Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Coming To a Town Near You..............

Today's post? A rant on extremist tactics. I can't promise it will be linear because rants often take you to brain destinations unknown, but I will do my best. hmmmmmmmmm where to begin..........

Sometime late Sunday night morning or Monday morning a non-descript bus rolled into my town, filled with a group of people, young and oldish and a bunch of billboard sized placards. Greeted by a local crew, they set about preparing for their information onslaught to unsuspecting members of the community. They rallied around the downtown core near the Morgentaler Clinic just before the workday traffic began, lining up along the busiest streets of the city, holding up their 6X4 foot placards for the world to see. What was displayed on the placards? Disgusting photos of mutilated fetuses, supposedly from an abortion.

With no way to avoid the barrage of images, people in cars...........families with young children included.........were forced to drive through the invasive scene. The next morning, on the local CBC station, the story was broadcasted and an interview was set up with the individual in charge of this group who call themselves......."Show the Truth" and the City Mayor. I listened intently along with my husband, both of us realizing that it was probably the same radical group that had parked themselves outside of Union Station in Toronto last year with their lovely photos that we tried to avoid after arriving into the city on vacation with the kids. The photos are so disturbing and graphic (and are not of a fetus in the early stages of pregnancy, but rather an almost full term fetus that was most likely miscarried) that we had both felt sick the first time we saw them.

Unfortunately we were unsuccessful in avoiding them. So, when the representative from this misnamed group stated that they weren’t going to be protesting again, we breathed a sigh of relief and got on with our morning rush out the door, into the van and away to drop the kids off at daycamp and to head to work.

Heh heh……….

Before we knew what was happening, we visually slammed into the protesters, with no way of avoiding the onslaught. Show the Truth had lied and shown up with their disturbing doctored photos lining the one way thoroughfare that we drive down everyday. My 8 year old son was the first to read the bright yellow sign indicating that abortion photos were being displayed………. Of course this sign was place RIGHT BESIDE the fetus photo, not a block away. And of course, my curious son wanted to know what an abortion was. My 12 year old daughter was there too, trying not to look at the appalling graphics, but also wanting an explanation. I was so shocked and upset by their display that I had to leave it to my husband to explain it in terms that would be understood.

Some more questions arose as we were stuck sitting at the lights surrounded by a sea of extremists…………and their children for God’s sake! (there were children under the age of 10 standing there helping to hold up this placards. How sick is that?)

After dropping the kids off, I headed into my office absolutely livid. I blasted into the lobby fuming and barking out my disgust, thinking that I either march over to the extremists and let loose with a barrage of my own, or I write an email to the CBC. My husband, who was just as upset over it had the desire to purchase some water balloons and lob them at them (even when he is angry, he has the ability to think up absurdly comical ways to express himself….. I love how his brain works) I decided to write this email………. It was read this morning on the radio.

"I listened to your interview this morning with the anti-abortion extremist representative and Mayor Brad Woodside. The descriptively graphic details used by the representative were appalling and yet predictable as she attempted to explain her group's tactics by showing doctored photos of fetuses along one of our cities busiest streets. One of the analogies she used was of playground bullies. If she doesnt think her tactics are not bullying, I don't know what is.

She was also asked if they would be protesting again today and she stated no. However, before my husband and I could find a way to detour the area, we were inundated with a dozen or more of these 6 ft by 4 ft posters of fetuses invading our morning drive. It would've been bad enough if we had been driving on our own. However, our two children, age 8 and 12 were in the car with us.

Not only did the photos frighten and horrify them, they wanted to know what an abortion was. My children don't need to know this information, and I thoroughly resent this abusive invasion that we experienced this morning. So, instead of starting out their day at summer camp on a positive note, we sat in the parking lot and attempted to give them enough information for them to absorb while reassuringly try to move the topic onto more suitable morning discussions. I had to say goodbye to them wondering what they are thinking and if our explanations were enough to quell their concerns.

I commend Mayor Woodside for speaking on all of our behalf this morning. He did a fine job in explaining that the issue isn't regarding people's belief systems. This issue is the approach that this extremist group is taking. As far as I'm concerned, it is totally unacceptable.

It is akin to pornography. Their plan to shock and awe backfired miserably because it left me disgusted and angry.

Put them back on their bus and get them the heck out of our city."

As I had mentioned in a previous post on
Extremism, I take offense to that line of ambushing tactics. I don't care if it's environmental extremism or animal rights is counterproductive, dangerous and immoral.
I believe in the right to protest, and in the right to share one’s opinion. But, when the line is crossed like it was with these activists……… when they decide that it’s their responsibility and right to blast my children with horrifying graphics on a subject that they are not old enough to comprehend………..they crossed the line. BIG TIME.

My children, like all children probably can’t remember what it’s like to live without terrorism. Planes smashing into buildings? Yup, that can happen. Bombs going off in subways? Yes. 10 year olds dying of cancer? Yes. Grandparents getting gravely ill and their parents worrying about them from afar. E-coli, AIDS, West Nile, Pedophilia in the neighbourhood, family pets dying, wars, hunger, tsunamis………………all graphically displayed……… all events that have generated questions and discussions in the car, on the beach, at the dining room table. Most of these topics are unavoidable, though I wish we could so as to maintain their innocence just a little longer.

As parents, it is our responsibility and choice to teach our children about the issues of the world. News, wars, illness, death and destruction……..all brutal realities that our children are learning about at a much faster pace than we ever did and it is up to the parents to monitor the learning, not a bunch of strangers with a political mission.

The Abortion activist/extremists boarded their bus last night and are off to continue their Maritime tour. Heads up! They’re coming your way. Better go out and purchase those water balloons.


Canadian Sentinel said...

That's why I hate going uptown. All kinds of weirdoes, and not just lefitst/moonbat ones, either.

If I wanted to voice opposition to, say, final-trimester abortion, I certainly wouldn't walk around with such pictures. It isn't necessary, for folks can imagine what it looks like for themselves.

If someone decides to abort, I would hope they make the decision quickly.

They could also decide to not fool around in the first place, don't go all the way, use protection, or, if they don't want kids at all, get the snip-snip.

I suspect that a lot of folks really don't think things through and end up in such a situation. That's sad. It can be psychologically damaging for some folks to go through the "procedure". They could later wish they'd decided differently.

Speaking of "extremists", I've an interesting post, also related to abortion. You'll have to go over three different reports to figure out who did what and what happened and so on. There's left-wing anarchists and some peaceful Christians who politely, without any stupid pictures, voiced their point of view, but were silenced by the leftists... all took place outside a church. It seems the police went harder on the Christians than on the moonbats.

There was violence by the moonbats, but the police let 'em go just 'cause they wouldn't ID themselves. Is that normal? Hardly!

The Christians, however, were arrested. Seems on charges of demonstrating w/o a permit. Funny, but the fine masked folks at the blockades in Caledonia weren't arrested even though a judge ordered the blockades removed. Warrants are out for arrests on the violent Aboriginals but the police won't do anything.

I think the rule of law and equality under the Charter and the American Constitution have been severely weakened. And I can't believe it's happening under the Republicans... are they no longer careful conservatives?

Guess I've ranted too, here...

awareness said...

Hey there CS.

I read your post and left you my rant on your blog.

What those extremists did was ruin the work of their more passive anti-abortion protesters. They took the credibility with them on the bus and left a tainted and disgusting taste in the community.

Most people will react defensively to a visually violent onslaught. It's an invasion of boundaries. It's like a sight rape. Extremist tactics never work. They do more harm than good for their cause.

What intrigues me is trying to understand the mindset these people have. With such strident narrow thinking focused on one cause ... do they think about anything else?? It verges on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ..... a mighty fine mental illness I must say.

Anonymous said...

As you know, I have a different opinion on the abortion demonstration. Soft talk and carefully selected images have done little to stop the epic abuses against innocent life. No woman or man can justify the thousands and millions of abortions that happen every year in Canada and the USA. There is no justification for the endless slaughter, unless the destruction of society is the overall aim of the abortion leaders?

When men like Dr. Henry Morgentaler justify abortions because he believes - as he stated in his UWO acceptance speech- he is 'saving' the future from the angst of poor people, he insulted all poor people. He was bold enough - and applauded by the 'educated' crowd - to state that abortions prevent poor people from becoming creators of events like the holocaust. He is a popular madman while abortion is genocide by popular consent.

As you also know, I have voiced concern that many 'educated' women seem unable to grasp the larger moral structure of society, and in many cases, work towards the complete moral destruction of every element of society. Like the United and Anglican churches, many of their female (including the fe-'male')leaders become unlikely apprentices in the moral decline of their own institutions.

But, liberals make me laugh. They are always horrified by facts and images that do not support their godless lives. These same persons were not so unhappy to see photos of dead American soldiers hung over bridge railings, or afraid of abuse photos from Abu Ghraib, but they are always afraid of any image that reveals truth that does not conform to their control of evil.

Truth is an ugly thing. If you as a parent can't explain an abortion picture to your child then maybe the abortion practices are the problem. Instead of blaming the men and women who wish to stop abortion, try laying blame at 'sources' aborted feet?

I don't buy the sissy arguments that the manner of speech or the way things were shown is the real problem. The real issue is that women and men mass kill helpless innocent life and then want to be immune from any criticism.

Personally, I am edging towards publishing the names of all women that kill their babies. One more bit of truth might help prevent the loss of a few more lives. After all, I want to know, who are the killers living in my neighborhood?

In the meantime, here is some advice for those activists that say abortion helps save womens' lives: "Have at it girls, here's a coat hanger. Knock yourself out."

awareness said...

Well, hey there Anselm. Your comments leave me wondering what side you butter your toast? As you know, I do know. And, since I know and you know that I know, I won't get into a debate on the topic of abortion practises with you, especially here.

Truth is ugly. One of the most difficult components /responsibilities of being a parent is trying to monitor and alleviate the level of anxiety and fear that goes along with a child learning the ugly truths about this world, because there are so many of them. It's a very different world than it was when we were young..... with so many ways and means of accessing information, and with the world so much more open to spilling the ugly truths through various channels, the responsibility gets more and more difficult to monitor.

There also is a time and a place for the learning. Being accosted by extremist lunatics on the way to daycamp is not a teachable moment in my books. I am affronted and livid that these so called Christian people who supposedly have such high regard and love for children think that blasting them with doctored photos of untruths is? AND it's their responsibility to do so? Never.

I am not an overprotective mother. My husband and I welcome open discussions on many of the "ugly" truths with our children and try our best to provide a safe home that is receptive to our children asking the questions that they need answers to. There have been times when the big old ugly world.....whether its dealing with a death that hits close to home, or whether it's a more global event happening in Afghanistan........has produced a strong feeling of anxiety and insecurity in our children. It is one of us, or both of us who are there to soothe and offer guidance in the middle of the night. The older they get, the more of these moments happen.

I am very cognizant that I can't be there to shield and redirect them from the ugly truths.......that would be irresponsible and unhealthy as well. But, our role as parents is to try to be a gatekeeper so some extent. So, we march onward, hoping to strike a balance, hoping that we can strive to find the right words, the right spirtual foundation, the proper amount of guidance to allow them to be free thinking, grounded individuals with a quest to seek out their own way when they reach an age of maturity.

I could go on.........but I think I've made my point..........just like you so eloquently did.

Kelly said...

Yeah, it makes me wonder if people really think that by seeing these things will make them change their beliefs. Deep seated beliefs about things like abortions or gay rights aren't things that will change because of a sign someone holds up.

Ellen said...

I'm on your side with this issue, and am tired of seeing protesters who rudely care less for the people these pictures offend. Why is it they need to shout the loudest, and shock the most, in order to get their point across.... then wear masks to cover their identities? If you stand on a side of an issue, you are more plausible in your opinion if you stand tall and take ownership of said opinion.

Pictures of aborted fetuses are not necessary to make that point.... we all get the picture without it shouting a thousand words at us.

urbanmonk said...

the supposed "shock" tactics employed are justified on the grounds of "ugly truth" needing exposure..

But Im not sure what it acheives in real, practical terms. I am not a parent, but if I was, and I encountered that I would be angry.

On the larger issue of abortion, Ive always been a fence sitter. I could have easily have been one myself, as I was the result of an teenage pregnacy. I dont think it is a black and white issue, f right and wrong though.

There was documentary made in britain, a few years ago that handled the issue openly, but with sensetivity. IT did influence my view in the direction of pro life, where before i would have resisited this..

Another intelligent and insightful post.. Thanx

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Sounds like a very intense and dramatic experience.

Being someone who is passionate about so many causes, I can understand people also expressing themselves, maybe a bit too much, about something that is meaningful to them.

Canadian Sentinel said...

Excellent post and commentary.

I like how it's permissible to voice one's point of view here without being called terrible things at all.

You know, Awareness, you remind me of Canadianna.

If you haven't already been, it's a good place to discuss important stuff and it's always relatively civil, if spirited. It's one of the first blogs where I began discussing political matters last year.