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Rev Billy Shopocalypse Tour Accident

Around 1am last night a truck rear-ended the tour bus of Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping

Holiday City, OH (December 07, 2005): Around 1 am last night on Route 80 en route to Indiana, a semi-truck rear-ended the tour bus of anti-consumerism activists Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping. The rear of the vegetable oil-powered tour bus was up-ended, sending equipment, furniture and Church members tumbling toward the front until the bus came to rest. A team of 15 emergency vehicles, plus 1 helicopter, shut down that segment of Highway 80 for several hours.
While there were no fatalities, tour documentary director Rob VanAlkemade sustained an injury to his liver. He was flown out to a major hospital in the region. Other tour members were hospitalized locally, including Julie Talen, who has been keeping an online tour diary at Blogging as "Sister Julie," she suffered 3 cracked ribs but was able to post to the Church web site:

"We really thank everyone in the area who worked so hard for us in this bitter cold night and John Quilty for grabbing the camera and shooting. Explaining who we are...and why we have a problem with Wal-Mart to doctors, nurses and ER people while we awaited X-rays, (that) was our action for Ohio."

The tour group, including the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir, band members, documentary film crew, and technical and support volunteers, had just finished a successful visit to Oberlin, Ohio, where the Mayor of Oberlin granted Reverend Billy the Key to the City. That day Reverend Billy and the Choir staged a standing-room-only performance for Oberlin students and other members of the community, before attempting to exorcise a Wal-Mart construction zone. After a delay of several hours for bus repairs, the Shopocalypse Tour headed off into the night toward Chicago, their next scheduled stop.

On December 5th, the Church of Stop Shopping launched a 5000-mile, coast-to-coast, Shopocalypse Tour to get America to stop their shopping this Holiday season. They have been traversing this great country, saving the souls of consumptive consumers, preaching the end of America's deepest vice and wickedness: love of buying and accumulating unnecessary and over-processed goods.

"Consumerism is killing us!" Shouted Reverend Billy to throngs gathered in Time's Square, the terminus of the November 25th Buy Nothing Day parade. "With our SUV traffic jams in the parking lots of our big-box stores, to get our plastic packages—shopping is a petroleum-based activity; we've got to get radically local to save ourselves. We've got to bring this message out of the cities and into our small towns, our countryside. We've got to bring it into our hearts."

The tour will be delayed at least one day while the Church and crew estimate the toll of this accident. According to Sister Julie "No one in the choir that I heard wants to stop." Friends of the Church have expressed their well-wishing and support, which is appreciated.

Shopocalypse Tour Diary:

By Michael ONeil
michael (at)

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