Silent Witness Peacekeepers Alliance
of Onslow County
Silent Witness Peacekeepers Alliance of Onslow County 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 LGBTQ 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 Pride fests, 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.
Silent Witnesses receive significant training in non-confrontation techniques specially designed for the type of work they do. Only those who have received this training may participate in an event as a Silent Witness. Silent Witnesses are easily recognized by their special safety vests and rainbow umbrellas.
Our purpose is to act as a "human spiritual firewall" between LGBTQ folks and those individuals who believe LGBTQ's are an abomination on the face of the earth. This concerned and dedicated group of activists who have been specially trained to deal with hate-mongers. Because street preachers and other vicious protestors have a long history of picketing, antagonizing and subsequently suing various individuals and organizations, Silent Witnesses stand ready to prevent confrontations while welcoming and supporting LGBTQ participants to the event they are attending.
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 we are determined to prevent.
While individual members may hold deep religious beliefs, and are free to express them during events, our members support diversity in all its forms, including religion. For some, it is their belief in the all-abiding love of their God that inspires them to do this work. For others it is their belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all people that drives their participation. Whatever the motivation, the result is the same: we will continue to support the rights of those who suffer expressions of hate.
For more information about volunteering and training opportunities, please fill out the volunteer form below.