravan, i.e. May 23, 2010, the Westboro Baptist Church will be in Nashville, Tennessee. A counter-protest is scheduled.

Here is the information from the Counter-Protest Facebook group, which already has 1,002 members:

On May 23, the Westboro Baptist Church has scheduled picket protests outside of three major churches in the Nashville area. A counter-protest is obviously in order.

The Westboro Baptist Church is a radical hate group based out of Topeka, Kansas best known for their protest activities which include picketing churches and funerals and desecration of the American flag. Since its first service in 1955, the WBC and its founder Fred Phelps have dedicated themselves to spreading a message of hate towards homosexuals, American soldiers, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, and any other organization that disagrees with their radical views. Since 1991, the church claims to have participated in over 41,000 protests in 650 cities nationwide, using signs bearing such strong messages as GOD HATES FAGS, THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS, FAGS DOOM NATIONS, GOD HATES THE U.S.A., THANK GOD FOR AIDS, and GOD IS YOUR ENEMY to propagate and publicize their campaign of intolerance.

The WBC’s Nashville Picket Schedule:

MAY 23, 2010

7:50-8:20AM
Christ Church
15354 Old Hickory Blvd.

8:45-9:15AM
Two Rivers Baptist Church
2800 McGavock Pk.

10:30-11:15AM
Mount Zion Baptist Church
7594 Old Hickory Blvd.

Counter-protests of this sort are a regular occurance when the WBC shows up somewhere. For example, a similar counter-protest took place at Dutchtown High School in the small community of Prarieville, Louisiana, back in March. The Advocate newspaper and WBRZ News out of Baton Rouge estimated that 400-500 counter-protestors attended.

Here is a video from the event.

1 Comment

Filed under Demonstration Announcements, LGBTQI, Southern United States, Tennessee, Uncategorized, Upcoming Events