Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Arizonans Band Together to Counter Westboro Baptist Church

[Plans by the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, to picket the funerals of Saturday's shooting victims are being met by a concerted effort by citizens and lawmakers to keep protesters at bay.

State lawmakers Tuesday passed legislation that makes protests illegal within 300 feet of any home, house of worship, cemetery, or funeral home just before, during, or after a ceremony or burial.
Tucson residents also sprang into action when news of the planned protests spread. Many intend to meet the picketers with human barricades and some say they will wear oversize “angel wings” to shield mourners from seeing the protesters along the funeral routes.
Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies are preparing to implement extra safety measures at the various funeral sites in the next few days to ensure that the protests and counterprotests don't get out of hand.
“We’re going to take every precaution we can to make sure there is no violence,” says Deputy Renee Carlson of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. “We’re going to make sure that everybody is safe at these events.”
The controversial church, which is comprise mostly of the Rev. Fred Phelps and members of his family, believes that God is punishing America for its growing acceptance of gay rights by killing US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The group also protested the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards.]  emphasis added.

No comments: