When the going gets tough, the tough get…violent?
It sure seemed so yesterday at the VoteOnMarriage rally at City Hall in Worcester. As reported in today’s Telegram and Gazette:
Tempers boiled over at an anti-gay marriage rally yesterday when the executive director of the Boston-based Catholic Citizenship emerged from behind a lectern outside City Hall, rushed toward a female counter-demonstrator, and pushed her to the ground.
Sarah Loy, 27, of Worcester was holding a sign in defense of same-sex marriage amid a sea of green “Let the People Vote” signs when Larry Cirignano of Canton, who heads the Catholic Citizenship group, ran into the crowd, grabbed her by both shoulders and told her, “You need to get out. You need to get out of here right now.” Mr. Cirignano then pushed her to the ground, her head slamming against the concrete sidewalk.
Yeah, it happened. Just like this. I was 10 feet away, and I saw it. I had to go and pick her up off the pavement, comfort her, and get her the hell out of there. More after the flip…
Ms. Loy, admittedly, was in a section of the rally where she should have expected some resistance to her presence. But to be shoved to the ground by a 240+lb. man so hard that her head hit the pavement? It was completely uncalled for, to state the obvious. That it was done by the executive director of Catholic Citizenship just further underscores the vitriol and viciousness behind this campaign. It’s a reminder of exactly why this initiative needs to be killed ASAP. Can you imagine the nastiness that two more years of campaigning for and against this discriminatory initiative would cause?
Another deeply disturbing aspect of this situation was the 20 or so people that stood around her after she was down on the ground, crying, and did nothing.
Police interviewed Mr. Cirignano, but did not arrest him. Ms. Loy said she intended to file a complaint against him.
This is sad, but not surprising. There were several witnesses who all gave similar accounts of the altercation, and yet police let this man walk free. It wasn’t a bump or a jostle. Cirignano took her by the shoulders, with both hands, and shoved her to the ground. I saw it, and I don’t think there was any misinterpreting his intent. He meant to hurt her. However, several Worcester police on the detail seemed to know and associate with organizers from the VoteOnMarriage side.
Afterward, Ms. Loy, in tears, arose and yelled to no one in particular, “That’s what hate does. That’s what hate does.”
That pretty much sums it up. So, what can we do?
-If you were there and you saw anything, contact the Worcester Police Department. Let them know your account of what happened.
-Write a Letter to The Editor to the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.
-Contact Catholic Citizenship and let them know what you think about the actions of their Executive Director, Mr. Larry Cirignano.
-Recommend this post, so that it doesn’t fall into oblivion.