Fayette County: A Community For All
October 26, 2002
Photos by Vivian Stockman
Page 1 (Photos/Text)
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When supporters of Rev. Matt Hale of the World Church of the
Creator asked for it, the Town of Fayetteville had to grant them a
permit to hold a rally in downtown Fayettevilletheres this
little thing called Free Speech. But no one in Fayette County had to
support their message of hatred and intolerance.
The WV Rainbow Coalition, a member group of the Southern
Appalachian Labor School (SALS), John David of SALS, Paul Sheridan
with the WV Attorney
Generals office and Fayette County activists Dr. Dan Doyle,
Linda Stein and Doug and Sally Hurst came up with a plan, based on
ideas from Not in
Our Town and the Southern
Poverty Law Center. They enlisted the help of many other folks,
talking with store keepers, ministers, and school and government
officials to request support.
The idea was to hold A Community for All event in a Fayetteville
park, at the same time as the gathering of hate-mongers took place on
the other side of town.
The group came up with a resolution, a
poster and a press
release about the event. Fayette county shopkeepers were asked
to display the poster, and the Fayette County Commission signed the
resolution. Also signing the resolution were the Plateau Action
Network, the West
Virginia Education Association, schools, churches and others.
The event was a great success. Attendees at A Community for All
outnumbered the hate groups showing by 3 to 1with many of the
people over at the hate-show being curious onlookers or hecklers, many
of whom who found Hales message repulsive. Hatred is such a bad
Hale and Co.'s jaunt into Fayette County backfired. Fayette
Countians rose up to let all of West Virginia know Fayette County is A
Community For All!
The Brown Family of Montgomery. W.Va., opens the event with
lilting gospel songs.
Marcus Wilkes from the WV Rainbow Coalition leads the crowd in
Dr. Dan Doyle speaks with a reporter from WOAY-TV.
A member of the Brown Family speaks as a photographer from the
Beckley paper records the event.
The crowd listens to author Denise Giardina as she reads from a
passage about union organizing from her novel Storming Heaven.