NO WESTBORO “BAPTIST CHURCH”—AGAIN
LAWRENCEVILLE/VINCENNES—The freaks from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, were a no-show in southeastern Illinois just like they were in Harrisburg after the tornado back in March.
Alerts went out all night last night (06.25.12) from Vincennes, Ind., that there had been a host of rooms rented out in one of the local motels (the motel information/location varied according to reports). One report had it that 25 rooms had been rented out. So a number of Lawrence County residents traveled over to Vincennes late last night and checked it all out.
Between 10:30 p.m. and 2 a.m., Lawrence residents cruised through parking lots of Vincennes motels attempting to locate Kansas license plates. At one point there was a “confirmed” sighting of Kansas plates at the Marriott, and a number of people went to see if this was the real deal, in order to shoot photos of the vehicles and keep them sort of under surveillance once the funeral of Spc. Trevor Pinnick, the Lawrenceville High School graduate whose services the “church” was threatening to picket, was underway.
However, the Lawrence residents were stopped by Vincennes police and advised that if anyone went onto the Marriott lot, or was observed shooting photos of vehicles/ plates, they would be arrested (the latter of which is illegal; if a citizen wants to stand on a public way—sidewalk, city street, etc—and shoot photos onto a private business (a motel), they have every right to do this.
The insistence of the police was enough for the Lawrence residents to call off the search for Kansas plates, in the wee hours of the morning. However, this morning, a huge contingent of folks both local and not local was present at the Lawrenceville High School, not only to pay their final respects to Pinnick, but to create a human shield, should the WBC freaks show up.
They did not. Lawrence County Deputy Dennis York told Disclosure that personnel with the Illinois State Police in District 12 were trying to determine with the WBC in Topeka as to whether they intended to follow through with their stated intent to show up and begin picketing at 10:15 a.m. Apparently, ISP couldn’t confirm.
This is exactly what occurred on March 2 in Harrisburg, when WBC threatened to protest the funerals of the tornado dead in that town. They never showed; ISP continued to try and determine whether they were going to show at all, to no avail, even though WBC signaled intent to show at those funerals too.
The method, however, is for WBC to contact the local policing agencies FIRST, to make sure their bases are covered so that if they’re ill-treated, they can file suit against the policing entities for “not protecting them.” This didn’t occur, in either the tornado funerals nor Spc. Pinnick’s. The only thing that did occur was that grieving family and friends had the added stress of having to potentially endure the WBC losers wrecking their final moments with their loved one.
Hopefully that was abated somewhat with the remarkable showing of support, from motorcycle clubs, the community, and as many people who answered the call to be the human shield this morning in Lawrenceville as there could be. That the WBC didn’t show up then became immaterial…instead, the showing of support was the thing, and hopefully the family took heart from all of it.
Rest in peace, Trevor….the community who supports you watched over your family and friends today, showing what really mattered in the whole thing.
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