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Evangelical youth group Battlecry brings protest in SF

by pennylane986 (writer), San Francisco, March 29, 2007

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Nearly 1,000 evangelical Christian youth of Don Luce’s organization Battlecry stormed San Francisco’s City Hall Friday with a message that popular culture and media conglomerations are spending billions of dollars to enslave America’s youth. The event was countered by a group calling themselves “The World Can’t Wait: Drive out the Bush Regime.”

High school students and college interns adorned in trendy, graphically designed religious apparel held signs high and sang in prayer for youth and San Francisco, countered by a smaller group of protestors from the city.

Battlecry will be held Saturday (March 10) at AT&T Park with bands, worship and workshops. An estimated 22,000 evangelical Christian youth are expected to turn out for the event, with a morning prayer on site at 8:30 a.m.

Battlecry participants started arriving bus by bus, and two San Jose high school students arrived at the steps of City Hall wide-eyed and taking it all in.

Kevin Coon, 17, and Aaron Abke, 18, are from a ministry called Springs of Life. Coon noted that he could blow the protestors out of the water with his rhetoric as they sat down on the sidewalk and shook their heads at the scene playing out across the way.

Hundreds of thousands of youth grabbed signs reading “I have a voice” and excitement grew. Interns lead the teens in singing “How great is our God,” hands extended into the sky in prayer and song.

The World Can’t Wait does not agree with Battlecry’s message; they feel that their presence in San Francisco is not aligned with the city’s ideology of tolerance and acceptance for all, and noted that the organization’s youth are being trained to work for “God’s army,” making connection to George W. Bush and the War in Iraq.

Marc Perkel, 51-year-old founder of the Church of Reality, feels that religion is believing in anything that’s real.

“This group has been overthrown with war-like imagery,” Perkel said.

He noted that he did not like the idea of an intolerant group arriving in the city to promote war type programs in San Francisco, a place of peace, a place where those of many races can come together.

Stephanie Tang, member of the World Can’t Wait, read a message from Mayor Gavin Newsom’s desk in support of what their organization was promoting.

“We live in America and a democracy; we pride ourselves on being a city of respect,” it read. The message noted that Newsom supports gay marriage and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and will continue to do so.

Two Sonoma State students quietly protested as the charter buses of Battlecry participants rolled into United Nations Plaza.

Ali Leeds, 19, and Dan Stillinger, 18, were standing with The World Can’t Wait.

“We are out here to protest theocracy; we are against the hateful treatment of gays and women,” Leeds said.

Jonathan Jenkins, 20, is an intern for Teen Mania Ministries, the organization that puts together Battlecry stadium events, such as the one taking place Saturday at AT&T Park.

“We are uniting together to stand up for this generation against things we don’t believe in, we are for a pure generation,” Jenkins said.

Groups of 150 youth worked their away across from UN Plaza to the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall. Ron Luce, founder, took to the stage.

“Jesus loves you, San Francisco! Jesus loves the world!” he yelled into the microphone, bringing ralliers to scream in agreement, counter protestors blowing whistles, trying to drown out Luce.

Mayor Gavin Newsom stood nearby sipping coffee, not recognized by major media for a good portion of the event. He joked that he was not the most quotable.

“I always keep an open mind, I do not know if that’s the case, we should treat everyone equally and fairly,” Newsom said.


About the Writer

pennylane986 is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Evangelical youth group Battlecry brings protest in SF

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By Radical Priest on June 07, 2007 at 11:19 am
This is a fair and all encompassing piece with the most pertinent points being attended to. The inclusion of Gavin was a good way to garner authenticity, and gives the article credibility and stature.
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