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PK Picket a Success!

About 18 picketers were at the Meadowlands, Continental Airlines Arena Saturday, Oct 2, 2020 to picket the Promise Keepers conference taking place there. It was great. We got there right at 11:00am, and set up. There were very few PK's around, because they were all inside the arena having a conference of some kind. Then about 11:30 the doors to the arena opened, and thousands of PKs spilled out into the parking lots. We were behind a fence on one side of us, and barriers on the other side, in a designated demonstration area laid out by the Meadowlands security. It was a great spot because we weren't too close to the arena, or too far away. But we were definitely visible. Slowly they began to engage us in conversation; very light-hearted conversation. Soon they had all come out of the arena. It was lunchtime, and they were eating box lunches by the thousands. By 12:00 there were thousands of men and boys in the parking lot areas, and our designated demonstration area was literally surrounded by PKs. Every one of our people had their own group of PKs huddled around them, soaking up our message.

Most of them seemed genuinely curious about us, many of them saying they had never met anyone like us. Only a few PKs got very excited and irate. The vast majority of them were polite and reserved. But a few of the varied dialogues got heated. Security kept a very watchful eye, stationing at least a dozen uniformed and plain-clothes officers nearby. Our people were the center of a great deal of attention. By 1:00pm several PKs were telling the PKs arguing with us that it was time to go back inside. Most said a polite good-bye, and turned to go back inside, but many PKs stayed and lingered with us. I met several very kind and curious PKs. I shook several hands and exchanged many smiles. Our people all made a point of being positive about our protest, and I think the PKs noticed that. The only time I heard anyone saying the Atheists were angry people, was when the loudest PK was getting a little angry himself. His co-horts seemed to ignore him, until his veins were becoming more visible. Thankfully, since we were surrounded by a great number of them, no incidents too place. By 2:00pm, the vast majority of PKs had gone inside again, and we were all hoarse and tired. I had no idea they were going to have their lunch in the parking lot of the arena right when were were going to be there, but because of that, it worked out perfectly.

As is usual for most of our PK pickets, our group was a loose coalition of a few groups interested in opposing the PKs. Among the groups represented were National Organization For Women, Witches of the American Revolution (WAR), PK Resistance, and an Interfaith Coalition. Yes, the conversations with the PKs were as diverse they could be.

At this PK Picket, I'm confident that every single PK learned of our picket one way or another. It was estimated that there were about 20,000 PK there, and our picket was all the rage to them. I'm convinced that our message got to them all. Everyone in our group seemed to really enjoy the picket, and I know many of the PKs did too. The only problem I'd say we had was that only one person from the media showed up. That person didn't seem to want to hang out either, because I never got a chance to talk to them. At least the media was alerted, and they may mention it in reports about the conference. High on my list of priorities: we all had fun. :)

Some of the picket signs we used include:

Keep Religion a Choice, Not a Law
Liberate PK Wives
These heads don't bow, these knees don't bend.
One Nation Under the Constitution
Keep Cults Out of Government
PK ~ Cult! Cult!
Atheist and Proud
Religion Is Myth Information
Born Again Atheist
No Submission!

We got some great photos, and we'll post them online soon. I'd like to thank Ellen Johnson for coaching me through the organizing and headache stages involved in this picket. I'd also like to thank Dave Silverman, Ed Gauci, Ron Barrier, and Conrad Goeringer for helping me get the word out. A big thanks to everyone who came out. Also, thanks to the NJ ACLU, and the staff at the Meadowlands for helping make this possible. Next NJ event: Winter Solstice Brunch, Somerville, NJ, December 19, 2020.

E-mail Joe Zamecki at: for details.


Joe Zamecki
Union County, NJ Atheists,
American Atheists

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