So I had a fun day in Galway.
After finishing at a physiotherapist I walked into town to run a number of errant’s, getting rent from the bank, sorting out tax forms (I found I’m owed €600 back, CHA-CHING!), talking to revenue and Citizens Information about a start up company etc etc I headed to the Galway hacker/maker space, 091labs, for a coke and to chill when I noticed some Evangelical group setting up speakers and a tent in the middle of Eyre Square. I thought nothing of it and went to the space which is just above Kennedy’s pub.
I sat down and started doing some work on one of the spare computers and I started hearing some serious noise coming from the outside, the windows being open since it was a damn nice day!
I then had an "awww shit" moment when I see preachers and choir girls dancing and singing to their hearts content. Now I’d like to start by saying that I have no issue with bible bashers in general... they can waste their lives, believing in the flying spaghetti monster or whatever deity they like for all I care, but when someone tries to shove it down my (or anyone else’s) throat, that’s when I get mad.
So being amongst like minded, but probably more intelligent people we decided to fight fire with trolling and began to make signs and slogans, I won't lie... we had a lot of fun
Before I went out I called the police to make a noise complaint stating that; while I don't have anissue with them praying I am completely against them causing excessive noise, causing noise pollution and ruining the atmosphere of one of the few genuinely great days we get in Ireland by occupying a public green in the centre of town and shoving Jesus in people’s faces
We began our peaceful protest by standing behind them and in front of them. I got a fair amount of attention with the Ezekiel quotation but when they started their fucking wailing and screaming again I switched to the "Satan has better music"
I found it amusing when two of them came up to me on separate occasions and separately told me that "I wasn't allowed to do that" and "I used to be Muslim and I would love to see me try do this in my country or in Afghanistan or in Saudi Arabia" I thought to myself "wow, they can't understand or honour free speech and in fact get madded by it so much that these fanatics would actually want to see me punished to the same extent to what happens in their own backward country" Considering that apostasy is punishable by death according to Islam, the irony was not lost
I however, stood firm, I endured 2 hours of basking in the sun and I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was the aspect of honest trolling that was a kick unto itself, but it was the smiles that I brought to peoples face, the thumbs up, the winks, the cheers and the laughs that 'I' did to cheer up complete strangers. They knew that I was acting the maggot but at the same time they appreciated the cheekiness of the situation and I genuinely believe that I was photographed more in the time that I hung around than the preaching group. I also got a lot of stick for what I was doing for whatever reason... I was asked if I was unemployed to which I responded "No, I have a job and I'm in college, what are you doing with your life?" She walked away visibly hurt! I was told to fuck off by a brute in the crowd with tattoos up and down his arm. So I told him to fuck off and the look of surprise on his face was laughable, what was he expecting? I had a 5' girl try to take my sign so I just held it up high out of her reach and asking her if Jesus would smite me down to her level... He didn't.
The most interesting occurrence was when a police van pulled up and called me over. I have never really gone and asserted my rights before but as I had been looking at quite a bit of youtube in the last while I figured I'd give it a go....
Garda: What are you doing?
Me: Just peacefully protesting, are you here to deal with the noise complaints?
Garda: no, what’s your name?
Me: I don't think I need to answer any of your questions
Garda: Why not?
Me: Because I'm doing nothing illegal and in a public place.
Garda: *gets distracted by the preacher (read below)
Me: Sorry am I being detained?
Garda: *Defensively* No one said anything about being detained or not being detained
Me: Oh so am I free to go?
All this happened just before and during an altercation with a do-gooder girl and my friend Alanna who was holding a "LGBT equal rights" slogan and flag. The girl came up behind my friend, grabbing the sign and flag and started dragging her towards prospect hill. This was one of the girls who tried to "reason" with me earlier. The sign was ripped to pieces and the girl fell and claimed she was assaulted. The preacher of the group came over and started waving his hands about and saying that he saw her do this, that and the other. I thought he was an utter hypocrite for not only preaching utter shit all day but also lying in an attempt to get one or all of us removed or arrested. My friend told the police what happened and they said they saw the whole thing and that the girl who tried to take the slogan was in the wrong. They reprimanded her, told her that we had the right to protest (but said or did nothing about the assault that they witnessed?!) and then left.
That somewhat spoilt our fun and about 20 minutes later we wrapped up. As we walked away we notice one of the fanatics was following us. He got as far as the bookies and we went inside for a well earned coke... Ah refreshing!
[EDIT: I'll add more pictures as they become available]
[EDIT: I'll add more pictures as they become available]