Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
A Tucson group is planning to have "Angel Action" present at the funerals of 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green on Thursday and U.S. Judge John M. Roll on Friday. Local 'Angels' group, new AZ law seek to shelter funeral goers from protests:
Hundreds will stand side to side wearing white, and dozens of people will spread the 8-to-10-feet white angel wings shielding the family and those attending the funeral from any distractions or unwanted protesters, said Christin Gilmer, the force behind Angel Action.
Angel Action participants are aware of the Westboro shadow. But Andrew Gaskins said the effort needs to be in support of the families, not to protest or counter Westboro Baptist Church.
"We need to ignore them. We need to make this about the loss that their families and our community suffered," Gaskins told a crowd at an organizational meeting at a downtown park Monday night.
"We are a city filled with peaceful, compassionate people, and we want to show that," Gilmer said. "We want to show the families and the world that hate isn't greater than love at any time."
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"That kind of intolerance is not about to happen in my town," Gilmer said. "This isn't a counter-protest: This is our way of showing support to the families of those affected, by keeping (Phelps) away from them."
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[Shirley Phelps Roper, spokeswoman for the church, said "I've already picked my corner," Roper continued. "It's more than 1,000 feet away, and I've already conveyed (the location of) that corner to the law enforcement."]
The angel wing idea started at the 1999 funeral of Matthew Shepard, where Shepard's best friend and a group of activists donned white angel wings to prevent protesters from disrupting the service.
Thousands of people have joined groups on Facebook, pledging to counteract Phelps' plans, and form a "human blockade" in Tucson to shield the funerals from such protesters.
The group plans to line the streets near the funerals, since some families requested private memorials and funerals.
Those who want to get involved in the counter protest effort should go to www.tucsonmemorial.org.
Karoli at crooksandliars.com has more. Tucson to Westboro Baptist Hate Church: Don't mess with us:
They're planning an "angel action" -- with 8-by-10-foot "angel wings" worn by participants and used to shield mourners from pickets. The actions were created by Coloradan Romaine Patterson, who was shocked to find the Topeka church and its neon signs outside the 1999 funeral of Matthew Shepherd, a young gay man beaten and left on a fence to die in Laramie, Wyoming.
"We want to surround them, in a nonviolent way, to say that our community is united," Gilmer said. "We're a peaceful haven."
"You don't mess with Tucson," said Gilmer, 26, who described it as "a little dot of blue in a sea of red."
But political persuasions don't matter, she said. Republicans, Democrats, independents, right, left and center -- they've all offered their support. Forty-two people have signed up on a Facebook page called "Build Angel Wings for the Westboro Funeral Counter-Protest and Meeting" and more than 4,500 have signed up on another page to "Show Support for the Families of the Tucson Shooting Victims."
"People, businesses, they're all donating material and money to build the angel wings," said Gilmer, who is helping organize the action. And, she added, they're donating to a fund created to help pay for services for the victims of the shooting.
Here's the Facebook page if you want to show your support for them.