June 30, 2023
Moms for Liberty arrived Thursday for its four-day Joyful Warriors summit in Philadelphia amid demonstrations from activists who say they will protest the group all weekend long.
Moms for Liberty, a national organization with at least 27 chapters in Pennsylvania, claims to be a parental rights group advocating for parents to have greater input in their children's education. But those who track extremism and hate groups dispute that label. The Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes Moms for Liberty as an extremist anti-government group, while the Anti-Defamation League has raised alarm over its members' associations with hate groups and promotion of homophobic conspiracy theories tied to anti-LGBTQ harassment and violence. Since its founding in 2021, Moms for Liberty has protested mask mandates in schools and pushed to remove books or curriculum centered on LGBTQ identity, race and racism.
The Joyful Warriors summit has consequently sparked massive outcry among members of the Philadelphia LGBTQ community, historians, educators, local politicians and liberal and leftist activists. One of the first demonstrations was organized by the Campaign for Our Shared Future, a nonprofit that supports inclusive education. As summit attendees checked in at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown on Thursday afternoon, organizers set up tables of children's books like "And Tango Makes Three," a story about two male penguins and their daughter Tango, which have been challenged or banned by groups like Moms for Liberty. Passersby were encouraged to take the titles home as part of a banned book giveaway.
And now, a word from our Executive Director from our Banned Book Giveaway in Philly 🎤 pic.twitter.com/MD7EwH03IY— Campaign for Our Shared Future (@campaignfuture) June 29, 2023
Some of my favorite signs and stickers from day 1 of Philly’s protest weekend against M4L’s hate convention. pic.twitter.com/FgFtpFE0ar— Kim Kelly (@GrimKim) June 30, 2023
Philly is a trans city! Philly is a queer city! Philly is a Black city! pic.twitter.com/1IgDmunCQc— Philadelphia CPUSA (@phillycpusa) June 29, 2023
How to end a protest Philly style??— Anndra Wilson (@anndra_wilson) June 30, 2023
Philly Elmo!!! pic.twitter.com/1KiJtJyRld
We’re in Philly to support the Pennsylvanians telling Moms For Liberty that PA has no room for their bigotry, loves our public schools, celebrates our diversity, and stands with all our neighbors, no matter what they look like, where they’re from, or who they love. pic.twitter.com/gOGjIzHRJF— All About PA (@AllAboutPA) June 30, 2023
Indivisible Philadelphia also kicked off a rally at the Free Library's Parkway Central location at 1901 Vine St. to protest "the conservative takeover of suburban school boards and their efforts to ban books."ACT UP and the Young Communist League have promised to hold a dance party protest with entertainment from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday as well, along with a demonstration from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. A "fabulous families for freedom rally" organized by the Philly Children's Movement and Philly Childcare Collective is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday at 12th and Filbert streets, outside the Marriott.