The outpouring of support for members of the Temple community last week was a spectacular show, no matter the circumstances.
During the week of March 28, signs floated high above the heads of students, professionals and supporters alike. At Temple Hospital, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals finally went on strike, ending six months of working without a contract both TUH and PASNAP could agree on. Outside the hospital on the picket line, signs read, “Put Patients Before Profits” and “No gag rule.” A young boy dressed in khakis carried a white poster board reading, “Temple, My dad works here: FAIR contract.”
South of TUH on April 1, more than 1,000 protestors – and curious passersby – spilled over sidewalks and onto 13th Street and Montgomery Avenue outside the Student Center and outside Tomlinson Theater on the north side of Main Campus at 13th and Norris streets. The anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, a hateful group mostly made up of founder Fred Phelps’ family, was set to protest the Queer Student Union’s showing of The Laramie Project and Temple Theater’s production of Rent.
Though WBC never showed, the waiting period was a compelling scene. In the United States, groups like WBC are able to express revolting points of view, but those who disagree can take a stand, too. What makes the three or more hours protestors spent waiting for WBC members worthwhile is that people cared enough about the queer community to do so with a cup of peace and a few more cups of humor. Though some of the most comical signs aren’t appropriate for print, those in attendance witnessed how expressing hate is simply a bad joke, something the WBC is as well.
Due to an overwhelming number of comments on temple-news.com, those in support and opposition of both PASNAP’s strike and WBC’s no-show needed an outlet to share their stories and comments. Thanks for your comments. It’s not rehashing old news; it’s rehashing something positive and refreshing: seeing that people don’t have to stand alone in their efforts to communicate what they believe.