Orlando Shakes Theater Company partnered with Angel Action Wings to outfit volunteers with magnificent angel costumes brandishing astounding wings that are ten feet wide and seven feet tall. The giant wings were able to physically block out the hate-filled signs and actions of Westboro Baptist Church protestors during the weekend funerals of victims who were killed during the senseless attack on the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The simple to make wings were first used against these same protesters during the funeral for Matthew Shepherd in 1999.
In early April, 1999 the trials for Matthew’s accused killers began. Upon hearing the rumor that Fred Phelps intended to protest outside the court house, Romaine came up with an idea. She founded Angel Action a peaceful protest in order to share a message of peace, compassion and love in a time where everyone was focused on the issue of hate. Fred Phelps showed up in Laramie with a dozen “God Hates Fags” picketers, but he was quickly silenced when Romaine’s angels showed up at the court house. Phelps and his group were surrounded by a dozen counter-demonstrators in flowing white angel costumes with 10-foot wingspans rising seven feet high. The angels turned their backs on Phelps, smiled and silently blocked him from the view of passersby at that time. The impact that the angels had on the residents of Laramie would not be felt until much later when the angels started getting requests for “do it yourself” angel kits to be used all over the country.
MY CITY! @OrlandoShakes builds Angel Wings to block Westboro @ Pulse funerals https://t.co/Reio2heEcS #OrlandoStrong pic.twitter.com/VSDSjklWrI
— sarah clapp (@SarahClapp) June 17, 2016
via Orlando Sentinel