Wichita, Kan. - Police arrested 57 anti-abortion demonstrators Saturday when they allegedly tried to blockade a clinic and verbally abused officers, ending nearly two weeks of peace.
"The officers are taking an insurmountable amount of abuse from these people," said police Maj. K.T. Brewer. He would not specify what protesters said to police officers.
Protests staged by the national anti-abortion group Operation Rescue led to 2,657 arrests from July 15 to Aug 26 at the city's three abortion clinics. Saturday's arrests were made at the Wichita Women's Center, the only one of the three clinics not protected by a federal court order against the blockades. Twenty-three of those people arrested Saturday on charges of criminal trespass were repeat violators and were taken to jail, said Police Capt. Gary Johnson. The others were released. Eleven were juveniles, he said.
Protesters later moved to the Wichita Family Planning Inc. clinic, but no arrests were made there.
Most of Saturday's protesters were from the Wichita area, Brewer said, adding that officers and demonstrators used to have a good working relationship. National leaders of the protest had left town the last week of August. One of the demonstraters at Wichita Women's Center crawled forcefully into Brewer, knocking him down and bruising his knee, he said. He decided against filing an assault complaint.
In a speech Friday, Police Chief Rick Stone criticized anti-abortion demonstraters for THREATENING OFFICERS WITH RELIGIOUS RETRIBUTION [caps added by me...] for enforcing the law. He said some protesters go to the same churches as some of the officers, and said they threatened to get the officers thrown out of the churches.
Stone said he was proud of his officers and their commitment.
Mister Zen comments:
Anyone care to comment on this? I think we understand the generic Christian position on abortion - but I'm specifically interested in a Christian defense of not just civil disobedience, but wanton disrespect of the law, threats of holy retribution, assault, and so on. These fine upstanding citizens are claiming to be genuine Christians. So? Are they? Or are they some more of those "not- really- Christians- because- they're- being- publicly- bad- Christians?" I really would like to know!
I am especially interested in this because I myself have witnessed women being physically assaulted as they attempted to enter abortion clinics, spat upon by bible-toting zealots (Yes, they were toting bibles, and they certainly were zealots, so no complaints about exagerrating, please), and otherwise humiliated and abused. Is this how Christians behave when confronted with behaviour that they don't personally approve of? Hmmm?
With Rancor aforethought,