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>Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2001 20:48:28 -0800
>From: "Michael M. Butler" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: Extremism, was Re: CULTURE OF GAck! Thpthpthpthpthttt!
>Phew. Heavy stuff. I guess responding to things like this could turn
>anyone into someone who could be mistaken for an extremist. Thanks.
>PS: if the Klan and the nazis are *that* effective, maybe the conspiracy
>theories about crazed gunmen conveniently popping up at politically
>opportune moments have merit, too.
>Attention, everybody: This is not a gun thread. Please do not respond as
>if it were. This is an extremism thread.
You don't know the half of it. I'll tell you just a little. I once split the discounted cost of an abortion with the local head of NOW so that a fourteen year old girl who'd been repeatedly raped by her fundamentalist father could abort the violently and incestuously produced fetus - he couldn't stop her, due to a right-to-privacy statute which the Florida constitution has and the US constitution does not, but refused to pay for the abortion, insisting that the pregnancy was God's judgment upon their sins. I would sleep in clinics as a human shield on the nights before and after Christmas and Mother's Day, because most antiabortionists were indeed squeamish about taking human life, although they were quite comfortable with property destruction. As a result, I had my home watched, my movements shadowed, my car sabotaged, and my university records illegaly accessed to provide the antiabortionists with information they could use to harass, deter or discourage me. I remember !
seeing clinic escorts attacked by packs of prolifers wielding their picket signs like clubs. The Southern Baptist, Catholic and Assembly of God churches in our area would bus their parishioners to the clinics every Friday to picket, and provide them with signs (they stopped that, however, when we picketed them on Sunday, with women painted death white and carrying cardboard tombstone posters upon which were written the names of women who had died as a result of illegal abortions - they could dish it out, but they couldn't take it). They never could begin it again once the FACE laws (Freedom of Access to Abortion clinic Etrances Act) was passed in 1994; this effectively quashed Scheidler's successors, Randall Terry and Operation Rescue. They had an annual celebration (since discontinued) where they would march in large crowds around the clinics seven times, blowing trumpets for each circuit. This was to symbolize the actions of the biblical Joshua; of course, when the bibli!
cal walls of Jericho fell, Joshua's righteous and God-blessed army killed everyone inside, and the marches were usually followed by a mob assault upon the clinic entrances. I actually have a green shirt with white lettering that reads "I survived Jericho '85", to commemorate the next-to-last and worst time. We had the FDLE in the clinic taking pictures of the antiabortionists taking pictures of them, and a deputy whom we suspected was a sympathizing mole (like the woman who opens the biblical doors to the Canaan cities - he wore "tiny feet" on his uniform lapel) shouted up to us as they surged towards the door "I don't think I can hold them back!" A tiny black woman with the FDLE then drew this huge automag and shouted back, "Well, okay then, let 'em through!" He somehow found a way to keep the door shut after that. When that news got out, the '86 event was rather more sparsely attended. I remember a thin black-clad fellow with a white shirt who used to sneak through a g!
ap in the fence and plaster sick visual propaganda on the windshields of clients; one morning before dawn my wife and myself filled up three bags of fresh cowpies and dug an unavoidable 8 inch deep trench wall-to-wall at the gap which we filled with it, disguising it afterwards. It somehow felt poetically appropriate when he stepped and sunk in that bullshit that day, and retreated shaking his foot and cursing. What's more, the cattle had eaten briars, hedges and thistles, which grew an impenetrable barrier there. Oh, yeah, remember ("St.") Joan Andrews? She would get an antiabortion doctor to refer her as pregnant under an assumed name, then trash the clinic once she got into the procedure room. When she did that here in Pensacola in '86, they let her out on bail, and she missed her court arraignment date. A former Dominican priest, Joseph Scheidler, at that time ran the whole thing out of Chicago, co-ordinating actions nationally by leaving daily taped messages for the !
far-flung faithful to call. A mole of our own had obtained the Prolife Action Newsline telephone number that they used to feed the octopus, and when I called it that day to find out what they planned to do to us lately, they reported, among other things, that Joan Andrews had been arrested very that day in a suburb of St. Louis for doing what she'd done here. Of course, local departments never thought to check out-of-state. I had a problem here, though; the police department was fundamentalistically leaning, and wouldn't move on such info unless forced to by publicity, and our two news outlets were compromised; our newspaper, the Pensacola News-Journal, is owned by the Gannett chain, which is owned by a Catholic family, and Channel 3 is owned by Heritage Media, out of Lynchburg Va., and Jerry Falwell (of Lynchburg) actually referred pregnant girls to John Burt's "Our Father's House". So I did the only thing I could do; I told them both, gave them both the number to verify !
it for themselves, and then told each news outlet that I had also told the other one. Neither wanted to get scooped, nor did either want to appear as if they were smothering a story (ACTUALLY smothering it was fine, but they hated to APPEAR as if they were doing so), so they both ran with it, which forced the courts and the police into a pre-trial national investigation, which revealed that she had pulled the same stunt at more than 120 clinics in the two previous years, which is why Joan Andrews got five years in prison rather than a $250 fine and ten days in jail. She was released three years later by Catholic Governor Bob Martinez, who then lost his bid for re-election, but by then, they decided this was not the place they wanted to be in large numbers (bombing had already failed when the busted the Goldsby-Simmons four in "84 and sent them to prison in "85, and the replacement John Burt brought in from Cincinatti was busted in '88). That's when the assassinations starte!
d (in '93 and '95), but they resulted in him losing, in '96, the strip of land next to the Ladies' center that he bought in '91.
Now, you may call me an extremist because of my involvement, but I never demanded that anyone have an abortion against their will, and second and third trimester abortions were not performed at the clinics where I escorted. I only began to escort because picketers were attacking a woman when I happened to be driving by, and I pulled her to safety, then found out that it was an everyday occurence there.
For a chronology, go to:
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