Westboro Baptist Church plans protests around Spokane this week


SPOKANE, Wash. -A much-hated church group is planning multiple picketing events around Spokane this week, including one at Gonzaga.

The Westboro Baptist Church intends to picket around Gonzaga University Thursday, Oct. 11 between 11:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., right in the middle of GU's scheduled "Interfaith Vigil for Peace" event at the Peace Poleon lawn south of College Hall from 11:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m.

According to the WBC website, they also have protests planned at the Spokane Convention Center Thursday (11-:11:30 a.m.; 5-5:45 p.m.) & Lewis & Clark High School Friday (7:30-8 a.m.).

Westboro, based out of Topeka, Kan., is an American church known for its use of inflammatory hate speech, especially against LGBT+ people, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Jews, Romani people, U.S. soldiers and politicians.

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh said in a release that the WBC is not welcome on campus and they will not permit them to picket or demonstrate on the private property that the university owns. However the official says they expect the WBC to in public rights-of-way areas.

McCulloh gave students a call to action in the letter, asking students, faculty, staff and administrators to join him in responding to the voices of fear and hatred by actively taking part in some upcoming justice-oriented events over the next week.

McCulloh advised anyone who decides to counter-protest the WBC to do so in a non-violent and legal manner while cooperating with law enforcement and campus security.

An official also suggested off-campus students in the Logan neighborhood to take caution as WBC's events could have an impact around their homes.

The WBC previously visited Spokane in 2010.

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