I've seen a few threads here where y'all organized some rides, but I never really paid attention to them too much. Anyway, I thumbing through the usual load of garbage and information mix known as the GD here, and there was a thread about a group of riders who went to militray funerals to drown out the rantings of that lunatic "Rev" Phelps (the "organixation" God Hates Fags that chooses to spew their bullshit in protest at military funerals).
I guess there are a few members here associated with this patriotic "biker" group (The Beer Slayer said he is). First, I didn't know if y'all had ever heard of them (I had not until only a few minutes ago - where is THEIR media exposure? Stupid left leaning media!)?. And, if you had, I guess there are things in the local chapter guys like me who don't/can't ride can do to volunteer. Is anyone here locally a member? If so, is there anything locally (Phoenix) I can volunteer to help with? I can't ride and I can't wrench on bikes, but I could play bitch or pass out flyers or do computer work or something.
This sounds like a great cause I'd love to help with, and thought to bring them to y'alls attention if you ever wanted to use them trikes to drown out the idiots pushing their agenda during a brave soldier's funeral. From what I have read, they don't protest per se, they just ride around Phelp's cronies carrying American flags so the families cannot hear them, but can still hear the funeral procession.
If y'all ever wanted to schedule an AZHTF/AZShooting ride, this would be right up your alley. And again, if you know of anyway I can help, please shoot me a message.
Bikers doing the right thing website
Here is the news story that began the GD thread, copied and pasted from OP:
February 20, 2006
Bikers drown out funeral protesters
By Ryan Lenz
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Wearing leather chaps and vests covered in military patches, a band of motorcyclists rolls from one soldier’s funeral to another in hopes their respectful cheers and revving engines will drown out the insults of protesters.
The motorcycle club members calling themselves Patriot Guard Riders are trying to shield mourners from cruel jeers by adherents of a tiny fundamentalist church who picket military funerals to reflect their belief that U.S. combat deaths are a sign God is punishing the United States for harboring homosexuals. Some protesters’ signs said, “Thank God for IEDs,” the improvised explosive devices, or homemade bombs, that kill many U.S. soldiers.
“The most important thing we can do is let families know that the nation cares,” said Don Woodrick, the biker group’s Kentucky captain. “When a total stranger gets on a motorcycle in the middle of winter and drives 300 miles to hold a flag, that makes a powerful statement.”
Across the nation, Patriot Guard Riders number more than 5,000. They show up at soldiers’ funerals to chant patriotic slogans and wave red, white and blue flags in hopes of overshadowing backers of a Kansas clergyman named the Rev. Fred Phelps.
Phelps and members of his Westboro Baptist Church have caused such a fuss that at least 14 states are considering laws aimed at the funeral protests. During the 1990s, church members were known mostly for picketing funerals of AIDS victims, and they have long been tracked as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project in Montgomery, Alabama.
The project’s deputy director, Heidi Beirich, said other groups have tried to counter Phelps’ message, but none have been as organized as the Patriot Guard.
“I’m not sure anybody has gone to this length to stand in solidarity,” she said. “It’s nice that these veterans and their supporters are trying to do something. I can’t imagine anything worse, your loved one is killed in Iraq and you’ve got to deal with Fred Phelps.”
At a recent memorial service at Fort Campbell, church protesters and sang vulgar songs condemning homosexuals and soldiers. The Patriot Guard was also there, cheering to support mourning families across the street as community members came in a freezing rain to chant “U-S-A, U-S-A” alongside the bikers.
“This is just the right thing to do. This is something America didn’t do in the ’70s,” said Kurt Mayer, the Patriot Guard’s national spokesman, referring to the era when protests against the Vietnam war were common. “Whether we agree with why we’re over there, these soldiers are dying to protect our freedoms.”
Shirley Phelps-Roper, a daughter of Fred Phelps and an attorney for the Topeka, Kansas-based church, said neither state laws nor the Patriot Guard can silence their message that God killed the soldiers because they fought for a country that embraces homosexuals.
“The scriptures are crystal clear that when God sets out to punish a nation, it is with the sword. An IED is just a broken-up sword,” Phelps-Roper said. “Since that is his weapon of choice, our forum of choice has got to be a dead soldier’s funeral.”
The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps’ extended family. A small group of them appeared last month in West Virginia outside a memorial for the 12 men killed in the Sago Mine disaster. They held signs reading “Thank God for Dead Miners” and “Miners in Hell.”
Kentucky, home to sprawling Fort Campbell, was among the first states to attempt to deal with Phelps legislatively. Its House and Senate have each passed bills that would limit people from protesting within 300 feet of a funeral or memorial service. The Senate version would also keep protesters from being within earshot of grieving friends and family members.
The Indiana Senate has passed a bill intended to prohibit protests within 500 feet (150 meters) of funerals. The House is considering the measure.
The bills were written to protect families of soldiers such as Pvt. Jonathan R. Pfender, 22, of Evansville, Indiana, a soldier from Fort Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division who was killed in January by a roadside bomb in Beiji, Iraq.
Westboro church members protested at Pfender’s funeral, screaming profanities at mourners as they passed. Family members were shielded from the insults by the rumble of Patriot Guard motorcycles.
“We were glad that the Patriot Guard Riders were there,” said Jackie Pfender, the soldier’s stepmother. “This group of protesters wanted to put something negative on Jonathan’s funeral. In actuality, it became a positive thing because of the support we had.”
Patriot Guard members only show up at funerals if invited by family. Richard Wilbur, a retired police detective, said his Indiana Patriot Guard group came to the Pfender funeral at the family’s request after protesters announced they planned to attend.
“No one deserves this,” Wilbur said. “If I were burying my loved one and they were out there yelling anything close to what they yell to the families of these soldiers, I know my temperament. I probably would not handle it very well.”
Link to GD thread
... Arizona's weather, geography and freedom-of-choice laws lends itself to biking better than many other States. So there's a tendency to have many differing biker factions here. And by far, the majority of these quasi-organized "clubs" are Conservative, freedom-loving, pro-gun, philanthropic and very patriotic.
... I don't know of any recent, specific organizations refuting these types of assholes, but it won't take much to rally bikers to a good cause. They do benefit and toy runs for children and the underprivileged all the time. I've seen fundraisers for fallen bikers and legal funding for the wrongly accused. For the most part, bikers coalesce into tight-knit groups and they don't like to have their rights and freedoms compromised. They generally despise wimpy-assed liberals trying to inflict their influence on others. Not to stereotype, but are often leaning heavily toward Libertarian type political beliefs.
... Most bikers I know prefer to be left alone until someone (posthumously or not) is being treated unfairly. By and large, many of these rough-looking gray-bearded bikers are good folks that most likely would improve the quality of your life if you included them. Sure, a lot of outsiders like to sneer and use terms like "rubbies" (rich urban bikers) and dog-breath the real 1%ers but have never ridden with either so it's easy to criticize.
... Keep an eye on the boards for upcoming rides, spring is the paramount season here. It seems shooting forums and biking don't seem to mix too well, but there are a gazillion other biker oriented sites out there tailored to every faction you can imagine.
... Let's organize a ride for our fallen soldiers, we'd get a ton of support from "them greasy bikers".
That's exactly why I wanted to bring this to your attention, sir. I can't ride - no license, and no leg. And I can't wrench a tryke anyway. But I have yet to meet 1, not even 1, so-called "biker" that was not exactly as you portrayed them: freedom loving people caring about what's right. It doesn't matter if they ride a Honda or a Harley, 2 wheels seems to bring out some grand and admirable qualities in people.
Is this something you think you'd be interesting in riding in? I will do what I can from my end, but riding is not a possibility.
Had you ever heard of them before?
This Phelps lunacy is enough to get me involved, despite the fact that I avoid any organized biker events these days. The thought of those......arrrgghhh, I don't even have a name that's fillthy enough for anyone who'd disrupt a grieving family at a funeral, specially the family of service person who died to give them the rights to their lunatic notions.
Yea, if they try that crap around here, if there's anyway I can be there to mess with them I will. It will be a sore trial of my patience, I'm afraid my current temperament doesn't suffer these kinds of fools gladly.