Vigil Moved Due to Security Concerns Regarding Sikh Kirpans

October 9, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On October 9, 2002 The Boston Globe reported that "the "Vigil Against Hate," chiefly sponsored by the Massachusetts Interfaith Alliance, was scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. today in the State House's Great Hall, but was moved [to the Unitarian Universalist headquarters on Beacon Street] after officials said they would not allow Sikhs wearing sheathed kirpans into the building. A kirpan is a miniature religious sword, its blade about 4 inches in length, and is part of the ceremonial attire worn by Sikhs. Realizing the security concerns, organizers of the vigil requested permission two months ago to allow Sikhs to participate in the event in their traditional garb. After being rejected, they asked for a meeting with state officials to discuss a possible exception for the event or special security screening that would allow the kirpans to be worn. Again, this request was denied and the meeting never took place, forcing the group to find an alternative location."