Dustin Bolton of (I think) Norman, attended the counter protest to the Phelps’ gang at OCU on Oct. 24. His photo album is here.
I missed the demo, unfortunately. I never like to miss a demo on a good cause, but this one looked very special, with a lot of caring young people, fighting back against hate with creativity, unity and determination. The signs and banners are great — and a few fun costumes. A fitting tribute to Matthew Shepherd, and once again putting the Phelps to public shame.
I really think Oklahoma is changing — slowly but surely — into a more diverse and tolerant place. A really good sign of this would be the defeat of Sally Kern, Oklahoma state rep. from Bethany. It’s one of the local races I will be watching most closely on Tuesday. Her re-election will be a disappointment, but not a stop to the process of change against her type of thinking and politics.
Here’s what Dustin said about the event on his Flickr album:
On October 24, 2008, Fred Phelps and family of Westboro Baptist Church came to Oklahoma City University to protest the showing of Leromie Project ( about Matthew Shepard ). Over 300 students and visitors (crowd grew rapidly as it got later) came together to protest against Westboro Baptist, standing up against hate and intolerance. Phelps and family remained quiet during their protest and left fifteen minutes before their ‘protest permit’ ended, contrasting their normal style of yelling and provoking and staying until the end. It is believed they did not expect such a large turnout against their protesting.
Here’s a pre-event article from the student online newspaper Students unite to show support for diversity, church group to protest and the counter-demo was reported in Holding up their message: Church group pickets production, community silently responds.