A week ago in Washington, DC was the big Reason Rally. It was a big atheist/freethought gathering in the Washington Mall in Washington, DC, and several noted atheist/freethought authors, bloggers, and activists spoke at it. Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer, Taslima Nasrin, Greta Christina, Cristina Rad (ZOMGItsCriss), Hemant Mehta (Friendly Atheist), PZ Myers (Pharyngula), Annie Laurie Gaylor, Jessica Ahlquist, Nate Phelps, etc. Politicians Pete Stark and Tom Harkin sent video messages to the gathering.
Jessica Ahlquist is a high-school student in Cranston, RI who had successfully sued to get a prayer banner removed from her school as a violation of church-state separation. A lot of people there hated her for it, and a Cranston politician called her an “evil little thing”. A label that she has jokingly adopted.
Nate Phelps is a son of Fred Phelps, the infamous homophobe and activist and attention whore and troll. He described how he came to leave his father and to deconvert.
It was not the first such gathering. Ten years ago was the Godless Americans March on Washington (GAMOV), a name that brings to my mind physicist George Gamow. This one was even bigger, having something like 20,000 people attending, and a good variety of people at that. Seems like the New Atheist movement has staying power.