4
| News |

Westboro Baptist Church may have canceled protest, but DU diversity rally to go on

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

The Westboro Baptist Church canceled a protest today at the DU Hillel, one of three planned picketing sites.

However, a diversity rally to counter the WBC's message of hate, planned this evening at an undisclosed time and location, will still go on. And thanks to the no-show, details can now be shared.

According to Hillel campus director Josh Samet, the gathering is slated for 7 p.m. tonight on DU's Driscoll Green; it'll be moved to a nearby location inside if the weather doesn't cooperate.

"It's basically a rally showing that the university is diverse and united," he notes. "There'll be a few speakers -- students and possibly people around the DU community talking about diversity and what it means. And there may also be a candle-lighting."

Despite being encouraged to ignore the Westboro invasion, Samet says up to a hundred students, many with signs, showed up outside the Hillel offices just after 9 a.m. today. They were greeted by a police officer who informed them the picketing had been called off. Some students left at that point, but others stuck around and demonstrated anyhow.

Samet can only speculate about whether the Westboro protesters stayed away due to travel conditions, as they maintain, or if they steered clear because the Hillel and the Douglas County School District, which expected the WBC at this morning's Ponderosa High School graduation, encouraged simply ignoring the displays.

Whatever the case, he says the non-event has spurred communication on campus. "It's interesting how some of the best conversations come out of the toughest situations," he says.

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Top 8 Westboro Baptist Church insults against Colorado."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.