General chatter - Rant about a Protest

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08-07-2007, 06:23 PM
OK I just HAVE to talk this out. I was so upset I'm still shaking about it. Please know that I'm not one to "stir any pots" or start trouble. Let me just tell you what happened then I'll add some disclaimers.

I picked up my children, ages 7 and 3 from daycare this afternoon and we rounded one corner and a man was standing there holding a sign that read "WARNING, Human Atrocities on display ahead" and for the next several blocks stood people, two feet apart or so holding five foot signs with pictures of aborted fetuses, partial birth abortions, etc. The images were so disturbing and extreme. Of course, one would argue that that was the POINT of the "protest", if the images got you upset enough then they did their job. BUT my CHILDREN were in THE CAR! What if my 7 year old looked up and said something like "Mommy, what's wrong with that baby?" (Luckily, they were both engrossed with their gameboys and I sped through that area as fast as I could) The pictures are STILL haunting me, I imagine they would have traumatized my kids. So bloody, so graphic. There were even older children and teenagers holding these signs! How can this be all right?! Oh and they were knocking on windows of cars at the redlight handing out pamphlets, bull horns, preachers, etc.

Of course displays like this happen all over the country. I'm not naive. I know I can't protect my kids from all this. I just feel so DISTURBED over the sight.

So I needed to talk about it BUT I am DO NOT want to know if you are pro-choice or pro life. I don't want to spark a whole abortion debate. I just am not trying to start any trouble or get everyone all heated up. I was just haunted by the images, but am heartbroken thinking what would my children have thought if they had looked up. Which I'm not too sure they DIDN'T. They just didn't say anything.

Deep breath. I think I'll be okay. Thanks for listening.

08-07-2007, 06:45 PM
Oh my gosh, this sounds like a particular group who comes to my university campus a couple times a year. Regardless of personal beliefs, they drive me INSANE - comparing abortion to the Holocaust, lynchings, the Rwandan genocide is NOT okay in my books. Displaying these graphic images in public places is irresponsible, for the reasons you said - kids especially should not be exposed to these images until they are ready, old enough to think critically about them, and not just get spooked by them. There are SO many better ways to engage people critically about political, moral and other issues than this type of display.

I'm sorry you were exposed to this. :( At our campus, this group is allowed to demonstrate, but now many of the other campus groups will create a "choice" barrier around the display. This gives people the chance to choose whether they want to see the images or engage with the demonstrators, which I think is really valuable.

08-07-2007, 07:46 PM
HOw atrocious! Especially so near a place where young ones are taken care of.

08-07-2007, 10:45 PM
first and last time i saw something like that was during memorial day weekend. I was trying to eat lunch and was already exhausted from the drive (NMich you might remember the issue) but we were passed by a large truck......i had issues seeing i can relate :( I'm sorry you had to see that too girlie :(

08-07-2007, 11:22 PM

08-08-2007, 12:27 AM
There are better ways to get a point across. But of course, the first human instinct when it comes to anything seems to be war. I'm glad your children didn't see this.

There are two sides to protest - I have no problem with peaceful protest... just ask anyone who lives here in Eugene how protesters are treated by the police... tsk. But at some point you need to know your audience and be aware of others around you. I feel it's just irresponsible & will encourage an opposite reaction from people.

08-08-2007, 12:44 AM
I completely understand! Those people come to our campus at school (university) and since it's a public school and an open campus they are allowed to protest anything they want. Those people come and jump in front of you with those signs and yell. They were calling girls names (not very nice ones). It was terrible. I understand that people are against abortion but I think in places where children can see it, it's not good. I don't know maybe that's just my opinion, but honestly pushing a sign in front of me just makes me mad. It doesn't make me listen to you

08-08-2007, 09:16 AM
why in the world are they protesting close to a daycare?? if they feel the need to show disturbing images like that, would they pick a more 'appropriate place' rather than a place where children are?

08-08-2007, 10:40 AM
I am just wondering if there is an abortion facility, Planned Parenthood, or something like that nearby, which was the reason for the location of the protest?

08-08-2007, 12:37 PM
There was a PP corporate office next to the grocery store I used to frequent and protesters would often block people on the way to the market and scream horrible names at them. Yeah, everyone wants to be called a w$@re on the way to buy some milk and bread.

Eventually the leader of the group was fined and imprisoned for a few days for using a megaphone to scream in a lady's ear. She experienced partial hearing loss.

I used to be quite a protest kid in college (save the this, ban the that) but we never did anything like what these militant folks do. Scary.

08-08-2007, 12:38 PM
Extremist Gone Wild = :(

This reminds me of reading about Protesters that were going to military funerals with signs about God killing our soldiers because of homosexuality . . . :?::?:

I think there are ordinances now about this group staying away from funerals . . . maybe you should call the police and make a complaint?

08-08-2007, 01:14 PM
My goodness, protesting at the funerals of soldiers???? Incredible.

Thanks for all the kind replies, I've of course seen how abortion debates can blow up on message boards, like home schooling, home birthing, etc. But as ShyMoment said, it's not about personal choice or your stance on the issue. It was about extremism and scare tactics. And especially like Elmuyloco said, the children are just not old enough to process what they're seeing.

Do let me clarify this....this wasn't too close to where the daycare was, I'd say a few miles from it, it just happened on the way home. And Aphil, good question, but no, it wasn't near a PP (in fact we do have a PP, not too far from there, but far enough that it wasn't why they were there) I think they just chose a really busy street (two lanes both ways, access onto and off of the highway, etc) In fact right in front of the Football Hall of Fame, which, a week too late, HOF week was last week. Maybe they were there since then? That would have been really high profile, protesting near the Hall of fame?

I wonder if I'll be seeing this group pop up more around town or if they'll just travel on?

I haven't seen the UnHappy Meals, but I'm appalled! I did get some pictures on Myspace from someone about hunting baby seals in the arctic that were disturbing. Maybe our society is so jaded that these groups feel they have to be extreme like that to get our attention?

Glad I got the chance to talk it out with you guys! thanks!:hug:

08-08-2007, 02:06 PM
The people protesting at the soldier's funerals are the Westboro Baptist Church. You can google it, if you want, but its really hard to stomach a lot of what they say. Or you can YouTube "Shirley Phelps-Roper" for interviews with their most outspoken spokesperson.

People with the same type of signs were protesting outside of my college library. One of the protesters was a girl who couldn't be more than six. I walked up to her and asked her to tell me about what her sign said. She said "mommy told me to hold the sign so bad people won't kill little kids like me or my friends". Then her mom hustled me away from her really quickly, like she didn't want her to answer any more questions about her motives.

canadian mom
08-08-2007, 02:15 PM
We had a group like this here they did it up town in rush hour so there were plenty of kids who say this and i read stiries of some that were extremly disturb by this. Then the next day (I believe) they were in front of the clinic.

08-08-2007, 03:29 PM
What's sad to me is, here, they put their own children out there on the streets with the signs as well. They interviewed a woman on the news and she said that he children needed to know this and the kids were 5 & 7...WHAT?!!! Some of these people are fanatics and will do anything to get their point across. They even went as far as putting a HUGE sign on the side of a truck and drove it around town until someone put a stop to it. It's one thing for grown adults to do this but to involve children I think is wrong and I totally agree with you...I wouldn't want my children to see it either. I know we can't keep everything from our kids and one day they will learn this but little ones don't need to see stuff like that, or I don't think they do.

About those crazies protesting the funerals, the patriot guard tries to be at the funerals to keep them as far back from the funeral as possible. I don't know how those people can call themselves christians. But it's cool...they line the sides of the streets with their motorcycles and wave flags in respect for the fallen, just went to a funeral for a friends brother.

08-08-2007, 03:50 PM
I believe that if the child is 14, 16, etc. and is old enough to understand what is being protested, and is doing so because of their own beliefs, then it is fine to join their parents-but a 5 year old holding a sign because their parents told them to, when they are too young to understand fully the event/issue, is just ridiculous.

08-10-2007, 08:19 PM
Well... maybe I wasn't the average kid from the average family, but I was fully aware about abortion at a very young age (couldn't have been more than 6 or 7) because we watched CNN at dinner every night and discussed what was on. My dad played devil's advocate about the whole thing and from a very young age, I have been an active protester with and without my parents. But most kids (and even adults) have never gotten an even handed view of all sides of issues like abortion.

What really gets me is so many of those graphic abortion photographs have absolutely NOTHING to do with abortion. There is one famous photograph of a surgery being performed on a baby in the uterus where the baby looks like it's reaching out to touch the surgeon's finger. I've seen that on so many anti-abortion posters when in fact, it was not an abortion at all! Also, many of the graphic pictures are not even humans but other animals. But who cares, as long as it looks bloody, right?

People who use scare tactics for their activism make me sick. Especially when they drag their own children or other innocent bystander children into it.