July 26th, 2010
Reader Lindoro Almaviva has provided this first hand report of the National Organization for Marriage rally and the counter protest.
NOM had a “good day” here in Indy compared to the abysmal attendance that has plagued their tour. Bill Browning and I counted about 37-40 people who came in to Support NOM, in contrast, the count for Marriage equality supporter rose to about 200-225 (someone said 250) .
Maggie was the main speaker and it is my understanding that Bill Browning has a video of the whole thing, he told me once it is up on YouTube he will send you the link.
For the most part, there were no incidents except for the same guy who comes to the side of the protesters to incite them and throw insults. A couple of people engaged him (which I am sure they will use to support their victim status) but that was it. Latter during lunch I head that he shoved some lady, but did it in a way that the police didn’t see him and the lady was asked to move. I guess it is OK for them to shove people around but not Ok for us to protest them, the ironies of the world.
The counter protesters were a rowdy bunch. They consistently drowned the speakers with the usual chants of “We want marriage equality”, No equality no peace” and the such, but also they shouted slogans like “We love you NOM” and “Welcome to Indianapolis.” Interestingly enough, while there were about 7-10 police officers walking around, there were no fences to separate both crowds. For the most part, those os us with Cameras and even some people with signs co-mingled with those attending the rally. Except for the shoving incident (which I didn’t see) there was no incident to speak about, just the usual remark like “even the protesters showed up to our rally” to which the protesters responded to “we want you to see what a real majority looks like.”
After the rally was over, people attending it left the area like someone committed a party foul while the people attending the counter demonstration stayed and held an actual protest demanding marriage equality, we also had a photo op at the bus (seems like the bus is becoming more of a celebrity than the speakers in the tour) and needless to say, the chant of “Move that bus!” was quite popular (Thank you Ty Pennington!).
Later on, I was talking to someone and we were saying how interesting it is that NOM has spent thousands of dollars and spent months preparing, promoting and booking venues for this tour for no one to show up, yet a small page put by someone on FaceBook in Indianapolis grew to over 3000 invitations and over 200 attendees in a matter of days. We were saying that it will be impossible to claim this tour has been anything else than a complete failure. We were also wondering if NOM, in booking these stops on weekdays, were trying to show how powerful their message is because they thought at the sight of a stop in their city, people would sacrifice their lunch hours or schedule a day off from work just to be at the rally; only to be confronted with the fact that people are NOT leaving work, or their homes, or their lunch hour to come and hear their message. I personally wonder what is going on in their staff meetings and how they are spinning the situation to volunteers and staffers who are questioning where the crowds went.
I’m trying to download some pictures and will add them when I succeed.
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