— Report and photo by Alan Pollock
Hateful bigots from Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., were met by protests on Nov. 18 when they visited several Michigan cities. The group is rabidly anti-gay/lesbian/bi/trans/queer and infamous wherever they travel throughout the U.S. with their message of hate. They often target the funerals of rank-and-file U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, blaming their deaths on LGBTQ people.
In Detroit about 50 counterprotesters gathered near Wayne State University. At a high school in East Lansing, Mich., some 600 overwhelmed the handful of bigots 100 to 1. The counterprotesters divided into two camps. While 450 held a church-sponsored picket several blocks away, a counterinsurgency of 150 strong rushed the WBC front line and overwhelmed the Phelps group with louder voices and strength in numbers.
The bigots were visibly shaken by the militant crowd. A threatened protest by the WBC at a GI’s funeral later that day in Marine City, Mich., did not materialize.
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