News reports and our own counts indicated the pro-choice gathering of support for the new "target number 1" for the anti-abortion movement, Dr. LeRoy Carhart, outnumbered the "protesters" by 2:1. This was an overwhelmingly positive day of disciplined, fearless resistance against the reactionary and violent Operation Rescue mobilization, and exactly what needed to happen. Check out CNN's coverage, and these quotes from our side:
Michelle Fadeley drove from the Chicago area to support Carhart. "Someone who is willing to put his own life on the line to save thousands of other women's lives is truly a hero," said Fadeley, who works for a local Illinois chapter of the National Organization for Women.
Anthony Hardwick of Omaha clutched a sign that read "Women are not an incubator."
"What it means to me is that women are not solely for the purpose of procreation. They're not little vessels for men to plant their seeds in," he said.
Starting at 5am we stood in public support and protection of the clinic, staff, patients, and most of all the heroic doctor who will not compromise with the organized forces of dark-ages patriarchy, who chanted in response to our, "Welcome Welcome! This clinic stays open!" and "A baby's not a baby till it comes out! That's what birthdays are all about!" with "Trust GOD, not women!" and sent their spokespeople to tell the media, "We're not a violent movement. We've only killed 5 doctors." More to come...
Revcom.us: Abortion On Demand & Without Apology
Lining the street in support of Dr. Carhart
The antis begin to arrive, starting with the Fetusmobile
Forming a line to protect patients
No, it's not a public beheading of a man guilty of sex outside of wedlock. That's the Operation Rescue spokesman who told the Norwegian press that they've "only killed 5 doctors."
Our ad-hoc response to the fetusmobile
This woman does not only have an enormous amount of children, she also is representing the most violent faction of the "pro-life" movement. Her t-shirt reads "Visualize Abortionists on Trial." She had more kids than are shown here, also dressed in violence-inciting t-shirts.
Every time the antis started yelling at patients, or mumbling prayers at us, or singing (Silent Night, for some odd reason, given this is still August), we chanted again. Or, we sang our own song:
A woman has a right to live/a woman has a right to choose/a woman has a right to have a child/and she has the right to refuse!
Debra Sweet, Director of the World Can't Wait
Guarding the entrance and welcoming patients
Abortion is not a four-letter word.
Keep Abortion Legal (and don't let our doctors get picked off, intimidated, or injured; stop shaming women, and while we're at it, end the oppression of women!)
This is not over. Operation Rescue may have been greatly outnumbered and upstaged this weekend, but they are not going away, and the anti-abortion movement overall will not stop until there is no abortion access, no birth control, and the submission of women is hammered into place.
Debra Sweet spoke in front of the clinic: