"Refusing and Resisting the Religious Right" Chicago, Monday, August 26, 1996 Jay Sand email@example.com Castigating the Religious Right for practicing "the politics of cruelty," the activist organization Refuse and Resist angrily protested the Christian Coalition's Hallelujah-heavy, politico-religious gathering this afternoon in Chicago's Field museum. Nearly a hundred protesters from "Love and Rage," a national anarchist collective, and anarchist youth from the Active Resistance anti-convention taking place here from August 21-31, joined Refuse and Resist in lambasting the Christian Right for its "racist, sexist, anti-gay" agenda. Protesters met members of the Christian Coalition as they gathered for a prayer/rally before their event. Coalition members occupied the top steps of the South entrance to the museum and the demonstrators, separated from their nemeses by a wall of police, yelled up to them from the sidewalk, "Shame! Shame! Shame!" Soon a veritable foot race began between those at the top of the steps, those at the bottom and the police who stood between them, around the East side of the building to enter through the North doors. Protesters and Coalition members met face to face on the Northern steps as police held them an arms-length apart. The exchanges were heated. "Pro Life remains a lie," the protesters chanted, "you don't care if women die!" Christians returned, "You'll lose your soul," "Go back to Lincoln Park" and "Jesus loves you." One grayed man in a pale green shirt pointed his finger damningly at the protesters and yelled, "Fool! Fool! Fool! Fool! Queer! Fool!" Approximately twenty-five police stood between the groups as the wholly white, suit-wearing, self-satisfied Christians, hair cropped close and fully made-up for an audience with Ralph Reed, met the mainly white, bedraggled, tattooed, dreadlocked and long-haired protesters. Chicago police arrested one bible-waving Coalition member when he refused to vacate the protesters' side of the steps. Police cuffed him and placed him in the paddy wagon as demonstrators yelled, "Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Born Agains, go away!" In a way the protesters formed a coalition of their own outside the museum as members of a Catholic pro-choice organization, appearing slightly self-conscious of their mainstream dress in the midst of a group of young, raging radicals, did interface with them enough to recognize their shared agenda. As Refuse and Resist's literature claims of their common struggle against the Christian Right, "IT'S ALL ONE ATTACK!" --------- Unofficial Countermedia Irony of the Day: the traditionally anti-evolutionist Christian Coalition members held their big DNC event in a museum that has featured dinosaur and "early man" exhibits. Hmmm.
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