A VERY PEACEFUL BLOCKADE to shield the patients of the Mazzoni Center, an LGBTQIA-centric healthcare provider in Philadelphia.
The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is coming to protest the Mazzoni Center, specifically our Trans* brothers and sisters who receive care there. The Great Wall of Love is NOT A COUNTER-PROTEST; we are simply providing a barrier for the patients of the Mazzoni Center to shield them from the hate.
*We have informed the Mazzoni Center, the City of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Police Department about this event, but none of these entities are actively involved with this event.
==IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE==
WBC uses their protests as a way to earn money – they do so by trying to rile up counter-protesters and police in the hopes that they do something WBC can sue them for. DO NOT ENGAGE WITH WBC.
Do not shout at them. Do not talk to them. Do not even look at them.
And absolutely do not engage with them in any physical way – no touching, no shoving, no throwing things at them. PRETEND THEY DO NOT EXIST.
The Great Wall of Love is being organized by and attended by volunteers who have no financial or legal liability and no financial or legal resources to protect you in a legal battle against WBC. Please follow the rules to protect yourself.
==SONGS + MUSIC==
We are thrilled that the Philadelphia Freedom Band and the West Philadelphia Orchestra have agreed to come play at the Great Wall of Love! If you’d like to sing along, familiarize yourself with the following list of songs they have agreed to play:
– Seasons of Love (Rent)
– Beautiful (Christina Aguilera)
– Rainbow Connection (Muppets)
– Let It Be (Paul McCartney)
– When You’re Smiling (Mummer style)
– Imagine (John Lennon)
– Hey Jude (The Beatles)
– Stand By Me (Ben E. King)
John Lennon of the Beatles was an amazing songwriter, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and suggesting that he had no idea of the Marxist utopia he wrote of in the song above. R.I.P.
This will be a VERY PEACEFUL blockade. We will be doing two things only:
1) HOLDING UP VISUALLY PROTECTIVE BARRIERS between WBC and the Mazzoni Center entrance, such as trans-pride flags, umbrellas, “angel wings”, and signs with messages of Love and Support for our trans brothers and sisters.
2) SINGING SONGS OF LOVE and playing music as loud as we can to block out the sounds of the WBC protestors.
We are creating this blockade for ONE REASON: to protect patients and staff of the Mazzoni Center from having to see or hear WBC. No matter how much the WBC folks yell, spew hate, and antagonize us, we will hold steadfast and NOT argue with them, we will NOT engage with them, we will NOT acknowledge them.
See the Entire Article below
==LOCATION + TIME==
We are asking attendees to gather outside the Mazzoni Center (on the NORTH side of the 800 block of Locust St) NO EARLIER THAN 1pm – we have a lot of setup work to do (with plenty of volunteers already lined up) and it’ll be 100x easier if the sidewalk is empty while we finish our work.
In order to keep the sidewalks functioning (so that patients can get into the clinic and the public can get by) PLEASE STAY BETWEEN THE TAPE/CHALK LINE ON THE GROUND AND THE CURB. Organizers will be wearing white t-shirts shirts that have the trans* pride flag on the front and the words “organizer” on the back – for everyone’s safety (yours, the patients, the other attendees, and the public walking by), please listen to them if they ask you to move.
The WBC picket is scheduled for 2:15 – 2:45pm, so if you could be there by 2:15, that would be ideal. We understand many of you can only stop by for a short time and welcome you for as long as you can/want to stay, as long as it’s after 1pm.
If you feel overheated, please find shade and drink some cool water. The Great Wall of Love is only a block west of Washington Square (7th + Locust), which has lots of shade trees and a fountain in the middle which you can stick your feet in to cool off.
Saxby’s Coffee at 11th + Locust has offered all attendees use of their restrooms. However, if all of the people planning to show up do, there’s no way they’ll be able to accommodate us all, so please remain flexible and willing to seek out alternative restrooms.
==SIGNS + BANNERS==
We encourage you to make/bring your own wings, banners, umbrellas, etc. A limited number of printed signs will be available for use by attendees who cannot make/bring their own. SIGNS WITH MESSAGES DIRECTED TOWARDS WBC WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.
The Philadelphia Police Department has a policy requiring any banners/signs over 5′ in length be made of segments 5′ long or less (they can connect together with Velcro), in case emergency personnel need to get through the crowd quickly in an emergency.
==SPONSORS + PARTNERS==
Banners, signs, and other printed materials, as well as live music, water, treats, restroom access, crowd control, and financial support, are being provided through the generosity of our sponsors and partners:
– Dr. Kathy Rumer / Rumer Cosmetic Surgery
– Dr. Christine McGinn / Papillon Center
– the Philadelphia Freedom Band
– West Philadelphia Orchestra
– MediaCopy Printing
– Walgreens Pharmacy
– the City of Philadelphia LGBTQ Liason Office
– Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar
– Igloo Desserts
– Saxby’s Coffee, 11th + Locust
– The William Way LGBT Community Center
As many of you have noted, the Mazzoni is an active healthcare facility and patients going in and out will be in different states of mind and physical health – some may be just coming in for a checkup, but some may not be feeling well, and some might receive bad news while inside, because that’s what happens sometimes at the doctor’s office. Please be sensitive to the fact that some patients may not want to engage with us and may want to be left alone. Please be aware, use your observation skills, and respect their desire to be left alone.