On Monday, June 24, Peter Singer made an appearance at a
restaurant in Philadelphia. His host was a well-known "progressive"
in Philadelphia. Disability activists in the area let us know that
they planned a protest and we sent a flyer for the planned protest.
I thought the emerging US response to Singer from disability
activists might be of interest to people on this list.
Below is a message from Philly activist Erik von Schmetterling,
describing the protest:
I just wanted you to know that twenty-five Philly ADAPT members,
who are also a part of Not Dead Yet, showed up to "greet"
Peter Singer on Monday evening. He was at the White Dog Cafe,
as you know. This was to be a dinner reception, followed by an
address from him at a near-by University of Penn lecture hall.
We had both front and back entrances to the cafe covered;
everyone who entered, as well as, those just passing by, were
leafletted. We used your flyers that you sent, along with two
others of our own and passed out all of them.
We spoke with the restaurant's owner, Judy Wicks, who is a
very progressive type, known well in Philly for her philanthropy
and support of activism, in general. She responded that she
didn't invite Singer because of the views for which we were
protesting, but for his animal rights position. Jimmi Shrode
explained to her that one can't begin to really understand
ANIMAL rights until one totally supports the rights of their
OWN species, i.e. Human Rights! Erik told her that you
can't section out what people say, you have to take the
person in their totality -- for example, Hermann Goering
(a noted Nazi) supported the German Wildlife Fund, yet history
remembers him in a very negative way because he not only
supported the Nazis, he benefitted from their "work" and was
actively involved in advancing the Holocaust!
Judy Wicks agreed to host us soon to showcase the Disability
Rights struggle and our issues. Contact info was exchanged
and we will set this up in the near future. We thought this was
an important win because it would give us good exposure to
other activists and to potential donors to support our work.
Judy's daughter who is a young activist herself became so
inflamed with Singer that she refused to sit with him, as was
planned, and stayed outside with us. We chanted and had
our ADAPT clappers, making lots of noise. The University
of Pennsylvania police tried to harrass us, but we didn't relent
or cave in to their intimidation -- we've been harrassed before
by the best of 'em, including Federal Marshalls, FBI, State
Troopers, etc., etc. The weather was hot and humid, complete
with a summer thunderstorm and drenching downpour. Still,
we remained, and chanted, holding our now soggy signs high.
We arrived on the spot at 5:00 p.m. and stayed until after
9:00 p.m. It was quite a statement to our determination and
presence of purpose.
We not only "greeted" Singer but were still there when he left.
He gave us one of those "nervous" smiles -- it was quite obvious
that he was not pleased. That made our night!
Though we chose not to be outrite confrontational (blocking doors,
etc.), our presence was a very powerful statement unto itself.
A few of the "progressives" were so totally unnerved by so many
cripples around and that they had to walk "through" us! We did
manage to talk with lots of people, though, and shamed many
of the so-called "activists" who came out in attendance; because
of us, some of them changed their dinner plans and turned away.
Those folks were applauded.
Just thought you'd like to know the outcome of our "venture." Take
care and WE'RE NOT DEAD YET! We are the Resistance! As the
Free French said, so many years ago, "VIVA LA RESISTANCE!"
Erik von Schmetterling,
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