BREAKING: Harrisburg & Reading Pride, Lancaster Rally Noted in State Intelligence Reports

Central PA Pride Festival, Reading Pride, and Lancaster rallies opposing closing of that county’s Human Relations Commission are among many events listed in intelligence bulletins released earlier today by The Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security.

The intelligence reports, prepared under a $125,000 state contract with the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, first became controversial when media outlets reported the Institute had been tracking anti-drilling activists opposed to development of the Marcellus Shale. Earlier this week, Gov. Ed Rendell cancelled the contract.

Pa. House Rep. Babette Josephs, chair of the House State Government Committee overseeing the Homeland Security Office, today called for the release of the intelligence bulletins today. “If this information is not fully disclosed,” she said, “I intend to file a Right To Know request with the Office of Open Records and conduct committee hearings on the matter.”

The July 19 listing says:
PrideFest in Harrisburg, Celebration in Reading
On 24 July 2010, a LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender, “Gay pride”) parade and subsequent festival, PrideFest, are scheduled in Harrisburg. On 18 July 2010, the Reading Pride Celebration is slated to be held in Centre Park, Reading. There are increasing indications of focused, anti-gay rhetoric and actions among White supremacists and right-wing militia supporters. Analysts and researchers are continuously monitoring sources for details on protest/counter-protest activities. (PAIB No. 105) Source: Pennsylvania Actionable Intelligence Bulletin No. 113.

The July 23 listing says:
Rallies ‘to Defend Lancaster County’s Civil Rights’
The Committee to Defend Civil Rights in Lancaster, a coalition of civil action groups, is planning two “Unity Rallies” for 24 July and 29 July 2010. Both events, called to oppose “the elimination of the County’s Human Relations Commission,” are to be held in Binns Park in Lancaster County.

After the 29 July gathering in Binns Park, protesters “will march in unity to the public hearing on the elimination of Lancaster County’s Human Relations Commission.”

Speakers at the events include local politicians, church leaders, NAACP branch representatives and a member of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

Sponsoring organizations behind the rallies include: American Civil Liberties Union, Congregation Shaarei Shomayim, Equality PA, Crispus Attucks Community Center, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, Lancaster Coalition for Peace and Justice, Lancaster County Council of Churches, Lancaster City Human Relations Commission Board, Lancaster City Human Relations Commission, Lancaster County Coalition for Religious and Social Justice, Lancaster County Democratic Committee, Lancaster County Democratic Women’s Association, Lancaster Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Organizing Committee, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, Spanish American Civic Association, Theatre For Transformation, Vision of Hope MCC, YWCA of Lancaster.
Source: Pennsylvania Actionable Intelligence Bulletin No. 115

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One Response to “BREAKING: Harrisburg & Reading Pride, Lancaster Rally Noted in State Intelligence Reports”

  1. Bolton Winpenny Says:

    Thanks for this article. I’ve heard of references connecting this report to Pride festivals. I saw it reported on CNN where they specifically named Pride Fest of C. PA, but then I couldn’t find the connection back to the report.

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