Silent Witness Peacekeepers Alliance
Silent Witness Peacekeepers Alliance (SWPA) is an organization of gay and straight allies dedicated to providing a non-confrontational buffer between the LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) community and those who would protest LGBT events. We are peacekeepers, not counter-protesters, protecting everyone's right of free speech. We provide visual protection from "street preachers" and protesters at events such as Pridefests, the showing of films such as Jim in Bold and For the Bible Tells Me So, or staging of plays such as The Laramie Project, using our bodies and rainbow umbrellas as shields. In times of need, we intervene to prevent confrontations between protesters and event participants, often acting as escorts for those who would like to attend such events. Where there are those who publicly promote hate, we will be there to help provide a loving, supportive front opposing them. We provide a visual representation of support for those in our society who may feel marginalized, while simultaneously protecting everyone's rights of free speech and religion.
Silence with a Purpose
It is often a struggle to refrain from arguing with street preachers and other protestors, but based on past experience, confronting them is clearly useless. Their attempts to engage participants in a "dialogue" are thinly disguised attempts to trap unsuspecting subjects into listening to their diatribe. They are impervious to logic. And at their worst, they are trying to earn a living by provoking an attack and filing lawsuits. It is precisely this kind of result that SWPA is determined to prevent.
Please visit the Silent Witness website if you would additional information.
Co-Chairs, GLBT Concerns Committee:
Jayleen Galarza, PhD, LCSW, MEd
Social Work and Gerontology Department
Shippen Hall 333
Matthew Shupp, Ed.D
Counseling & College Student Personnel
Shippen Hall 111