I was taking pictures again last week. It wasn’t a “big” week, nothing special about it. But I’m tired of my own words ~ I’ve been blogging about being an escort and the walk up the sidewalk for a long time now. I’m tired of talking about it, I want to show you. I want you to take the walk with us.
This is a video of the gauntlet – it’s not a great video, but better than nothing. The person in the green vest is a protester. They are walking up the way you would come if you were coming to the clinic. One day soon, I’ll videotape it from that perspective, but today we have this:
(My videos tend to be shaky – I apologize for that. Well, and they’re not great videos.)
So you can hear them saying the rosary, and in the background, you can hear one of the preachers. I think it’s actually Andrew, who’s not officially “a preacher” for our purposes because he doesn’t take a turn on the step stool that serves as their soapbox. But he preaches for sure – to the escorts as much as the clients, I think.
If you were coming up through the gauntlet, you’d start way down at the end of the block and come all the way up, and then the clinic is on your left. As you walk up, you’d be facing this:
Right before you get to these folks, you would turn left.
Now, in the video, on the left as you get close to the clinic doors, you see this group of men, lined up on the curb. Here they are, and Mary on the end with the big green bag over her arm, the orange vests of escorts standing in the street:
If you decided to avoid the gauntlet by getting dropped off at the door, right there is the only space where there isn’t a car parked. It’s not the official Saturday “drop off” spot, because there was a car in the drop-off space last week, but if the car hadn’t been there, they would have filled that area too.
As you get out of your car, they look like this:
But the escorts are to the side of them. We hold some space there so we can move to let you come through that gap, or we’ll ask them to step aside so you can get through.
As you come through the gap, the signs greet you:
Fortunately, just because they’re selling that crap does not mean you have to buy it. They don’t know you, or your situation. You can walk around them, you can ignore them, you can tell them to get out of your way.
Personally, I want a buffer zone – both a fixed one and a floating one. I want the protesters to have to stay 100 feet away from the clinic, and 10 feet away from a client.
I don’t think that’s asking too much.