Redondo Beach students hold counter-protest against Westboro Baptist Church

- "Love is love, love is love," chanted hundreds of Redondo Union High School students on Monday morning as they staged a counter-protest to the Westboro Baptist Church.

The group, known for its anti-gay speech and pickets outside funerals of mass shooting victims, sought out the school as its latest target, but students fought back.

"This is the kind of school Redondo is - we are loving and liberal and accepted," Lola Chase, Co-President of the Gay Straight Alliance Club, said.

Chase and her classmate Peri Gibbs helped organize the student demonstration with the help of social media.
The school’s administration told parents the Gay Straight Alliance is likely the reason the group targeted the school.

Redondo Union also has a graduate who was a victim of the San Bernardino shooting.

"She was shot in the San Bernardino attacks so we think it’s a big factor as to why they have signs that say ‘God sent the shooter,’" Chase said.

The Westboro Baptist Church blames homosexuality for all the world’s tragedies. It has picketed in Los Angeles before, mostly around big entertainment awards shows.

"We were here for the Golden Globes, so it was there turn today," Rachael Hockenbargar, Westboro Baptist Church, said of the school protest. "They ought to be lucky ducks we were here to tell them the word of God today."

"I think my intention was to try and block out as much of their signs as we could," student Amy Hayes said. "They’ve got really tall signs so it wasn’t always affective, but I think our message still came across."

Hundreds of students delivered that message with the support of parents and peers from neighboring schools.

"I think this is the first time these kids had to come across people who hate for no reason," parent, Krista Hayes, said.

"It’s one of those things where we take a negative experience and we turn it into a positive," Redondo Union Principal, Nicole Wesley, said. "It’s time for them to go back to Kansas."

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