Anti-Trans Bus Transitions To Philly
| Mar 31, 2017 2:34 pm
(14) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author
Posted to: LGBTQ, Transportation
New Haven finally had its encounter Friday with an anti-LGBTQ “free speech” bus — and it ended practically as soon as it began.
Since last Friday the city has been gearing up for the arrival of the bus, which is festooned with anti-transgender-rights messages and funded by conservative political groups. Its operator drives into cities to spread its message.
After opponents broke a windshield and sprayed graffiti on the bus in New York, New Haven officials started planning for potential trouble when the bus made its planned stop here during an East Coast tour. Last Friday officials met in the Emergency Operations Center at 200 Orange St. to plot strategy to avoid trouble, while local LGBTQ rights activists geared up for counterprotests.
The bus —- with the claim that “boys are boys ... and always will be” emblazoned on its flank — was scheduled to arrive here last Sunday afternoon. It didn’t show up. Local pro-trans-rights demonstrators held a rally in its stead.
Then it was believed to be on its way Tuesday. It didn’t show. Protesters did again. One hundred strong.
The bus finally did make a brief stop Friday afternoon on Elm Street. Police arrived at the scene, expecting to find protesters, according to Assistant Chief Otoniel Reyes, who oversees patrol.
Instead, they saw only the bus. The driver asked the cops for an escort to the highway so it could head to its next stop in Philadelphia. Officers in two squad cars complied, leading the bus down Elm Street to State to Union Avenue, then over to the Sargent Drive I-95 entrance on Long Wharf.
Along the way, they noticed a big U-Haul truck behind the anti-LGBTQ bus. At first the cops figured the U-Haul was connected to the “Free Speech” bus. But the bus driver phoned the sergeant handling the escort, Wilfredo Cruz, to let him the U-Haul on its tail “is not with us,” Reyes said.
In fact the U-Haul had a large tarp on its side with the message: “TRANSPHOBIA OUT OF CT.”
The Free Speech bus made it onto I-95, the U-Haul in hot pursuit. The cops phoned the state police to let them know the two-vehicle debate convoy was heading toward Fairfield County.
And New Haven’s brush with the latest Divided America political drama came to an end.
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posted by: Bill Saunders on March 31, 2017 2:42pm
Saw a lot of Facebook posts of New Haveners extending their middle fingers toward the bus…..
As the Supreme Court has ruled, The Bird IS Free Speech.
I also love the way the protest banner confused even the cops as being part of the message…
posted by: katayers on March 31, 2017 4:06pm
Reed Miller et al
I am impressed and delighted with your U-Haul strategy.
Nice work. Sent them packing :)
posted by: LorcaNotOrca on March 31, 2017 7:35pm
posted by: Jones Gore on March 31, 2017 9:25pm
funny..neither are wanted in New Haven…keep it moving.
posted by: Bill Saunders on March 31, 2017 9:25pm
Who sez anyone was against you here, Reed.
I am happy that you took the input and used it to turn the apple cart on it’s end.
Anger is just the first step in the distillation process.
I am glad that you listened to the ‘opposing voices’ to improve your protest strategy.
Great Kudos and a Great Success.
(ps…. I would like to see a montage of those Middle Finger Pictures I have been seeing on Facebook—there is some genuine artistry and spirit in those ‘photogs’ I have seen)
posted by: Bill Saunders on March 31, 2017 10:10pm
In the History and Sympathy Department—
In my younger days I had a drag persona named Little Miss Mess-Up. She did all kinds of things—played in a punk rock band, ran for Mayor of New Haven, hosted a Reality TV show, made Art, cause Necessary Trouble…....
I remember one time, I was driving a Portuguese Punk Rock Band (77) on their East Coast Tour. In Newark, Delaware, we hooked up with the March for the Americas (a march for immigrant rights), and played in their Parade. When we were driving around Newark, the Police obviously didn’t like my shoutings at public, and escorted our van to the end of town and told us not to come back…... Wow…. Jim Crow Shit for Dresses!!!!!
This was in the late nineties,before any of these gender politics really made it into the public forum the way it is today.
It wasn’t an action about sexuality or lifestyle for me, but a direct protest against the idea of ‘acceptance’—who can ‘do’ and ‘be’ what based on the perception of appearance. Other people took it different ways. It is impossible to manage other peoples perceptions….
Some people embraced it fully, others uncomfortable, a rarer few pent on direct violence (and you can see that in their eyes). I fully know that there is a power behind that mask. It is great to feel beautiful!
But I also think that we are nowliving in a world where ‘means’ can create ‘fantasy’, that ‘fantasy’ can actually be actualized,—I think that is part of the high suicide rate for post-ops…..these are all difficult choices that have potentially difficult outcomes….and it is all personal uncharted territory—to say it isn’t doesn’t acknowledge the complexity of the issue.
In the end, I think characterizing ‘hate’ is a difficult, unserving end.
In end most hate winds up being fear, indoctrination, and lack of real experience.
I would have loved to see an interview with the solitary bus driver.
Is he ‘on the bus’ or just cashing a paycheck from zealots?
posted by: Timothy G. ORourke Jr. on April 1, 2017 6:00am
Regarding your True Vote selection of seek conversation, how do you seek conversation with one who you have already labeled as a bigot? Will he not think that you are the bigot?
posted by: Bill Saunders on April 1, 2017 7:37pm
In the end, I still don’t know how and why the Police were involved to ‘escort’ this Bus out of town…...
I can’t see that their presence violated any statute.
That really seems problematic to me on a Constitutional Level.
Serious food for thoughts, folks, while every is feeling good about this Pyrrhic Victory.
[Paul: The bus driver asked the police for the escort.]
posted by: Bill Saunders on April 1, 2017 7:55pm
I also wonder if and when ‘paid speech’ is going to stop getting protected under the auspices of being ‘Free’. The 14th Ammendment needs to stop enabling Corporations as having Citizen’s Rights…otherwise we are going to have a Corporation for President some day soon….
posted by: Bill Saunders on April 1, 2017 7:58pm
My Final Note—
Isn’t it weird that these intelligent design-based science deniers are finally acknowledging a little bit what they were taught in High School Biology?
posted by: Katargyna on April 2, 2017 8:56am
I like the uhaul idea.
posted by: robn on April 2, 2017 10:24am
Emoticon middle finger to the hate bus…
Little Miss Mess Up for Town Clerk!
posted by: Bill Saunders on April 2, 2017 7:31pm
Town Clerk would spell Bureaucratic Death for LMMU…....
posted by: Bill Saunders on April 3, 2017 12:05am
Just goes to show, Actions speak Louder than Labels…...