Saturday, September 03, 2005

Radical Demonstration Planned Against David Parker

Thought you'd like to see what the radical homosexual activists have planned to counter the demonstration supporting David Parker in Lexington this Tuesday evening, September 6.

The notice below is from Meg Soens (click here for her "wedding" photo), who is organizing the demonstration. She has a little website for her "Respecting Differences" front organization. (Note that the Lexington Police Dept. is listed as a supporter of her group!)

We wrote in May: "Lesbian radical activist ... Soens pops up all over town, including the Estabrook School anti-bias committee. How interesting that Soens also led a session at the infamous "Fistgate" GLSEN workshop in 2000, on how to incorporate gay and lesbian issues into an elementary school curriculum."

By the way, Meg has it wrong below about Mass. Family Institute running the rally. It is actually being organized by a grassroots group of Parker supporters. (And P.S. to Meg: You might want to check your distribution list, as MassResistance is surely not on your steering committee!) Here's what she has sent out to rally her troops:

Dear Respecting Differences steering committee friends --

I hope you all had a restful summer – and you wouldn’t be hearing from me now when summer isn’t quite yet gone if it wasn’t urgent.

We (wearing my hat as Lexington CARES co-chair) recently heard that the day after Labor Day (and the day before school starts again in Lexington) the largest statewide anti-gay political group in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Family Institute, will be holding a rally on our Lexington Green in support of David Parker and his discriminatory demands on our public schools. They will also be holding a candlelight vigil at the same time at Depot Sq., and will be holding signs and having a literature table in front of CVS and on all the corners across from the store. Looks like a saturation bombing campaign!

Mr. Parker is the Estabrook Elementary school parent who got himself arrested last April when the school officials refused to accede to his demands for “notification” and “excusing his child” that would have effectively forced the teachers and schools to make the kids of gay and lesbian headed families feel unwelcome and unsafe by sending the message that their families were bad and somehow dangerous. In other words, his demands would force the schools to discriminate against the children of gay and lesbian headed families.

Now the MFI is working with Mr. Parker to further their own broad anti-gay political agenda and intimidate local school and town officials and residents, and we need to counter their message. Lexington C.A.R.E.S., the media campaign group formed to counter the distorted messages that Parker and his right wing allies were so successfully putting out to the media, is organizing a silent counter vigil at the same time, and it makes such sense for those involved in the Respecting Differences Coalition to support and take part in this effort to bring the truth about the discriminatory demands out. To be effective, we need everyone who can make it to come and stand up for inclusive schools, and for all families in our schools. I expect that MFI will be bussin! g in people from all over the state since they have done that several times for the Constitutional Conventions recently, and we don’t need to match their numbers, but we do need a strong showing of Lexington folks to demonstrate opposition to Parker’s demands that would hurt our kids right here in our town and undermine years of commitment and work on the part of the Lexington public schools to create classrooms that are welcoming and safe for all children. If there is only one time this year when you can come out to an event in this arena, this is the one to come to.

Lexington CARES has put together a plan for a peaceful non-confrontationalsilent witness during the events : we will assemble at the town Visitor Center at 4:45 pm, (centrally located between the Green, where their rally will be held, and Depot Square, where their vigil will be held) and then walk in groups to the various MFI events to silently walk on the sidewalk with our signs. We are working with town management and safety officials to plan all this. Children are welcome, and since the rally goes from 5 pm until 7 pm you might encourage parents to bring picnics for their kids to be eaten at our gathering place, the Visitor Center. We will be behaving in the same way we did with the Phelps witness, basically silent, no interaction with the rally people. I also ask that if the press approach you, you direct them to the designated spokespeople of Lex C.A.R.E.S. who have media training and a great deal of practice getting our message about inclusive schools out there in interviews. Finally, LexCARES is asking that people not wear rainbow flags political buttons etc. to make it harder for the MFI to make it look like we are all gay and it is a gay versus straight battle. In addition, not bringing the rainbow flags underlines the fact that there is a broader principle underlying the struggle, that of treating all humans with dignity and respect, not just gay human beings.

So, please come to the Visitor Center on September 6 at 4:45, or one of our witness places after that, and please publicize our silent vigil as widely as possible. I also ask that you bring as many sympathetic people with you as possible. Personal phone calls are by far the most effective method especially given the tightness of time.

This is really a time your physical presence will make a very big difference both in terms of bearing witness to our town, and to the Boston area.

Also, if you have suggestions or reflections on this, I hope you will share them. I will be back in touch later in September about our first RD meeting for the year. I will be sending out this basic message to the entire RD list this afternoon, after time for some feedback from you. If you can call some people to come, I am copying a suggested telephone script below fyi Contact me if you can make some calls since I am coordinating the phone calling effort for LexCARES.

What else should RD do in regard to this event? A letter or commentary in the MM? A forum about the issues in October? Also, if you are individually interested in learning more about LEXCARES and perhaps joining, let me know and I will forward your email addresses to the person who is doing that piece of the work.

Thank you! And we will get together in the next few weeks to get going on Our other efforts in this town! Meg
Telephone Script for 9/6 Gathering Hi, this is . I'm calling to let you know about a rally in front of the Visitor's Center next week. You know I've been involved with Respecting Differences Coalition, the town-wide group that supports a safe and welcoming town for all of us, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. I wanted to let you know that Lexington CARES (the media campaign group that was formed to respond to the distortions and demands associated with the David Parker arrest at Estabrook School in April) has told us that on Tuesday, September 6th from 5:00 - 8:00 pm in Lexington Center, a series of events will be held to show support for David Parker. These events are being supported by the statewide group Mass family Institute, and possibly other non-Lexington activist groups. They will have a rally on the Green with speakers, a candle-light vigil in Depot Square, and a literature table in front of CVS, along with people holding signs on street corners in the Center. I know the timing is bad, but it's critically important to have a large group from Lexington there showing firm, but also silent and non-confrontational support for our schools - especially for the teachers, administrators and ALL the children who will walk into school the very next day. We're sure some media people will be there and we don't want them to walk away thinking Mr. Parker and the outside groups speak for all of us.The area in front of the Visitor's Center will be our home base; we'll have a table there with a banner and signs for anyone willing to carry one. I'd love to have you there from 5 -7 or later, if you can make it. YES? NO? NO Ok, thanks, don't hesitate to show up if your plans change. Come to the Visitor's Center.

Hesitant I don't want you to think you'll need to speak to anyone you don't know. We aren't there to argue. We just want to show, through our numbers, that the Lexington School System has the support of people in town. Even if you can only be there for an hour, I'd love to see you.YesThat's great! I'll send you an email with any more details as soon as I know them.YES, What else can I do?It would help so much if you would make some phone calls to people you know. We would rely on email, but the time is so short.- - - - - For this call we'll have to go over the Guidelines at least as far as: No engagement - don't respond to comments from Parker supporters No outward signs of political agenda (no buttons, rainbow pins, etc.) Suggestions for signs: Support Lexington Public Schools We support all our children We support all our families Welcome back to school EVERYONE
Meg Soens