Alert 7 to Participants

April 18, 2005

Dear Friends,

Next week you’ll be packing your bags for an exciting journey. Together, we will face one of the most powerful and influential sources of discrimination against our families. Registrations for this event are at an all time high and folks are coming in from at least 26 states to do justice with us! Where else can you go and make a difference while eating a hotdog with your kids and listening to powerful speakers and musicians?

Later this week you will be able to go towww.soulforce.org and write a personal note to James Dobson about the way antigay rhetoric like his has hurt you or someone you love.

A few things . . .

About Parking: The Picnic and Rally will take place in the closed street just in front of Focus on the Family headquarters in north Colorado Springs. We do not have any designated parking; however it is believed that there will be plenty of parking available since it is an office district and a Sunday. You may want to arrive a bit early, so that you have plenty of time to walk to the rally site. Just listen for the music and look for the covered stage and balloons.

About Food: Beginning at 12:30 there will be a stand selling hotdogs, burgers, chicken sandwiches and cold drinks. You are also welcome to bring your own picnic.

About "Necessities": There will be porta-potties and at least one will be wheelchair accessible.

Next week we will send you some last minute details, including the weather forecast. For now, the most important thing you can do is to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Training Saturday night, April 30 (6pm) or Sunday morning, May 1 (10:30am) is encouraged as part of this preparation. However, we highly recommend that you spend some time getting ready before you arrive.

It’s possible that some counter-protestors will be present with ugly signs and even uglier words. The media will be watching and it is imperative that we control our anger, ignore counter-protestors, and show the world that we are peaceful, loving people.

While writing about the fact that nonviolence does not come naturally, Walter Wink says:

“We have not been prepared for it through millions of years of conditioning . . . We do not come to these things by virtue of a sunny disposition but by conversion, practice, imagination, and risk. Nonviolent training needs to become a regular and repetitive component of every change-oriented group’s life; it is not a last minute strategy that can be donned at will like an asbestos suit . . ."

The speakers are guaranteed to be powerful and the music inspiring . . . but it’s our smiling faces and the laughter of our children that will show the world (through the media) the truth about our lives.

I look forward to the moment when we surround Focus on the Family and through our loving presence confront the “Mountain of Misinformation” called Focus on the Family.

See you soon!

Jeff Lutes,
Co-Chair, Colorado Springs Direct Action

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