Monday, October 09, 2006

Every time I try to get out, they keep pulling me back in!

The crazy theater people will have to wait for a bit.

While doing a lit drop this weekend against the abortion ban, one of our groups was accosted and intimidated by a raging group of...well, it's hard to know what to call them, as their behavior is increasingly at odds with the goals of those who respect life. I don't know if they actually threatened physical harm, but their behavior was threatening enough that the group got back in their car. When they tried to remove themselves from the situation, a mob member threw her bicycle down in front of the car so that they couldn't leave, and then continued to yell and make threatening gestures.

Such behavior, though not yet violent, shows a frightening lack of control and an intentional escalation toward violence. A group is frightened enough of your mob to try to leave the scene, and you prevent them from leaving??? What comes next? What is the goal of the woman who puts an obstacle in their path of escape? What would she have said after they broke the car windows and beat the passengers? "They have it coming because they don't respect life?" Did those mob members go home, shaking, at what their behavior might have led to?

And it gets worse - much worse. As usual, Coat Hangers at Dawn has the story. Regardless of your position on abortion, please follow her links and read this. Read it all. And ask yourself, if you call yourself pro-life, if you think Jesus would have tried to murder this woman for wanting to use birth control, or if he would have called her a whore and a slut for having sex with her boyfriend.


anna said...

When I helped with a lit drop...two weeks ago, I guess it was, the woman I was paired with was chased down the street by some guy who said she was going to hell, blah blah.

I had a couple of really good experiences connecting with people, but stuff like that freaks me out. Do you know if these lit drops are ongoing things in Sioux Falls? I wouldn't mind doing another one.

Plain(s)feminist said...

I believe that the Campaign is coordinating these, and I don't know when the next one is, but I'm sure there will be more. I know they're also doing phonebanking.

I think all of us should carry cameras at all times, and stay in groups of 3. If anyone comes after me, I fully intend to plaster their face all over the internet.

anna said...

I normally carry my digital camera in my messenger bag...this is not a bad idea at all. I was too shocked by the man going after this woman to think to use it at the time. I think we were both pretty freaked out - I mean, the guy seriously had to have run a good block and a half down the street to catch up with us.

math4knitters said...

Totally off the topic, but I think you would love this book

Journalistas : 100 years of the best writing and reporting by women journalists / edited by Eleanor Mills with Kira Cochrane.

It's in the library in SF. Or will be, when they force me to return it tomorrow.

Coat Hangers At Dawn said...

We have a bunch of very scary looking burly guys who we could ask to ride along on lit drops or other activities. They are actually really nice guys but have the intimidation factor and size to stop problems. It would take a few days notice. We also have a couple of people who would be more than willing to ride along to take pics if needed.
Don't forget most new phones have a camera on them. Snap a picture, write down an address or a license plate. Call the cops if people get out of hand. We will research and post any information, pictures etc. from incidents like this. People like those in the bicycle incident need to be publicly exposed and possibly have to deal with the police. Nobody has to take that.
Our $.02 next time run over the bike.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that the Vote Yes people are also going into stores in the mall and leaving fliers in the pockets on clothing and changing the screen savers on monitors in elctronics stores.

Plain(s)feminist said...

coathangersatdawn - we'll be doing another lit drop soon; email me if you'd like to get involved and I'll give you the contact info. It would be great if your burly friends could come, too!

foxgrandma - I can't fault them for this - those are tactics I've used, myself, though not in reproductive rights work. We put flyers about sweat shops and union busting in pockets at the mall (because the clothes were made in sweat shops and/or by non-union labor). And I don't think I've personally ever changed the screensavers, but I remember someone one putting up a banner that said something like, "lesbian visibility," which I thought was cool.