Sidewalk Snippet ~ {9/10/12}

There are frequently homeless people walking by the clinic in the morning. Sometimes they stop to talk and watch the drama. We have regulars we see almost daily, but most stop by every once in awhile.

D is always eager to talk to them and hand them literature. She has been known to recruit one of them to talk to clients who won’t talk to her and to inspire others to protest abortion in front of the clinic.

One morning a new person walked up and started talking to D. After she gave him pamphlets he showed her a picture of his children saying in a loud voice, “Show them this picture to let them know what happens if they don’t go in there.”

They talked for about 10 minutes and while they were talking he moved onto the property line of the clinic about a foot. I walked up to him and he immediately moved off the property line without me saying anything except, “Thank you.” Then he told D, “You were right. They made me move.”

There was a repeat of him moving a foot into the property line, me walking up, him moving off and me only saying, “Thank you.” D told him loudly, “That is just so petty of them.”

Petty? When four AWC clinic workers surrounded an escort on a Saturday who stepped over their property line into the parking lot, threatening to have them arrested for trespassing, were they being petty? Is it petty to not compromise on something like honoring property lines? If we compromise on the property line violations, what is the next “compromise”?

Is it petty to use homeless people to harass escorts and clients, or just manipulative and cynical?

2 thoughts on “Sidewalk Snippet ~ {9/10/12}

  1. Bobby Joe Rogers was a homeless man who was incited to violence by the protestors picketing the Pensacola American Family Planning Clinic in Florida, he gutted the building by a fire via a Molotov cocktail.

    When a stranger to the cause can be reeled in by extreme anti-choice rhetoric and commits violence for the cause (or starts harassing perfect strangers, a form of violation/violence), it can create a dangerous situation. The regular protestors know exactly what they can get away with and what they cannot, a noob who doesn’t understand the subtle intricacies of the situation and laws, can be caught up by zeal and become that “lone wolf” that kills a doctor, sets a bomb, commits vandalism or throws a Molotov cocktail.

    Bottom line, you guys BE CAREFUL out there – take note of the new faces that you see, write down license plates numbers and get their names if you can stand to talk to them. Arm yourselves with as much knowledge as possible about your protestors, so if the shit does hit the fan you’ll be able to point the local police and FBI in the right direction.

    Ps – LOL, at them wanting to call the police on ya’ll for trespassing *snort*, that’s gotta be a joke considering what they do in front of ya’lls clinic everyday. I would get some kid’s sidewalk chalk, show up earlier than everyone else and draw big bold colorful lines on the both property lines and see in just a week how many times you both cross each other’s property lines – just to highlight the disparity there because I bet you guys hardly ever violate their “clinics” property line.

    But then again I am the kind of person who would document every time they violated the property line or harassed a patient, I would make a big show of recording it (assign one person to this and have them do nothing else but sit, watch and document) and constantly talk loudly about documenting their activities for the clinic’s lawyers, the impending lawsuit and for the judge. I’d keep them on their toes and give them a run for their money.

    • Oubli,

      Scott Roeder and Bobby Joe Rogers are the ones I think about every time D starts talking to a new person on the sidewalk. We are very vigilant and regularly take pictures of people, vehicles lingering and record information to document potential issues. Unfortunately, we are only too aware of “recruitment” by antis. We pass on any possible issues to the clinic, police and FBI on a regular basis. We are careful about safety as much as we can be.

      The chalk idea is funny, but in my opinion it is not worth the anti rhetoric it would inspire. Can you imagine D pointing out the chalk line to all of the clients and companions? “You have crossed the line of….” The one incident of an escort violating their property line was an isolated incident. The escort became involved in a conversation with the client and did not notice when they crossed the property line. We are really careful on that point also. Thanks for the giggle this morning though. I am thinking of rainbow chalk lines.


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