Tuesday, June 9, 2009

At the Anchorage Assembly Meeting on Civil Rights

Anchorage and Mat-Su Valley fundamentalist churches bussed in well over a hundred kids to the Anchorage Assembly meeting this evening. They are considering - for the third time in 34 years - a civil rights ordinance that prohibits discrimination against LBGTQs and military personnel.

There were a few hundred people who signed up to testify. When we left at about 8:20 p.m, the Assembly had announced that they will continue taking testimony from those who had signed up already, at next Tuesday's meeting.

The assembly chambers and the adjoining Willa Marston Theater were packed, and there were still about 350 or more people outside.
The kids, some less than ten, were mostly without parents. They were sort of clumped together, perhaps by congregation, or by home schooling support group. Dozens of adults were taking pictures of the kids, some encouraged by the Christianist adults around the youngsters. I took about 70 photos. Here are a few. The first six are of some of the kids. The last two are of Mrs. Alaska, as she prepared to parade some of the kids through the demonstrators, and then as she paraded them.

34 comments:

justafarmer said...

those pictures are...
well, I'm speechless.
Do these children really have any idea about what they are protesting?

clark said...

the short answer is NO. it's amazing to me how politically segregated the city of anchorage and the state of alaska has become. they had to bus these red shirts in from mat-su because they probably couldn't find enough anchorage people to participate in such a charade.
you can see the geographical divide in the electoral map of the stevens-begich '08 race. north and east anchorage, downtown, midtown, spenard/turnagain are all solidly democratic and have been for a long time. the republicans are being pushed further south and southeast. similar situation in fairbanks.
a lot of the outmigration from anchorage to mat-su in the '90s was parents who didn't want left wingers influencing their elementary and pre-teen age kids. that's completely why palin was the first governor to not move her family to juneau after she was elected.

GreatGrey said...

One of the speakers at the assembly, and now in one of your pics... where did they come up with "special rights"?

It's called equal rights.

Philip Munger said...

justafarmer,

According to testimony at the hearing, and comments I overheard from kids, some of them didn't even know why they had been brought by bus to Anchorage.

GreatGrey said...

a lot of the outmigration from anchorage to mat-su in the '90s was parents who didn't want left wingers influencing their elementary and pre-teen age kids. that's completely why palin was the first governor to not move her family to juneau after she was elected.

That and they didn't want to pay property taxes in ANC, but were willing to spend as much or more in gasoline commuting to/from town in their F-350 trucks.

Blue_in_AK said...

And don't you wonder how many of these kids are gay? How messed up would that be, after being indoctrinated like this? I don't understand this hate.

Philip Munger said...

GreatGrey,

I've lived in Palmer or Wasilla since 1983. When I realized I was mostly going to be working i Anchorage, I got a diesel Rabbit. I now drive a diesel Golf, and would get a Prius, if I could afford it.

I've taught or coached or worked in scouting with a lot of kids just like these I observed with the camera. They're really good kids, mostly.

I'm sure the kids in Jonestown and in Waco were as good as these kids.

GreatGrey said...

Phil,

Good on you for the diesel Rabbit. Just a shame more valley folks don't think like you.

Look around ANC and see how many huge trucks you can see in the daytime without IM stickers. To me that's a dead give away for valley commuter.

clark said...

yeah GG, that worked out well until $4/gal gas in '08. notice it's creeping back up again.
a guy i worked with 20 yrs ago once told me what it was like to live in palmer and work in anchorage. by the time he got home at night, his two young daughters would likely be asleep. and when he got up at 5:30 to get ready to leave again they were still sleeping. he wasn't there to hear their first word or see them take their first step. he bought new tires two or three times a year and had 140,000 miles on a four year old car.
not for me. i leave my cars in the driveway most days and bike to work.

funkalunatic said...

These are some pretty devastating photographs.

Philip Munger said...

funkalunatic,

I'm beginning to realize that our visual documentation of what is going on with the passionately Biblical Right here in Alaska needs to be documented far better than our bloggers are capable of doing it.

Frustrating, to say the least.

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

These pics! I'm speechless, bringing the KIDS into this? Just like GINO use the kids as political props!
When will you know, what the decision is?
I'm not surprised them busing them in from the churches. That is what they were doing on Prop 8 here in cali. Buses of churches come with signs and set up camp on streets and walk.
The Religious right they just make me sick!

Anonymous said...

Ironic - aren't the republicans supposed to be to the right?

and yet they march under a red flag the symbol of Socialism - did they sing the song that goes with it?

"The Red Flag"

The people's flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts blood dyed its every fold.

Then raise the scarlet standard high. (chorus)
Within its shade we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.

Look round, the Frenchman loves its blaze,
The sturdy German chants its praise,
In Moscow's vaults its hymns are sung
Chicago swells the surging throng.

It waved above our infant might,
When all ahead seemed dark as night;
It witnessed many a deed and vow,
We must not change its colour now.

It well recalls the triumphs past,
It gives the hope of peace at last;
The banner bright, the symbol plain,
Of human right and human gain.

It suits today the weak and base,
Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place
To cringe before the rich man's frown,
And haul the sacred emblem down.

With heads uncovered swear we all
To bear it onward till we fall;
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim,
This song shall be our parting hymn.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Alaska ought to be ashamed of herself, as should the rest of the hate-filled adults who put their clueless kids in the middle of this meeting. The religious "right" is definitely the religious "wrong" here. WWJD? Jesus certainly would not have behaved in this abhorrently hateful way toward fellow human beings. Twisted, twisted, twisted.

Anonymous said...

Those photos remind me of Hitler's youth camps. Indoctrinate into hate while young...

Anonymous said...

did she really wear her tiarra ?

lololol....scary

Anonymous said...

Mostly I'm sad for those gay kids who are in the wondering/questioning stage of trying to figure out who they are. One of these pictures speaks volumes. This is why my heart skips and my shields go up when someone tells me they are a christian. Based on experience, I assume they are like these folks until I see what they really do.

prevo and his ilk need to lose their tax exempt status. And I pray that the probably truth about prevo come out. One can't hate that much without a lot of latent (or not ) tendencies and behaviors going on. He's far too defensive.

jtinak said...

I want to know why he still has tax exempt status, that's what I want to know.

And what is he going to do next? He seems very militant.

jtinak said...

Prevo I mean.....

akmiffin said...

And just where was Mr. Prevo??? I did not see him there.

mlaiuppa said...

Nothing like a bunch of brain washed teenagers in red shirts to make it look like you have numbers. Of course, they can't vote. Sieg Heil!

How about wearing green shirts and picketing with signs that say: "If you have blue eyes, you can't vote." "No apartments for blondes." "White men need not apply." and see how that goes over?

I'm selling my 2005 Prius. Of course, you'd have to come to San Diego to pick it up.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of my childhood, growing up in an Talivangelical "Christian" Church in the Midwest. We were shown the anti-choice film "Silent Scream," and then transported to an abortion clinic and given anti-choice signs to wave.

It is truly a form of child abuse. It exploits the enthusiasm and energy of children/young people to act as representative spokespeople for issues they do not fully comprehend.

KaJo said...

Phil said, "According to testimony at the hearing, and comments I overheard from kids, some of them didn't even know why they had been brought by bus to Anchorage."

They were all carrying signs. Could none of them read, and ask questions what those messages were supposed to mean?

One answer might be: They did later, amongst themselves, without benefit of adult reproach, possibly vindictive in nature ("you're grounded for a year!").

Another might be, if the grim faces on some of those kids pictured in your photos, Phil, were any indication: They were warned not to.

mlaiuppa said...

"Don't discriminate with special rights."

Huh?

How would they feel about a sign (modified from Blazing Saddles): "We'll take the homos and the trans but we won't take the military."?

It's par for the course for minors to be recruited to pad the numbers for protesting things they have no concept of. Of course they don't know the issues or why they're there. That's why I ignore children. Especially when they aren't even with their parents. And whoa to any organizer if a kid is there without the parents knowledge or consent.

Anonymous said...

social conservative are why I don't vote republican. Take it from:

"James Dobson says he's helpless in culture wars"

Alaska is so 1990

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson told his radio audience that they're politically helpless and that he won't encourage them to offer opposition to the hate crimes bill recently passed by the House. "I want to tell you upfront that we're not going to ask you to do anything, to make a phone call or to write a letter or anything," he said. U.S. News & World Report (05/14)

Anonymous said...

a tiarra and red Tshirt, acting officially as a pagent winner...?


LOL

and folks make jokes of Wasilla's homegrown dress code...

Anonymous said...

Hitler's Youth

Anonymous said...

zombie kid transformation

AKPetMom said...

How many of those red shirt kids are truly gay and are fighting it? Chances are more than a few of them desire same sex relationships but are caught in a christian hell that will never allow them to be happy as they are.

I'm constantly amazed that who a person chooses to have sex with incites so much anger and activism on each side of the issue.

I'm happy that the bible stays out of my bedroom!
Now if we could just manage to separate church and state we'd all be much happier and relaxed.

AKPetMom said...

How many of those red shirt kids are truly gay and are fighting it? Chances are more than a few of them desire same sex relationships but are caught in a christian hell that will never allow them to be happy as they are.

I'm constantly amazed that who a person chooses to have sex with incites so much anger and activism on each side of the issue.

I'm happy that the bible stays out of my bedroom!
Now if we could just manage to separate church and state we'd all be much happier and relaxed.

Anonymous said...

Are people calling Harley Davidson and letting them know that they don't appreciate them sponsoring a pageant where the queen uses her title to bash another group? Are there any gay Hog owners, or does the brand mostly appeal to religious red necks? (I think it wouldn't be happy.)

Philip Munger said...

There are a lot of gay Harley users. I know a few, and they love their Hogs just like the next Harley owner.

Anonymous said...

To all of you that have a problem with the children being at this protest...

You need to remember that next time you have a liberal's protest because you not only drag your kids along you bring the dog, also!

little lady said...

WOW. I was raised by an authoritarian preacher, and he would have beat the living daylights out of me if I wore men's boxer briefs out of the house like the red shirt girl in the one photo. She must have some pretty cool parents to let her out of the house like that.

We should carry signs saying "If your child comes out of the closet, we'll be here to show them love and respect when you and your church throw them away."