Sioux City Organizers Prepare for Westboro Demonstrations - Siouxland News - KMEG 14 and FOX 44

Sioux City Organizers Prepare for Westboro Demonstrations


Members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church are coming to Sioux City Monday.

And some people in the community are organizing a response.

Many people believe the Westboro group promotes hatred and bigotry.

And they don't want that to be the only message the public sees when church members show up at East High and City Hall Monday to protest the appointment of Scott Raasch to the city's human rights commission.

Before he became a member of the commission, Raasch wrote a Facebook posting that was highly critical of a local minister and his church, calling them "haters and bigots" because they oppose gay marriage.

Wednesday night, the Siouxland Pride Alliance hosted a meeting to plan something proactive, something that will protect their interests and the interests of the community.

Reporters weren't allowed into the meeting. But, Siouxland News did talk to some of the people who were going in and coming out.

The leaders of Siouxland Pride Alliance hosted the open forum at the First Unitarian Church with several goals: protecting the community and responding to discrimination.
"Their message is hate of all types. They believe in only one thing and their way is the only way and I believe that we have a diverse city here, so I believe everyone has a right," said Kathy Plucker, who attended the meeting.
Like Kathy, many others agree and they say that the group isn't welcomed here.
"I think I know what they're doing. They're getting all the media hype. They're making themselves infamous and that's a tactic to get to where they want to be," said attendee Nicole Verschoor.
Nicole says this meeting was different from Westboro's tactics and that's why the gathering was closed to media to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the community and its best interests.

Other forms of counter protest are also in the making.

One local shop owner is receiving orders throughout the nation for T-shirts against the group's visit to Sioux City.
"Somebody asked us to do one for their husband's in the military and they wanted one for the Westboro Baptist Church. So the first one we did was Sioux City supports their military and since then we've done equality and everything people really care about that they're fighting against," said Sara Rehan, shop owner.

Their passion and principles are exactly what people told us tonight they're fighting for.

Sioux City will just have to wait until Monday to find out exactly what it is.


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