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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 7, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 14
Police rescue anti-Trans bus riders in Philadelphia
Section One
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Police rescue anti-Trans bus riders in Philadelphia

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Philadelphia police intervened to rescue anti-Trans demonstrators in Philadelphia on April 1, when a bus they were riding in was surrounded by counter-protestors.

The orange bus, bearing signs that read, 'Boys are boys ... and always will be' and 'Girls are girls ... and always will be,' was funded by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and other anti-LGBT groups. Their plan was to drive through major East Coast cities and display the anti-Trans messaging.

A group called CitizenGO, based in Madrid, Spain, organized the bus tours, claiming it is pushing back against policies that seek to accommodate Transgender people. The group is linked to conservative Catholics, and NOM's Brian Brown serves on its board of trustees.

In expectation of the bus's arrival, the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs along with LGBT community groups organized a 'Pop-Up Love Party' at City Hall. According to the Associated Press, some 100 gathered in support, and a light-blue, pink, and white-striped Trans Pride flag was hoisted on a flagpole at the end of the event.

Just as speakers at the rally finished, the bus turned the corner. 'There it is!' someone shouted. Swarms of people then ran toward the bus. A person banged on a drum. Eggs were thrown, hitting the bus. At least two smoke bombs were set off.

City police then boarded the bus and gave the driver directions to the closest freeway heading out of town. The driver complied.

According to the AP report, locals said that police intervened to rescue the bus from 'anarchists.'

The anti-Trans bus met with a similar reception in Boston on March 30. As it pulled up in front of the Massachusetts State House, more than two dozen protesters surrounded it holding signs and chanting, 'No hate. No fear. Trans people are welcome here!'

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, surrounded by dozens of supporters, raised a flag recognizing the Transgender community after the bus briefly stopped in front of City Hall.

CitizenGO launched its anti-Trans campaign in March in reaction to pro-Trans posters that began appearing in Spain with the message: 'There are girls with penises and boys with vaginas. It's that simple.'

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