Saturday, April 26, 2008
Dozens Of Pro-FLDS Protestors Picket Game Four Of The Rockets-Jazz NBA Playoff Series In Salt Lake City
Once again, dozens of pro-FLDS protestors showed up at an NBA playoff game in Salt Lake City to express their displeasure over how the FLDS people are being mistreated down in Texas. Full story reported by KSL Channel 5 and subsequently reported by KTVX Channel 4.
An estimated 40 people showed up to picket the game. While fewer than the 100 who showed up on Thursday, they were no less committed. The protesters say Texas authorities violated the civil rights of members of the FLDS church and are demanding mothers and children be reunited. The group calls itself "American Citizens". But the protest subsided by 10 P.M. Some protesters went home for the night; others had tickets to the series.
Protest organizer Bob Breeze said, "Those children need to be reunited with their parents". Dr. Lloyd Miller said, "As a Mormon, I feel it's today FLDS, tomorrow LDS. The tanks will be on Temple Square blowing that thing up and arresting everyone in the Mormon church". And Gail Chadwick said, "I just feel this is a good chance to teach them there are peaceful ways to show your support and settle issues". But group members haven't yet decided whether or not they will picket any additional games.
The majority of basketball fans walking to the game didn't pay much attention to the protesters. But some couldn't pass without sharing their opinions. Jazz fan Travis Vallejo said, "It's like they're using our cause of our team doing good, going to the playoffs, for their cause. It's not good; it's embarrassing." And when the story of the previous protest was published by the Houston Chronicle, many Texans unloaded on Utah in the comments section.
Earlier in the week, protest organizers had called for both teams to boycott the season. Today, they said they would settle for a delay of the game instead, a suggestion that doesn't sit well with fans.
Members of American Citizens haven't decided if they'll protest outside another game. They say they need to watch how the series goes then talk to one another. Most of the protestors do not support the practice of polygamy itself; they're merely concerned about the constitutional imnplications of such a mass roundup, since it's quite similar in concept to the mass roundups conducted by Josef Stalin in the old Soviet Union as well as those conducted in China during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. In his latest World Affairs Brief column, Joel Skousen expresses a similar concern.
By the way, the Jazz won the game 86-82, to take a 3-1 lead in the series.