Ban on picketing funerals
bobsheridan at earthlink.net
Sat Feb 18 08:37:42 PST 2006
Reminds me of the 1960s all over again, only instead of public
demonstrations in public places that annoyed hell out of the cops,
Nixon's silent majority, older folks, Republicans, YAFfers, conservative
Democrats, veterans, and assorted others, the latter-day church group
and opposing motorcyclists are demonstrating in public places at private
funerals, annoying friends and family of the deceased to no end.
I can see the problem.
I'm having a little trouble with the solution, however.
Conkle, Daniel O. wrote:
> Here's the latest twist in this controversy, from an AP story as
> published in today's Bloomington (IN) Herald-Times. Is counterspeech
> an adequate remedy here, making it more difficult to justify the
> proposed laws?
> Motorcyclists drown out funeral protesters
> Associated Press
> February 18, 2006
> FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - Wearing leather chaps and vests covered in
> military patches, a band of motorcyclists rolls from one soldier's
> funeral to another in hopes their respectful cheers and revving
> engines will drown out the insults of protesters.
> Calling themselves the Patriot Guard Riders, they are made up of
> motorcycle club members who could no longer tolerate a Kansas-based
> fundamentalist church picketing military funerals with signs reading,
> "Thank God for IEDs." Many soldiers have been killed in Iraq when
> roadside bombs, called improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, explode.
> The bikers shield the families from the protesters, and overshadow the
> jeers with their own patriotic chants and a sea of red, white and blue
> . . .
> Across the nation, Patriot Guard Riders number more than 5,000. At
> least 14 states, including Indiana, are considering laws aimed
> specifically at the funeral protest group led by the Rev. Fred Phelps,
> who says American deaths in Iraq are divine punishment for a country
> that harbors homosexuals.
> During a protest at a recent memorial service at Fort Campbell, church
> protesters wrapped themselves in upside-down American flags and waved
> neon-colored signs. They danced and sang impromptu songs peppered with
> vulgarities that condemned homosexuals and soldiers.
> The Patriot Guard was also there, waving up a ruckus of support for
> the families across the street as community members came in the
> freezing rain to chant "U-S-A, U-S-A" alongside them.
> . . . .
> The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is
> made up mostly of Phelps' extended family members. A small group of
> them appeared last month in West Virginia outside a memorial for the
> 12 men killed in the Sago Mine disaster. They held signs reading
> "Thank God for Dead Miners" and "Miners in Hell."
> . . . .
> Dan Conkle
> Daniel O. Conkle
> Professor of Law
> Indiana University School of Law
> Bloomington, Indiana 47405
> (812) 855-4331
> fax (812) 855-0555
> e-mail conkle at indiana.edu
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