Way to go, matie! | Arkansas Blog

Friday, September 19, 2008

Way to go, matie!

Posted By on Fri, Sep 19, 2008 at 9:36 AM


-- Brian Chilson photo

What do you do to make a bunch of soulless nutcases abandon their post at the Convention Center? Send in the pirates!

Yep, the cuckoo Phelps hate group walked the plank this morning after a happy bunch dressed like pirates and holding signs saying "God hates shrimp -- Leviticus" and "God hates cotton-polyester blends" stood opposite them at the corner of Markham and Scott streets. The group, made up of Central Arkansas Pastafarians, waved swords and growled "Arrghh!" in a manner that would have made Abbie Hoffman proud.

With cars honking and waving at the pirates and a TV crew giving them all the attention, the Phelps group -- with a child in tow, sadly -- picked up their "fag" epithets and went away. Pitiful.

 On the jump, a note Stephens Inc. sent to employees in its HQ building nearby.



Members of Westboro Baptist Church have announced plans to picket the following venues in the metro area:
Friday, September 19
         8:30a – 9:30a          Peabody Hotel & Statehouse Convention Center
Friday, September 19
         10:30a – 11:30a       Clinton Presidential Library
Friday, September 19
         11:30a – 12:30p       Peabody Hotel & Statehouse Convention Center
Friday, September 19
         3p – 4p                   Little Rock Air Force Base
Friday, September 19
         4:30p – 5:30p          Peabody Hotel & Statehouse Convention Center
Saturday, September 20
     11a – 1p                 Peabody Hotel & Statehouse Convention Center
Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is a church headed by Fred Phelps and based in Topeka, KS. The organization is monitored by the Anti-Defamation League and is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The church runs numerous websites expressing condemnation of homosexuality, Roman Catholics, Muslims and Jews, as well as populations it believes are supporting the aforementioned groups, including Chinese, Swedes, Canadians, Irish, British, Mexicans and Americans.  Although this group has been in existence for over fifty years, they have gained recent notoriety for protests/pickets at funerals of members of the armed forces killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.  They even protested during the funeral of Bill Gwatney last month here in Little Rock.
We do not expect any problems to arise from these protests either at The Stephens Building or The Capital Hotel but our security staff has taken necessary precautions and will be prepared to handle any issue that may occur.  We have confirmed that local and federal law enforcement agencies are aware of the planned demonstrations and have implemented plans to deal with the situation.
Emotions run high during protests by this group due to the rhetoric and beliefs they espouse.  Please keep the following in mind:
• Avoid the protest and protestors altogether – don’t give them the audience they desire
• Do not engage protestors or their supporters in conversation
• Do not heckle, harass or attempt to “out protest” the protestors
• Do not be overcome with anger, emotion, etc. – the protestors hope to provoke you


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