Protest, forgiveness rally held ahead of Vick's "Comedy Explosion" show

Published: Jul. 12, 2014 at 11:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2014 at 11:56 PM CDT
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Vick's supporters countered the protest with a "Forgiveness Rally" across the street.
Vick's supporters countered the protest with a "Forgiveness Rally" across the street.

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Dueling rallies took place Saturday afternoon outside The Strand where NFL star quarterback Michael Vick was set to host the "Michael Vick Comedy Explosion."

Local animal activists announced last month that they planned to protest Vick's event at The Strand. The New York Jets quarterback Vick served time in federal prison for dog fighting. Hundreds of people joined the Facebook group saying they planned to attend the protest, pending permit approval.

A few dozen protesters had shown up outside The Strand as the protest got under way around 5 p.m. on Saturday, holding signs and posters depicting abused dogs and demanding protection of the innocent. "We are here to bring awareness to animal cruelty problem in the area that we believe is exacerbated by what appears to be several of our community leaders' worship of this celebrity who has obviously been involved in some serious dog fights," said Emily Day.

Another group held a "Forgiveness Rally" for Vick at the same time. That group, made up of local churches and businesses, said they became concerned when they saw a number of hateful comments online about the event. Members of that counter-protest group faced off with the protestors on the other side of Crockett St. holding signs urging forgiveness. "God has forgiven us," said Dorian Ford. "Who are we not to."

While there may have been some exchanges between members of the two groups, the protest and rally remained peaceful overall. Shreveport police reported no incidents or arrests.

There is no word yet on how turnout was for Vick's Comedy Explosion show, which got under way at 7 p.m.

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