POPE PICKET 1995!
Who said Atheist activism couldn't be fun?
Join American Atheists for four days of protests,
camaraderie, tours, and get-togethers
October 4, 5, 6, and 7, 1995
New York, New York
A PROUD TRADITION
It was back in 1979 that a group of American Atheists
first set up a picket line against Pope John Paul II when
he visited Chicago, Illinois. Then American Atheist
picketers were there in Miami, San Antonio, Phoenix, San
Francisco, and Detroit when the pope came again in 1987.
In 1993, American Atheists again displayed their
displeasure with Vatican imperialism when the pope came to
Now the pope is scheduled to speak to the United
Nations in New York City on Thursday, October 5, and then
hold masses in New Jersey, New York, and Baltimore,
Maryland, over the next three days.
And American Atheists will again be on hand to let
the world know that the pope has no god-given authority to
tell everyone how to behave. And that our city and state
governments should not be subsidizing his travels.
But to do that we need _your_ help. What counts in a
picket against a foreign "head of state" (which is what
government officials call him in order to justify spending
your tax dollars on his visits to the U.S.) is numbers.
The more bodies and signs on our picket lines the better.
YOUR PARTICIPATION WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
BUT YOU ALSO GET TO HAVE FUN
But don't think that the entire weekend of the pope
picket will be devoted to earnest Atheist activism. You
will revel in the camaraderie of this protest as you get
to know other participants and make new Atheist friends
from across the country. Board members and national
officers of American Atheists (including Jon Murray,
president of American Atheists and Robin Murray-O'Hair,
president of the American Atheist Library) will be
shoulder to shoulder with you on the picket line -- and at
the social get-togethers afterwards you can meet Dr.
Madalyn O'Hair, founder of American Atheists.
DON'T FORGET THE BOOKS!
American Atheists will set up a special book display
at the Pope Picket Hotel. You will be able to browse and
buy a selection of books, booklets, bumper stickers, caps,
and -- of course -- the special commemorative Pope Picket
No need to rent a car! American Atheists has selected
an official Pope Picket hotel site within walking distance
or easy bus/subway or commuter train passage to all New
York protest sites.
WHEN TO BE THERE
The most important picketing date is Thursday,
October 5 when Pope John Paul II addresses the UN General
Assembly in New York City. You should also plan to be on
hand for the Wednesday, October 4 picket outside the
Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark, New Jersey. The pope
will also face American Atheists outside the Aqueduct
Racetrack in Queens on Friday, October 6; and as he
celebrates Mass and delivers a homily in Central Park on
the Great Lawn Saturday, October 7, and when he speaks at
famous St. Patrick's Cathedral. The pope has other
scheduled appearances, but for logistical reasons American
Atheists will sponsor protests only at these five sites.
WHAT TO BRING
American Atheists will provide signs and banners on
the key themes of Atheist displeasure with Vatican
pronouncements on world moral, educational, and regulatory
issues. All you need to bring is your enthusiasm!
WHERE TO STAY
American Atheists has arranged economical lodging for
picketers in New York City. The official Pope Picket hotel
is the PICKWICK ARMS HOTEL at 230 East 51st Street in
Manhattan. Special group rates have been negotiated at
this little gem of a hotel in the heart of Manhattan for
two types of rooms:
Room Choice 1: For single participants to share are suites
of two single rooms (one twin bed each) connected by a
small room with shower and commode. Each sleeping room has
its own television, phone, and desk, including a sink and
mirrored medicine chest. The special rate is $58.63 (tax
included) per person for these rooms.
Room Choice 2: For participating couples, there is one
room with a double bed and a separate bathroom. The
special rate here is $109.59 (tax included) per double
occupancy (one double bed) room.
To reserve your room for Pope Picket 1995 at these
special rates, which are fantastic for accommodations in
Manhattan, call the Pickwick Arms at 1-800-742-5945 or
1-212-355-0300, or FAX 212-755-5029. Tell them you are
with group number G1314, whether you are single or a
couple, and which nights you need to stay. One night's
deposit or a major credit card is required to guarantee
your room. The hotel management asks that you please call
between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. EDT, Monday
through Friday. These special rates are good for the
nights of Tuesday, October 3 through Saturday, October 7
The deadline for making your reservation with the
Pickwick Arms is Thursday, August 31, 1995. After that
date, you can still stay at the Pickwick Arms, but you
cannot get the special group rate.
If you are driving into New York City for Pope Picket
1995, there is underground parking (no vans) available at
a New York Parking Co. lot at 251 E 51st St.
(212-355-8232) right across the street from the Pickwick
AND THEN THERE'S THE BIG APPLE
New York City is world famous as a tourist site --
with many museums, historical sights, restaurants, and
shops. You will have plenty of time to visit it on your
own (or in the company of fellow Atheists) on Wednesday,
Thursday, or Friday, (October 4, 5, and 6) in between
protest events or on Sunday, October 8, after all the pope
picketing activities are over. American Atheists may
organize a bus tour of freethought historical sights in
Manhattan for those staying at the Pickwick Arms.
Wednesday, October 4: John Paul II will be winging
his way to New York City during the morning while American
Atheist leaders hold a press conference in Manhattan --
and New Jersey Atheists should be making their way to
Newark, New Jersey, for Pope Picket preparations. During
the day, those traveling in from outside the area can
check in with American Atheists at the official Pope
Picket hotel, pick up some anti-papal goodies on sale, and
start meeting other Atheists. At 5:00 P.M., there will be
a picket by local area residents (with their own
transportation) outside Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark
where the pope will be leading evening prayer. At 8:00
P.M., there will be an Orientation Dinner at a site near
the Pickwick Arms for those planning to participate in the
next three days' protests.
Thursday, October 5: This is the big day! During the
morning the pope will address the General Assembly of the
United Nations. American Atheist demonstrators will be on
hand to picket during the pope's arrival, speech, and
departure. Having done their good deed for the day,
picketers will then break for lunch. That afternoon is
free for you to explore Manhattan, with local members
available as guides.
Friday, October 6: Don't stay up too late carousing
with fellow Atheists! You will need to be up early this
morning to picket John Paul II as he conducts a Mass at
the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens (just North of Kennedy
Saturday, October 7: This is a "double header" day
for American Atheists picketers. First, we will protest at
the Papal Mass on the Great Lawn in Central Park at 9:30
A.M. Then, after lunch together, we will be on hand for
the pope's arrival at St. Patrick's Cathedral where he is
scheduled to recite the rosary and deliver a brief address
at 3:30 P.M. Then you are free to explore the Big Apple
with newfound friends, or just relax. But it's not over
yet, as that night you will want to join your comrades on
the picket line for a Pope Picket 95 Farewell Dinner at a
restaurant near the Pickwick Arms.
American Atheists is unfortunately not able to offer
an "official" Pope Picket 1995 airline with special
discounts. If you are traveling by air, we recommend that
you fly into the LaGuardia Airport in New York, which is
the closest to the lodging accommodations American
Atheists has arranged for Pope Picket participants.
Transportation to and from LaGuardia and the Pickwick Arms
Hotel in Manhattan is available through Gray Line Air
Shuttle Co. (212-757-6840) at a cost of $13.00 each way.
To find the best airfares, you should book your air travel
as early as possible.
Let the experienced professionals at Four Seasons
Travel in Austin, Texas, coordinate your Pope Picket trip
without any charge to you. To have them find the deals
that best suit your schedule and your budget, call Four
Seasons Travel toll-free at 1-800-955-3687 (8:30 A.M.-5:30
P.M. CDT, Monday-Friday). Ask for Sonnie or Wendy and tell
them you are an American Atheist picketer.
Registering for the picket is important to help
American Atheists plan for picket permits, transportation,
advertising, press releases and media contacts, and
necessary supplies (like picket signs!). The nominal fee
also helps to cover costs. Registration is just $12 per
person. Lodging and meal costs are separate. Registration
Please mail your registration to: American Atheists
Convention, P.O. Box 140195, Austin, TX 78714-0195. To
register by telephone using VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or
American Express, call (512) 458-1244 between 9 A.M. and
5:30 P.M. CDT M-F. You can also register by FAX 24 hours a
day; just dial (512) 467-9525. Or use the American Atheist
BBS at (512) 302-0223.
After you register, you will receive further
information on lodging, meals, and other picket activities
during September via first class mail.
Call the national office of American Atheists at
(512) 458-1244, 9:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. CDT, Monday through
Friday. Or write: Pope Picket 1995, P.O. Box 140195,
Austin, TX 78714-0195. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION
After September 1, call (212) 479-7734 for the latest
updates and schedules for Pope Picket 1995. This 24-hour
voice mail box will be regularly updated with news and
information regarding the picket activities.
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