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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Scatterbrained Sunday: Safety tips

Yesterday morning, Tennessee abortionist Gary Boyle was arrested for pulling a gun on pro-life protestors, including a teenager. No shots were fired and no one was injured. Boyle is out on bail.

Although I have never been physically threatened (knock on wood), the incident got me thinking about what steps pro-life activists can take to peacefully protect ourselves. Here are a few ideas; please share yours in the comments section.

Be armed... with a video camera. People tend to be better behaved when they're being recorded. And if not, then at least you have evidence.
Talk to the cops long before any trouble arises. Let them know that you intend to protest, and clarify the boundaries of public and private property. Be their partner in keeping order, and perhaps they will return the favor in your time of need.
Don't escalate. If an abortion supporter gets in your face, the best response is usually silence. You don't have to be a Christian to turn the other cheek.
In the worst case scenario, know who to call. 911 is obviously your first call. Your second should be to a lawyer, even if you know that you did nothing wrong. I personally like the Life Legal Defense Foundation; that number is 707-224-6675.

16 comments:

Yonmei said...

You can quit hanging around outside clinics harassing patients and staff going in with threatening language ("they kill babies in there!") strongly associated with the pavement bullies who have gone from verbal harassment to terrorist action against the clinic building or the doctors.

The pro-life movement has murdered eight doctors.

No doctor has murdered a pro-lifer.

Your "ooh, ooh, scared, scared!" is a bully's fear. You think you should get to harass others without fear.

You belong to a violent movement, which plots bomb attacks as well as committing murders.

Oh, and bringing along a video camera to film women going in for an abortion with the "excuse" that you're afraid that the people who are there to protect the patients against you might "turn violent"? Brilliant, in a sickening kind of way.

Yonmei said...

I mean, seriously: you enjoy your bullying Saturdays, obviously, and like reporting back on how you harassed the women going in and made them cry.

But you know perfectly well that you're not preventing any abortions taking place, though that's your excuse for being there.

You're just there to threaten and harass. At best, you just want to make the women who have decided to have an abortion feel bad about it: you're not accomplishing anything positive by hanging out with your fellow bullies, except giving yourself the pleasure of a good rant every Saturday.

If you were brave and not a bully, and all you wanted to do was protest a woman's right to choose, you'd be doing your anti-choice protesting elsewhere - middle of town, busy shopping day.

If you wanted to actually prevent abortions, you'd be doing voluntary work for your local Planned Parenthood or other clinic - I expect the one you bully outside prevents abortions by providing contraceptive/family planning advice.

But you just like bullying. And think you've find a good excuse to film your victims, too.

secularprolife.org said...

"No doctor has murdered a pro-lifer."

They've come close. Your favorite martyr, George Tiller, deliberately hit a pro-lifer with his car. You won't hear THAT in his obituary. And other abortion supporters have succeeded in killing their targets: Harlan Drake, Eileen Orstein Janezic, Bryan Looper.

When I mentioned the camera, it was with the idea that you'd press record at the first sign of trouble. I doubt that a background recording would be helpful.

secularprolife.org said...

To clarify, these tips aren't meant only for protests outside an abortion mill. They apply equally to other protests (i.e. "in the middle of town on a shopping day," at the March for Life, or on a college campus.)

Yonmei said...

Your favorite martyr, George Tiller, deliberately hit a pro-lifer with his car.

A pro-lifer who was trying to block him from entering the clinic where eight women were waiting for life-saving operations. This pro-lifer wanted those women to die - die pregnant, and the fetus die inside the dead woman, since you only care for fetal life on this blog! - rather than allow Doctor Tiller into the clinic.

The pro-lifer wasn't seriously hurt - and we know that because the police present at the scene took no action, evidently regarding a doctor whose patients were waiting for him as less of a criminal that the mob trying to stop him reaching his patients.

You tell me, SP: why do you agree that the pro-life mob outside Doctor Tiller's were right to regard his patients' lives as of no value? Do you hate those unknown women that much?

Yonmei said...

As for your so-called pro-life "martyrs":

Do you even remember who Mike Fuoss was, SP? I doubt it.

"Mike was a heck of a nice guy," [Ed Urban of Owosso, who had been friends with Fuoss for more than 30 years] said "He was well liked in the neighborhood and by his employees — but he was the boss, and he wasn't afraid of being the boss."

Linda Strieff, a longtime neighbor of Fuoss, said the rural neighborhood is still reeling and mourning the "good guy" who loved old cars and was building a home in Florida for he and his wife. "We were always on good terms (with Fuoss) ... He always tried to get along with his neighbors and he was always nice to me," she said.

Mike Fuoss was 61 when Harlan Drake killed him on Friday September 11th 2009. He graduated from Corunna High School in 1966. He owned several local businesses and had founded a local housing division.

Pro-lifers, desperate to find some equivalence after their movement murdered Doctor George Tiller, leapt on Harlan Drake as a "pro-life activist" even though the evidence for this is literally nil. Harlan never claimed to have killed Mike Fuoss or James Pouillon out of any political or personal conviction: he apologized to the families of both men he had shot, and his actual grudge appeared to have been against another local businessman, James Howe.

Pro-lifers then wiped Mike Fuoss out of their records and their memories. He seems to have been a decent man who deserved to be remembered: but pro-lifers can't bring themselves to mention his name.

But the fact is: Harlan Drake went on a mad shooting spree that morning. It's tragic that anyone was killed: it's possible he was, as his lawyer asserted, legally insane at the time. There's no evidence that James Pouillon died because he was a pro-lifer: it could as easily have been one of the clinic defenders who was shot.

Yonmei said...

Mike Fuoss, remembered by neighbours

Yonmei said...

Eileen Orstein Janezic appears as a name pretty much only on pro-life propaganda sites, though I did find a reference on RationalWiki:

The final murder in this category is, in some ways, the holy-grail of this particular pro-life endeavor, as it features a noted pro-choice advocate killing a pro-life commentator. However, there are some problems with it. I don’t think I can sum the matter up better than Abortion Violence did:

In 1993, pro-abortion activist Eileen Orstein Janezic murdered pro-life activist minister and radio talk show host Jerry Simon in Huntsville, Alabama. After killing Simon, she held police at bay with a pistol for six hours while spouting quotes from Anton LaVey's "Satanic Bible." In October 1994, a jury found her guilty of murder, and she was sentenced to life in prison.

So, that’s the best they can offer, as far as a pro-choice person killing a pro-lifer over abortion. I think it would work much better as a piece of anti-Satanism propaganda than it does as anti-choice, but at least they’re trying.

Yonmei said...

As for "Bryan Looper", I presume you meant Byron Looper.

He certainly did kill State Senator Tommy Burks in October 1998, and Tommy Burks was, apparently, a normal Republican-type politician who opposed "abortion, legalized gambling and a state lottery" but, as with trying to claim Harlan Drake as a "pro-choice activist", the evidence that Byron Looper was motivated by pro-choice views is nil: all the evidence appears to be that Looper - whose given name, I note, you did not know! - was nuts enough to think he could kill a State Senator and win the election by default.

Yonmei said...

I'd vaguely heard of Harlan Drake, SP, but I'd never heard of the other two names. Both were long-ago crimes that would probably have been of interest to people interested in weird murders, but I'm afraid that's never been one of my hobbies.

I note, however, that the only one that gave me any difficulty in looking up the facts, was Byron Looper, and him only because you'd got his first name wrong and I had to figure out where the mispelling was.

Why is it that pro-lifers just hate to go to original sources and check the facts for themselves?

Aside from the obvious, which is that if you did, you'd find the facts are against you...

Yonmei said...

When I mentioned the camera, it was with the idea that you'd press record at the first sign of trouble. I doubt that a background recording would be helpful.

Good plan for the clinic defenders, given that pro-life pavement bullies are there to cause trouble, and are associated with the violent wing of the pro-life movement.

Just temptation for the pavement bullies, since if they recorded the faces of women going in they could use that recording as a nasty way of publicising their victims.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes, Byron Looper. It was a typo. Give me a break.

"A pro-lifer who was trying to block him from entering the clinic where eight women were waiting for life-saving operations."
You have absolutely no evidence of this. In fact, the police did take Tiller to the station over the assault-- and nobody died.

I do remember who Mike Fuoss was, and I have absolutely nothing against him. His death just didn't seem to be relevant to this conversation, since all agree that he was killed for apolitical reasons. But as to Mr. Pouillion, you're just plain wrong: Drake clearly stated, numerous times, that he was angry at Pouillion over displaying a pro-life sign. And while I appreciate his apology, he still killed two people.

"I'd vaguely heard of Harlan Drake, SP, but I'd never heard of the other two names. Both were long-ago crimes that would probably have been of interest to people interested in weird murders..."
Is there a time limit on how long it matters?

Drake, Janezic and Looper were nutjobs; I totally agree. But so were Roeder and those like him. A good rule of thumb is that if you murder someone, then you're a nutjob! My point is simply that politically motivated nutjobs do exist, and therefore it's wise for pro-lifers to take basic safety precautions.

Yonmei said...

SP: You have absolutely no evidence of this.

I have the evidence of the pro-life propaganda site you first linked to about this incident, which whined breathlessly that the police initially declined to act and allowed Doctor Tiller to enter the clinic, where he performed eight abortions. They were very specific about that. Of course they could be making it up: I admit that pro-life propaganda sites are not good factual resources, but you linked to this one yourself: didn't you bother to check what it said?

I do remember who Mike Fuoss was, and I have absolutely nothing against him.

So why omit to mention that he was the first victim in Harlan Drake's killing spree?

Because the murder of Fuoss proves the pro-life mania to claim Harlan Drake as some kind of pro-choice activist is just that; a mania. A desperation. A need to try to portray pro-lifers, who have committed eight murders of doctors and numerous acts of terrorism, as living in the kind of fear which pro-life activism has imposed on people who work in health clinics that provide abortions.

Drake clearly stated, numerous times, that he was angry at Pouillion over displaying a pro-life sign.

Odd you were unable to link to any evidence of this, isn't it? More pro-life propaganda?

Is there a time limit on how long it matters?

Apparently so. Doctor George Tiller was murdered by a pro-lifer on May 31, 2009. On September 11, 2009, pro-lifers decided his death no longer mattered, because they could now talk up James Pouillon as a "pro-life martyr" - and wipe Mike Fuoss out of their minds. Apparently Mike Fuoss's death mattered even less... time limit on that, probably less than an hour.

Yonmei said...

But so were Roeder and those like him. A good rule of thumb is that if you murder someone, then you're a nutjob!

Whereas if you just talk nutjobs into murdering innocent doctors and other clinic staff, by using violent rhetoric and propaganda against abortion, you are in your own eyes not a nutjob?

My point is simply that politically motivated nutjobs do exist, and therefore it's wise for pro-lifers to take basic safety precautions.

Of course it's wise. It makes great propaganda, to pretend that pro-lifers need to feel the same kind of fear as their victims.

It's not necessary: but it's as wise as omitting to mention Mike Fuoss and pretending that either Harlan Drake or Byron Looping were motivated by their victim's pro-life views. When you're trying to promote the idea that pro-lifers are victims, it would be thunderingly unwise to stick to the facts.

secularprolife.org said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/11/anti-abortion-activist-ki_n_283486.html
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/09/11/michigan.shooting/
Huffington Post and CNN. That's some real pro-life propoganda right there...

Yonmei said...

That's some real pro-life propoganda right there...

Well, you're certainly trying to turn it into that, yes.

You claim "Drake clearly stated, numerous times, that he was angry at Pouillion over displaying a pro-life sign. "

But you're apparently completely unable to link to any evidence of this! You evidently want to believe it - but you can't seem to find any source evidence that what you want to believe is true.

Neither the Huffington Post story nor the CNN story suggest it or quote Drake.

CNN: "According to Sara Edwards of the county prosecutor's office, authorities do not believe that Drake knew Pouillon."

Huffington Post: "The county's chief assistant prosecutor, Sara Edwards, said there didn't appear to be a "triggering event" but Pouillon's presence outside the school seemed to aggravate Drake. It was "the fact that he was outside the high school with his signs in front of children going to school," she said."

When someone gets killed - even when it's a nutjob timewaster like James Pouillon! - it's a tragedy. James Pouillon may have done nothing useful with his life, but he was a person, and didn't deserve to get shot. Strangely I think he would probably have preferred to be alive and wasting his time holding signs than dead and being made use of cynically by the pro-life movement who want to claim his killer as a pro-choice activist.