portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts oregon & cascadia

gender & sexuality

Anti-Gay Hate Group Gathering in Washington State

Repost from www.infoshop.org
The Sacramento Bee reports community rights groups are expected to pack a Sacramento County courtroom this afternoon to press for a stringent prosecution of the only stateside suspect in the alleged hate-crime killing of Satender Singh.

DANGEROUS ANTI-GAY HATE GROUP GATHERING IN WASHINGTON STATE

The Sacramento Bee reports community rights groups are expected to pack a Sacramento County courtroom this afternoon to press for a stringent prosecution of the only stateside suspect in the alleged hate-crime killing of Satender Singh.

"There is a big community concern about this, and we really want to see some measure of justice for Satender," said Andy Noguchi, civil rights chair for the Florin Japanese American Citizens League and a Satender Justice Coalition member who is helping organize the gathering. "This is a real tragedy for the community ... there should be some real consequences."

Aleksandr Shevchenko, 21, who has pleaded not guilty to a felony hate-crime charge, is scheduled to appear in Department 61 at 3 p.m. His preliminary hearing was continued last month, and he remains free on $25,000 bail.

Last July 1st, Satender Singh, a 26-year-old Fijian of Indian descent was beaten to death at Lake Natoma near Sacramento by Russian-speaking immigrants two picnic tables away.

The murder was the handiwork of thugs associated with The Watchmen.

The virulently anti-gay hate group will gather in Lynnwood, Washington Oct 19-21 for a little confab.

As noted at the blog Box Turtle Bulletin the venue is owned by the Lynnwood Public Facilities District, a public taxing district that operates the convention center but is separate from the city.
"Our understanding is that they're law-abiding. They have a right of free speech just like any other group," said Mike Echelbarger, the board's chairman.

"If we were talking about the (Ku Klux Klan) we'd have a totally different take on it. Of course we wouldn't rent to the KKK," he said.

These low lifes may not be the Klan, but they might as well be.

Watchmen on the Walls (the full name) expects as many as 700 people to attend the prayer gathering, including religious leaders and an anti-gay activist who claims the Holocaust was perpetrated by gays.

Watchmen on the Walls is planning four "regular services, like church services," said Sergy Trikhodko. He described himself as a contact person for the Lynnwood event, but said he could not speak about Watchmen on the Walls, its mission or history.

Among those expected to speak in Lynnwood is Scott Lively, a lawyer from California. He is a "radical anti-gay activist who has all sorts of beliefs about homosexuality and fascism," said Michelle Deutchman, western states counsel for the Anti-Defamation League.

The Everett, Washington Herlad says also listed as a speaker for the Lynnwood gathering is former Seattle Seahawk Ken Hutcherson. He's now a pastor at the Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland and a vocal opponent to gay marriage.

The Watchmen group is composed of some of the state's 200,000 Russian speaking immigrants, said Pastor Joe Fuiten of Bothell's Cedar Park Church. He plans to be a featured speaker at the Lynnwood event.

Fuiten, known statewide for rallying the religious right on moral issues, bristled at the Southern Poverty Law Center's characterization of the Watchmen as the hate mongers they are.

"That southern law group, they're a bunch of whackos," Fuiten said. "They're the hate group. That's a gay front, is what that is."

"Watchmen on the Walls is an extremist organization that makes the radical right look liberal," said Josh Friedes, advocacy director for Equal Rights Washington, a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights group. He's concerned about violence, and wonders "What will Lynnwood do to make sure that GLBT citizens are welcome in the town and to make sure to the rest of the state that this conference isn't a Lynnwood value?"

 http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=20071017150726424
We can only hope the Watchmen are given the type of welcome they surely deserve.