ZombieLaw Returns with Zombie Tango, Protests and Counter-protests – UCSF, Westboro & Chick-Fil-A
I’m Baaaack. It was a wonderful vacation but I definitely missed blogging about zombies. It’s a fun hobby (/obsession). No one donated money while I was gone, but that’s ok, I’ll resume anyway. There were lots of great zombie references while I was gone and I will try to catch up with the best of them asap (for example Paul Krugman again, July 25: “Zombie Straw Men” about economic disinformation – and also Zombie Olympics coverage because the live blogs are delayed).
Notably, my hiatus was bookended by two interesting zombie protests. First when I left, July 18: “‘Zombie’ students protest at U.C. regents meeting in San Francisco“:
about 30 student protesters -– some wearing zombie-like makeup — staged a theatrical demonstration against rising levels of student debt and the specter of a tuition hike if the November ballot measure for a tax increase fails.
They carried signs proclaiming, in full pun mode, “Rise of the Living Debt.” And at one point, they turned on music of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and briefly did some zombie dance steps from that famous video atop chairs
And yesterday, in time for my return: “Westboro Baptist Church Military Protest Countered By Zombie Demonstrators” :
A Westboro Baptist Church protest was overshadowed Friday when demonstrators dressed as zombies gathered at a DuPont, Wash. military base to counter the radical group’s efforts
The article points out that counter-protests against Westboro’s anti-homosexual protests are becoming somewhat popular but this is apparently the first zombie-counter-protest of the group. See also ABC: “Westboro Church Protesters Confronted By Zombies”
I am not sure what zombies have to do with Westboro’s protest of this Seattle military base, but then again no one is really sure why Westboro was protesting that particular base. They have a habit of protesting military funerals so maybe the zombies fit into that part of the theme(?). Either way, the zombies here seem to be standing up for homosexual (minority) rights or just against noxious speech. Either way, it seems related to the flap in Boston about Chick-fil-A and corporate money spent supporting “family values” advocacy, See “Chick-fil-A sandwiches become a political symbol“.
Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay position is not a new issue and its resurfacing may be more to do with flap about the Citizens United decision than gay politics per se. As with Westboro, the question is really: should there be the limits on group speech that are different than individual speech?
The Supreme Court has said no. And I am also reminded of the SCOTUS decision in the People vs. Larry Flynt (Hustler v Falwell) about the supremacy of free speech over claim of emotional distress (as regards public figures). But maybe that’s just because I recently rewatched that movie on VH1.
Protests and counter-protests (and particularly parody protests) make this country great; even if they are disgusting. Hooray for free speech; for protests and counter-protests. Because it takes two to tango and zombies love a good dance party. ZombieLaw is back, so let’s Zombie Tango!