We have nicknames for most of the antis since we do not engage with them enough to ask for their real names. It helps us identify them for daily documentation of our escorting experiences.
There is one particularly aggressive man who comes out to harass at least twice a week. I’ll call him The M. In the past, he has been known to push clients and escorts off of the sidewalk into the grass in order to shove literature or plastic fetuses at the client. He never yells, but his words are always painful to hear. Escorting around him is always a challenge in physical confrontation. We are restricted in our actions in response to his physical shoving in order to avoid chaos for the client and charges of assault against us.
One morning I was escorting a client and companion up the sidewalk to the clinic. I was walking beside the client and the companion was on the other side of the client. When we started our walk there was about two feet between The M and me. As we continued our walk, he kept moving closer to me and pushing on me with his whole body in an attempt to get beside the client. He was talking the whole time and stretched his arm in front of me with his literature in the client’s face.
I tried to hold my ground by just exerting counter pressure but not shoving. In between talking to the client, I kept repeating, “Please don’t push me.” At times, I had to position myself sidewise to maintain my position. Walking sideways while being body pressed and presenting a calm presence to the client is a developed skill set I don’t expect to use any place else in my life.
When I had only about 6 inches left between the client and The M and we were close to the clinic door, he finally realized I was not backing off and moved behind me. His comment when he moved behind was, “You are the one pushing.”
Of course I was.
REMINDER: If you are interested in escorting, don’t forget the training on September 8th at 9A. Training is not required, but it’s helpful. Please see our Trainings for Escorts page or email us for additional information.