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Phelps Group Met by Counter-Protest at Mr. Rogers Memorial Service

On Saturday, May 3rd, the much maligned Reverend Fred Phelps made the wise decision not to show his face in Pittsburgh. He had planned to protest the life of Mr. Rogers at a memorial service, but was nowhere to be seen. However, Phelps did send his family and church members to do his dirty work. As might be expected, the Phelps group was met by a large group of counter-protestors who did not want to hear Phelps' message of hate and intolerance, especially when directed at the much loved Mr. Rogers.

The Phelps group was encountered right at the memorial service at Heinz Hall, in downtown Pittsburgh. Counter-protestors attempted to surround the small group, but were ordered to move by police who claimed they were blocking the sidewalk.

There were about 150-200 counter-protestors, and less than 10 protestors in Phelps' entourage. The Phelps group, members of the Westboro Baptist Church, reportedly had signs such as "Thank God for 9-11," "Aids Cures Fags," and "Mr. Rogers: Burn in Hell."

Surrounding the Phelps supporters were members of the Pittsburgh Organizing Group, holding a wall made of bedsheets which read "Rock On Mr. Rogers." Large signs with characters from the neighborhood of make believe were also present, some designed by people working with the Rosenberg Institute for Peace and Justice. Other groups participating in the counter-protest include the Lesbian Avengers and RESYST.

The Phelps crew was follwed by counter-protestors to Post-Gazette offices, and there are rumors a kiss-in was planned for later that day.

[ Full Story ] [ Past Newswire Coverage | 1 2 3 ] [ more background on the Phelps cult ]

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