“I’m here to recruit you”
Hi. This will be my final post before the counter-protest tomorrow(29th April).
This will be a quick reminder that counter-protestors should stay safe
Do not confront Westboro Baptist Church members. They have shown many times that they fund their pickets by suing counter-protestors. Turn your backs on the WBC and instead talk to the press. Turn up to support the GLBT community and the school.
‘Out n About’ radio show said on Saturday that ‘Police’ are requesting non-students to stay away from the counter-protest citing no available parking and that counter-protestors will be charged for using noise makers.
‘The Center’s Facebook page says that it is the students that want others to stay away. Interesting. We were just thanked by the students for getting counter-protestors.
This is an opportunity for the GLBT and anyone with any sense to give WBC a clear message that this town supports its GLBT community. I don’t see that sitting on our ass solves anything. How many chances do we get like this for a massive show of support?
So, bottom line, turn up tomorrow 6am Dr Phillips High school, 6500 Turkey Lake rd, Orlando, plan your parking ahead of time, the nearest could be a mile away.
Advice from the original students Facebook counter-protest organiser Maura Lee
1. We will be gathering on the school’s side of Turkey Lake Road, not Universal’s! WBC will be on Universal’s side! Stay away from them!
2. Bring proof of identification. School ID’s or a driver’s license will do. You never know if the Orlando Police Department will ask for your ID.
3. Show up early! It will be dark, but we can’t let WBC be out there a moment before we are!
4. If you are bringing a sign, please refrain from being negative or vulgar, and please do not put the sign on a stick or pole of any kind. The Orlando Police Department has warned us not to have sticks/poles on our signs, lest they be taken away from us. This is for the safety of us and everyone around us, including WBC.
5. Stay on the sidewalk. You may not stand in the median or the road, and should refrain from standing on school property unless you are a Dr. Phillips High School student.
6. Spread out! The Orlando Police Department has threatened to shut us down and send us home if we become a crowd problem. We are allowed to gather all up and down the school’s side of Turkey Lake, and that is a huge stretch of road. There will be plenty of room.
7. Do not blast music with vulgar lyrics, or your own voice if you’re going to be vulgar. No one appreciates it.
8. If you are going to bring snacks, drinks, pamphlets, or anything disposable, please, please, please pick up your trash! This is Orlando, the city beautiful! Let’s keep it that way!
9. Tow trucks will be on the prowl tomorrow morning. Parking at any business within a two mile radius will be at your own risk. Lynx bus 21 drops of directly in front of Dr. Phillips High School. It is suggested that you park your cars somewhere along the route, outside of the likely towing radius and take the bus. Here is the route: http://www.facebook.com/l/afe732oDYFoKMvFhvwP_fJ5ZpCg/www.golynx.com/assets/userfiles/routemaps/21.pdf
10. Most importantly, do not, under any circumstances, confront WBC or become violent. Do not try to shout them down. In fact, don’t shout at them at all. They are known to switch up their signs to incite violence from people who may become violent. Do not give them any ammunition. I want to take this time to remind you that WBC are professional protesters who make their living and pay for their cross-country roadtrips by suing the people who physically attack them. Do not help them pay their travel expenses by becoming violent! This is what they want!
If you cannot conduct yourself accordingly, OPD will be informed, and you will be asked to leave. Believe me, the police are behind us 100%, but they’re also going to do their job. It’s okay to have fun, just as long as you can keep it civil and safe.
According to various wall posts, there will be two donation tables set up. One for the Dr. Phillips High School Gay/Straight Alliance Club, and another for The Center Orlando, an organization that offers low-cost counseling, free HIV testing, and support groups, among other wonderful services for the gay community of Orlando. It would be great to see everyone pledge money for these two organizations, even if it’s only your spare change. For every minute WBC is present, the donation tables will remain open. If, for some reason, WBC does not show up, the donation tables will still be open.
Remember, we are coming together to support the people of the Dr. Phillips community that WBC are attacking. Please remain positive! Tell passersby that they are loved by God, by you, and by their community! Give out hugs, just put a smile on someone’s face. Tomorrow must be about love!
Good luck, everyone. I hope to shake all your hands and personally thank you for coming out. We had no idea this would become such a huge event when we created it, but it’s encouraging to see so many people from all over Florida, and indeed, from all over the country, showing their support. We couldn’t have done this without you.
Don’t use noise makers or confront WBC members unless you like fines or law suits . Turn your back on them. Have a peaceful protest, talk to the media, voice your displeasure to them.
Words from Harvey Milk. And whilst much has changed, much also remains the same.