Stand up for science against anti-vaccine fear today in Chicago

As I’ve pointed out numerous times this week, anti-vaccine loons, led by Generation Rescue and a “health freedom” group, have organized an anti-vaccine rally in Grant Park in Chicago from 3 PM to 5 PM CDT. Anti-vaccine martyr Andrew Wakefield himself will be the keynote speaker, and there will even be very bad music promoting the anti-vaccine message. The rally, with its wonderfully Orwellian title, The American Rally for Personal Rights, will be pure crankery on display.

Those supporting science-based medicine plan, led by Skepchick Elyse Anders, to be there to promote science over the conspiracy theories and fear mongering that the anti-vaccine movement uses to frighten parents out of vaccinating their children. I realize it’s short notice. I realize that you very likely will be outnumbered, given the combination of short notice and the fact that the anti-vaccine zealots have been organizing and promoting this rally for weeks, if not months. Nonetheless, you’ll be doing Orac a particular solid if you can show up there. Details are here. There are also going to be satellite rallies in New Jersey, Washington, and New York. They look as though they’ll be much smaller; so, as P.Z. Myers points out, even if a couple of people can go it could have an effect.

Oh, and if you see J.B. Handley, Jenny McCarthy (I don’t know if she’ll be there or not but thought I’d mention her anyway), Andrew Wakefield, Kim Stagliano, or any other prominent anti-vaccine loon to whom I’ve applied some not-so-Respectful Insolence on a regular basis, please tap him or her on the shoulder, smile broadly, and tell ’em Orac says hi. (If you manage to pull this off, please let me know, either here or by e-mail, what the reaction was.)