Skip to comments.Fred Phelps FReeped at Bethesda Naval Hospital
Posted on 05/01/2006 6:47:02 AM PDT by PleaDeal
Thanks to alert FReepers who heeded the call to action, Phelps' Phreakshow did not go unopposed this Saturday at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
FReepers in attendance: Kristinn, Cindy_True_Supporter, Trooprally [Mr. and Mrs.] who brought James and Nancy, Albion Wilde, DollyCali with FReepups Josie and Toby, Wheelbarrow, BufordP, Sauropod, Helllinahandkart, Bill from MD*, Bert, Mindi (PW), IraqiKurd and friend Samir, Exit148, ProtestMania, BStein80, Laruen (PW), BillF, Hoodlum91, RockInRight, and PleaDeal.
I counted 19 members of Rolling Thunder headed by our good friend Smitty, but I think there were a few more.
The plan was to be there before the devil spawn arrived and set up our pro-Troops flags and banners. Trooprally [Mr. and Mrs.] were among the early arrivals and give this account:
We arrived on the side road off Jones Bridge Road around 11:40 AM in time to see Kristinn & BufordP on the same road getting ready to cross over Jones Bridge to the Bethesda Naval Medical Ctr. side (BNMC). A quick beep stopped them. Good thing to, because we arrived in Cindy_True_Supporter's car loaded for bear and we needed help carrying everything. We had the new MOABII, the red banner, a dozen flags and bags full of signs.
The police were already there setting up. They blocked the right turn lane on Jones Bridge Road to go north on Wisconsin Avenue. The Park Police had their mounted police unit there. The Montgomery County Police even had their riot control unit there. After the protests and counter rally started, they marched south on the west side of Wisconsin Ave., but I think you were there for that.
Photo by Trooprally
The five of us loaded up and proceeded up to the corner to cross. Imagine five of us, both arms loaded up, walking up to the intersection with staggered distances between us. As we were crossing Jones Bridge Road (From the SE corner to the NE corner) we noticed several of Phelps inbred clan on the NW corner.
We immediately located an officer to let them know that we were there. We were also immediately disappointed because of their layout for us. We were denied the ability to set up on Jones Bridge Road. Then they said that Phelps were going to be at the NE corner and we were positioned up at the main entrance, at least 700 feet north and just over the crest of Wisconsin.
|Cops, Cops and more Cops!||Six legged Cops|
Even MPs on a grassy knowl.
DollyCali getting "SWAT"ted
BufordP and I "discussed" the location with the police. My arguement about also being positioned on Jones Bridge Road so we could flank Phelps, and to be a lot closer to Phelps to counter his message, fell on deaf ears.
Maybe the police thought that BufordP was the "Good FReeper" and I was the "Bad Freeper" because BufordP won out. The police let us set up about 200 feet north of Phelps on Wisconsin Avenue.
But the police cautioned us about what would happen if we were to set foot on the other side of their newly strung yellow police tape.
Lurker Bill showed up around this time and we set up MOABII, the red banner and the flags.
Our crowd was still fairly sparse when Phelps' clan finally started their crap.
From the North flank, the several people up there held their signs towards the cars coming south on Wisconsin Avenue. This allowed the cars to know who we were.
I meet some people that came from this direction. One soldier (female in civilian clothes) from BNMC came by. I believe she was a nurse or medical person of some sort. Kristinn might know. I directed her to the flags and signs but she seemed content in just Thanking our group for being their.
Another, a Marine in civilian style camouflage shirt and jacket came by. I directed him to the signs and flags. He grabbed a sign and stayed for about half and hour.
A young couple from Gaithersburg, MD happened to learn about Phelps' demonstration on his web site. They came down to see what it was all about. Again I directed them to the signs and flags. They went and saw Phelps' group, then grabbed some signs and helped on the North flank. They also stayed for about half an hour.
A group of FReepers stayed to break down the flags. Since the police had already gone, we had Cindy_True_Supporter get her car and park where we were. Her car was loaded in 5 seconds because the six of us remaining grabbed the FR stuff and through it into her car. Then the three of us were off to Olney's FReep.
Now for the Phreaks.
Photo by Sauropod
This photo shows a man who I think may be the "Reverend". Not sure.
Anyone else see him? or can verify his presence?
These are some sick freaks. Not a lot I can add since the pics pretty much say it all.
It was a great day for a FReep, though. Lots of sun, low wind, temps in the high 60's to low 70's. There was DC Avon Walk for Breast Cancer at the same time and it was kinda eerie seeing all the pink-clad people walking right past the Phreaks and then by us on their route. I talked with a few of them while photographing the Phreaks and all of them were aghast at the phreakish behavior and signs. Bert, up from NC, couldn't help but note that we were continuously getting honks of support from the passing motorists.
Isis getting a bug's eye view
There was lots of "small time" press, including a photographer named Isis. She's an admitted "lefty" but a very nice lady, nonetheless. Check out Isis's work on her blog Isis Imagery. There was a crew from inside the hospital compound who were students and/or faculty from the military institute (can't find link to it). The leader "Terry" spent most of his time down with the Phreaks, but the others stayed and interviewed the pro-troops folks.
Christisan, Lauren and Edward came down from Messiah College in PA.
Tim, BStein80 and Evan. Evan and Tim are two OIF Vets who also joined us Friday at Walter Reed.
CTT, Kristinn and Trooprally [Mr.]
Wheelbarrow and FReepups
Trooprally [Mrs.] and Isis
Turn blocked off so traffic couldn't pass Phreaks.
Phelps Post Ping
That Phelps cultist has a flag wrapped around her/his? waist? That's rude.
Wrapped around waists, draped on the ground, and STEPPED ON! These are phreaks.
I don't know what god these people worship, but he is not God.............
Thanks for the AAR!
Does anyone have a FReep Fred Phelps ping? I would like to keep informed as toe when he will be in the DC area.
I've added you to my ping list. I don't know why I didn't do that long ago. (*sorry*)
Excerpt:< snip >Kook Kronikles : all kooks :: Fred Phelps FReeped at Bethesda Naval Hospital- Busy week for the DC Chapter posted by Soprano on 05/01/2006 at 10:10 .:. 13 times viewed .:. There are 3 replies. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1624574/posts Some very sad looking photos accompany this piece. I have not checked their signage for spelling/grammatical errors.< /snip>
Feel free to work your magic on the other images ;)
Montgomery County Sheriff/Police units assigned to the event
Laid back FReeper Wheelbarrow.....80 years young, WW II Vet
Montgomery County Riot Squad marching to designated post
FReeper Canine Corps from Cleveland
Rolling Thunder arrives with Sheriff's motor cycle officer (dismounted ) escort
Rolling Thunder Afghan Vet (most seem to be Vietnam vets)
Che is rolling over in his grave
The FReep line (The bare spot is where Rolling thunder just left)
to all who Freeped. Thank you for continuing to put your shoe leather where your hearts are.
Oh goodie! I have enthusiastically waited for the 3 threads. Yours in first & a wonderful one it is! Thank you.
I did get the "subtle hint" and will be getting mine up in groups. I dont know all the names so perhaps you can help me.
I will have my report with pix..
Or maybe he liked Buford's kind of cigar better than trooprally's????
if they check me for grammar & spelling errors, they will have fun, I am an admitted failure w/o spell check!
I am sure that Clown Posse supports our cause there at Bethesda even if they can have fun "poking at us" a little!
Poking fun? Is that what you call it?
I took the opportunity to observe the various elements and parties involved in the event at Bethesda Naval Hospital and to note the part they played.
The dedicated Freepers of the DC Chapter decided it was necessary to counter the most egregious protest mounted by the Phelps Clan. They obtained a permit and planned the event. Several Freepers from out of the area responded to the invitation to come add to the weight of the DC Chapter.
There were two primary groups involved in the days events and a host of minor groups and individuals. The Phelps group were gathered at the end of the very long block as far away from the facility gate as could be and still be adjacent to the grounds. Their permitted area was against the iron fence, on the sidewalk and extended up the street to a line drawn by the police with yellow tape across the side walk.
Up the street , nearer but not right adjacent to the gate was another yellow taped line and three officers. This line marked the Free Republic permitted area. To my eye, it appeared to be at least twice the area of the protesters.
The yellow tape demarcated the assigned areas and also restricted pedestrian traffic up and down the sidewalk. Casual walkers were directed across the street so as not to get mixed up with either of the groups. There were several people who showed up and learning what was happening picked up signs or flags and joined out FR group for a while. The opportunity was just too great to resist.
It was also important to mark off the side walk because there was an even larger group to use the side walks that beautiful Saturday. There was a Walk for Breast Cancer I believe sponsored by Avon that had many, many participants that lasted the whole time. They were directed by the police across the street to avoid both of the other groups. They were mostly all women and mostly all young women. There was a certain amount of consternation among some Freepers who were disturbed by the waving of hands and shouts of support coming from the pink clad walkers. Their path took them right by the bad guys. The shouting began at what seemed near the Phelps freaks. The approval waving and shouting continued as they past the Freep site and it was concluded that they began yelling approval as soon as they actually saw the Freep line and all the waving American flags. Their disgust with the obscene was replaced with relief and gladness when they saw all the flags and counter protest signs.
Then there was Rolling Thunder. Perhaps it is wrong not to consider them primary because there were a lot of them and the weight of their literal thunder is extremely impressive. They roared up and down the street a few times, stopping once directly in front of the bad guys and gave a fortissimo concert of full throated, ground shaking motorcycle engines. The police then told them to cease and presumably directed them to a parking place. The dismounted motorcycle cops then marched (escorted ) them across the street and up the block across from the Freep line. They then stopped traffic and allowed the Rolling Thunder brigade to cross to join us.
Another group with numerous members present was the police. Im not certain exactly who they were. I think they were Montgomery County Sheriffs officers but there were some vehicles labeled Police . They were present in Force. There were several regular officers who manned the yellow tape lines effectively preventing the opportunity for thee two demonstrating groups to converse. They also enforced the street and if someone ventured into the street for too long asked to get back on the sidewalk. There was a squad of riot police in full gear including lexan shields and batons that literally cadence marched from their assembly area to and area across the street form the Freepline. The area was chosen not because it was across from us, but because it was large enough to provide room for them all. There were some motorcycle officers who were tasked with Rolling Thunder. They dismounted and escorted the group on foot as they passed by the bad guys, crossed to the other side of the street and up to the Freep area where they crossed back across the street to join us. Across from the Phelps group was a mounted patrol of I believe three horses and riders. Some might say there was overkill. Some might say it was On the Job training. Others might and did say thanks guys.
Keeping in mind that the events took place on the street, the turf of Montgomery county, the back boundary was the iron fence, across which was the hospital, presumably a military reservation and the turf of hospital security. There was a lone hospital security SUV that patrolled the large grassy fields behind both groups. We were literally surrounded.
There was a freelance reporter there. He had been at the Walter Reed Hospital Freep the night before and was at the Correspondents dinner later Saturday as well. Im not sure of his objective but he spent a lot of time observing and interviewing Freepers. Im told his name was Kevin and a good guy.
There was a crew of 4 or 5 TV types. The arrived early on and took shots of the DC Chapter erecting banners and setting up. They then went down to get their footage of the bad guys. They didnt stay very long. They came back to the American zone and stayed the rest of the day. The arrival of Rolling Thunder and their colorful individuals provided good TV and interviews. I dont think they ere news types. I think they were doing a documentary for the Hospital.
I think there were other press people present but not major and certainly not bigtime TV.
So what was the point of it all? Was it worth all the time and energy and money?
That brings up the biggest group. These were the motorists who drove up and down the heavily traveled street. They were the primary recipients of the messages. The Phelps clan presented churlish faces and garish dayglo pink and green signs that offended both the eye and the mind. Graphic depictions of homosexual conduct are repulsive.
Freepers presented an overwhelming message of red, white and blue .. many many flags rippling in the good breeze. There were many positive signs and smiling faces. Some said Honk if and the drivers responded. There were simple toot toots and many prolonged toots. There were lots of waves and thumbs up. It would be wrong to say that all who passed were in agreement, but there were several periods when the honking was near continuous. The motorists probably did not know what the Phelps clan was protesting but the Freeper counter message was abundantly Ameican and clear There are American Troops that need to be supported.
Lastly, there were groups who were not present. There were no Bethesda Naval Hospital patients present to receive the vile message from the Phelps Clan. Given the fact their area was far from the gate it is reasonable to assume practically no one inside the fence was even aware of the event.
Most importantly there was no Media. The event went unreported. It did not clutter the TV news. The vicious antiwar media establishment in DC ignored the Phelps Clan.
There was a lesson from the Bethesda Naval Hospital Freep of June 29, 2006. The Phelps had their 15 seconds in the spotlight and that time is over. The Phelps Clan is but a very minor footnote in American History..
I saw your, ahem, "impatient" comment on Kristinn's thread and thought I'd better get the lead out! Thanks for waiting and please add all you want to this thread. :)
Thank you sooooo much for bringing the FReepups and Wheelbarrow and having a great time with us this weekend.
LOL! Another phrase (even pithier) would be "INCEST MUTANTS" or "MUTANT ZOO".
The feathers are too pretty for them, but I like the sentiment.
Question is, what are you doing checking out the Clowns? They're as sick as Phelps. Now go take a shower.
Glad to see you made it home safely. You sure brought some nice weather.
Perfect addition, Bert!
And, I heard that their spies had already posted "not so nice" things about me and this graphic! I had to see. I hope they got the message but I'm sure they are too dense for the 'real' meaning! Wanna bet how quickly this one makes it on their site? Going to take that shower now.
I am sorry for excessive finger tapping!, I am just a grapic/photo nerd & couldn't wait to see what everyone else captured on pix & what their comments were! Your thread is much more thorough than mine would have been.
guess I haven't been there enough to know.. the few times I was, I saw attempts to put various FReepers down but I also saw some defending various ones.
I would much rather be with Clown Posse people than Code Pink, Phelps Phreaks, etc. - guess everything is relative in life & I try NOT to let myself get worked up over folks who don't like me. Life is much too short. So if they want to crucify me somewhere else, so be it!
You wrote such an extensive report and ended with a great conclusion that I recommend you edit the date you mistakenly wrote, ask a mod to delete that post and repost it with the correct date - April 29.
Thanks for being there and describing your observations and insights so well.
Went over to CP. I don't normally go to their site. I don't know what their beef is with FReepers, but I have no particular animus toward them. I wish them well. There's enough lefties to go around.
To Dean Wormer: Not too much effort. Glad you liked the sign. Have a nice day!
I am glad that they agree with us about the Phelpsians. WBC must be opposed.
I had a lot of help from Trooprally [Mr. and Mrs.]. I like posting pictures a lot more than writing, too!
Arguments can be made pro and con about being up close the Phreaks. Personally I think as cars sped by they would have had trouble discerning us from the Freaks if we had been positioned right next to them. As traffic traveled northbound on Wisconsin the first thing they saw was the Freaks vile signs ... and then us. A little distance was appropriate.
I'd see if differently if I thought we could have blocked their signs from view.
BTW, JJNJ, I bummed the cigar off of TR.
.....There was a lesson from the Bethesda Naval Hospital Freep of June 29, 2006......
Actually, the lesson was learned on April 29, 2006 not June.
Bad Bert, Bad Bert.
Hey, sweetie, maybe we will all be together in DC for something on the 29th June.. ???
don't worry about it..I am still writing 19__ on checks!
I've wondered for quite a while if Phelps isn't in the closet himself. Regardless, God is watching and God doesn't approve of Phelp's actions.
thanks for representing all of us, yet again.
DC FReepers rock!
The bikers were great! But the police made them leave their motorcycles in a driveway, not far from the Phelps crowd, before they were allowed to join us -- and they had a police escort to do that!. They left just before the time limit for the protest was up so that they could protect their bikes in case the Phelpes crowd decided to do damage. But while they were with us, they were great! They chatted with our police escorts and one biker told them that they (the police) should take a 15 minute break -- that they (Rolling Thunder) would watch the place!!! LOL!
The mental image brings such a smile to my face!
Love your sign modification!!!!
DollyCali - your narrative and pics adds a lot. Thanks
Bert - Your out-of-town narrative along with DollyCali's add a new perspective to what we encounter here in the D.C. area. There is so much going on that we can't rally at very event. We have to pick & choose.
It was good meeting you both this weekend and we're also glad both of you made it home okay.
Phelps at WR in red/white/blue jacket & red cap in back ground.
This guy below looks like Phelps. The other guy in fore ground wearing blue shirt/gray sweats above wears glasses and is probably Phelps' brother devilishly conceived by his sister & another brother. Plus guy in glasses seems to have shorter hair.
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