Friday, April 25, 2008

Up to 100 Pro-FLDS Protestors Picket NBA Playoff Game Between The Houston Rockets And The Utah Jazz In Salt Lake City

Up to 100 pro-FLDS protestors showed up at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Thursday April 24th, 2008 to picket during Game Three of the NBA playoff between the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz. Full story from the Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune, KUTV Channel 2, KSL Channel 5, and KTVX Channel 4 (KTVX and KSL report 100 protestors, other media outlets 50-60).

Update: On April 25th, I found a story posted by the Houston Chronicle presenting the Texas perspective. The story itself is no problem - it's legit. But what Utahns need to look at are the comments appended to the story. Most of the comments are extremely derogatory towards Utah; one commenter says they should "bomb Utah, accidentally of course". These are the type of comments coming from people who claim to be fellow Americans. Texans are fascists.

KTVX news video embedded below:

The protestors believe Texas authorities have mishandled the raid an subsequent legal proceedings that have led to the placement of more than 400 children into foster care. They also voiced concern over FLDS children and their separation from parents. The group also called for the cancellation of games between the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets until the children are returned to their parents.

The protestors chanted "Shame on Texas, Free the Kids". One protestor, Bonnie Whitmill of Salt Lake City, circulated a petition among the protesters demanding Texas return the children to their parents. Some protesters waved signs that overlaid swastikas on the Texas flag and accused the state of stomping out "religious freedom", abd even likened the situation in Eldorado, Texas to the Jim Crow civil rights era and the Holocaust.

Bob Breeze, the Salt Lake defense attorney who organized the rally, said the Texas court has trampled the rights of the FLDS members by not handling each case and allegation of abuse individually. Breeze, who used to work juvenile cases as an attorney, said he has "seen the tyranny" of the Department of Child and Family Services. "They have the power to destroy lives", he said.

KTVX spoke with some basketball fans, and some seemed indifferent or even hostile to the plight of the FLDS members, while others said they agreed with protestors. Another protest is being planned for Saturday evening outside EnergySolutions Arena before Game Four of the Rockets-Jazz series. By the way, Houston hung on to nip Utah 94-92; Jazz lead in the series now just 2 games to one.

The ongoing petition has now been closed out, with 2,226 signatures. Connor Boyack, who organized the petition campaign, suggests some follow-up actions HERE.

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