My Rage-O-Meter is Pegged

Image by Robb Allen

The Westboro Bastards (I refuse to call them Baptist, or a church) are (supposedly*) coming to Blacksburg on April 9 to protest.

Phelps’ followers notified town officials in a letter Monday that the group planned demonstrations at three locations around town, including the Blacksburg Jewish Community Center and Blacksburg High School.Another location, near the Virginia Tech campus, was also identified.

Demonstrating near the high school seems pointless – it’s been closed since the gym roof collapsed in February.

After the April 16, 2007, shootings at Tech, Phelps threatened to protest at the funerals of the 32 students and faculty slain that day. Then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell, now the governor, issued a warning that anyone willfully disrupting funerals in Virginia could face charges. Those protests never materialized.

As I remember it, a radio station bought them off with an interview – giving them airtime in exchange for them canceling the protests. While I despise the idea of giving scum like that airtime, it was probably the best thing to do for the sake of the families. (I also think that if they had tried to protest those funerals, someone would have been killed. The pain and grief in town then was a hair’s breadth from flashing over to rage as it was – there’s a good possibility these bastards would have started a riot just by being there.)Link

It looks like one protest is planned to be across the street from a gift shop operated by a gay couple. I wonder if that’s deliberate (they may not know)?

This warms my heart, though:

A Facebook page advertising a counterprotest organized by Tech students and others had drawn more than 4,500 members by Thursday afternoon. More than 1,500 of those members indicated they would attend a counter-rally.

To those planning to attend: Be careful. They have a history of provoking people and then suing anyone who acts out against them, and they carry video recorders.

(* They have a history of announcing protests and then not showing up. Looking at their schedule, I think they do plan on being here – their schedule (I won’t link to them. If you want to see it, you’ll need to Google it.) puts them in Charleston, WV in the morning, Lawrence, KS from 1130 to 1200, then three separate protests in Blacksburg starting at 1300. I doubt they would go from WV to KS for just a 30 minute protest and fake the 2 1/2 hours planned here. Also, it doesn’t leave them enough time to get from WV to KS – it’s a 12+ hour drive, and I doubt that group could get through airport security and fly there within the roughly 4 hours the schedule allows. Charleston to Blacksburg, on the other hand, is only about a 2 1/2 hour drive. It’s much more likely the Charleston and Blacksburg protests are real, and the KS one is a red herring.)

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