Thursday, December 4, 2008

Laramie Project Demonstration a Great Success

On Friday, November 28th, a large peaceful demonstration was held on Commercial Drive to promote "The Laramie Project". A high-quality video of the event can be viewed here. The Laramie Project is a play written by Mois├ęs Kaufman discussing the brutal 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay student attending the University of Wyoming at the time. The demonstration was held in response to threats from the Westboro Baptist Church, a group from Kansas infamous for attending the memorial services of queer men and women and creating disruptions as a way of expressing their disapproval of homosexuality.

Although the group was not allowed passage through the border because of their affiliation with hate crimes, the demonstration was still held out of recognition that intolerance still exists in both Canada and the United States. The group of hundreds of supporters gathered together in Grandview Park in the rain to discuss the complex questions of social equity and to celebrate that works such as The Laramie Project are able to be performed.

The Carnival Band was invited to perform at this important event due to its long history as advocates of nonviolent protest. The band played several sets of music, adding levity and building unity among the crowd which assembled from all over the lower mainland and included as many straight as gay supporters.

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