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A background note: in case you were unaware of it, please be advised that a hate group is holding an "Anti-Sharia March" on June 10 in 23 cities across the country, including Kansas City. Check and see if your city is affected -- there are also counter demonstrations planned, so see if there is one planned in your city. (See…/anti-muslim-march-against…/ for a list of cities affected).

Cultural Crossroads issues the following statement in response to those plans:

“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble…” 

This year has seen numerous rallies and marches, most of them promoting a positive agenda in favor of women, minorities, the environment and education. Although Cultural Crossroads does not take a position on political issues, some of our directors and supporters have been involved in these positively-oriented events. Unfortunately, Cultural Crossroads is unable to support a rally which is planned for June 10, 2017 in many cities, including Kansas City, and must take a stand against the avowed purpose of this particular gathering. The rally in question (the so-called “March Against Sharia”) does not promote any positive agenda or advocate any positive change for our society. The sponsoring organization, ACT for America, calls itself “the NRA of national security” and uses language of mobilization, saying they are “fighting for” national security. ACT (the website, ironically, says the acronym stands for “American Congress for Truth”) is admittedly an anti-Muslim group and is listed as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Various far-right and alt-right “militia groups” will be “providing security” according to the event website. As a champion of all cultural and religious heritage, Cultural Crossroads laments the spewing of hate speech and, thus, cannot support the ACT event. 

This statement is addressed to the organizers of the “March” as well as to those plan a counter protest and all who support either side. Although we cannot support the message of the “March” as planned for June 10, we request all parties to remember the “peaceable assembly” guaranteed by the First Amendment. 

Our First Amendment guarantee of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly are among the most cherished American freedoms and it is not our intent here to attempt, in any way, to detract from anyone’s ability to speak out and to meet in peaceable assembly. We are concerned, however, whenever an assembly is self-described as targeting a particular ethnic, cultural or religious minority. We are particularly concerned when private “militias” act as “security” in any public arena. (NOTE: While the Second Amendment does mention a “well regulated militia” as part of the definition of rights, there are contradictory interpretations of that term. We posit that the constitutional phrase does not include groups similar to those who plan to “provide security” during the proposed event.) 

We call upon all those who gather, whether in support of the so-called “March” or those who counter the display of hatred, ignorance and bigotry, to remember that “peaceable assembly” is not only what is protected under the First Amendment – it is the bedrock of the Bill of Rights. Peaceable assembly guarantees that all may gather and all may speak and all may be heard. Cultural Crossroads urges all citizens to take advantage of those rights – but cautions all citizens to refrain from violence in order to allow those rights for all citizens. 

30 May 2017

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Cultural Crossroads, Inc.
3605 Blue Ridge Blvd
Independence, Missouri 64052

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