11:15 am, August 27th, 1996; Chicago's Far West Side: Hostilities between anti-choice activists and clinic defenders have escalated steadily through the morning, resulting in the arrest moments ago of at least one person, a cameraman assigned to cover the event. The arrest occurred at about 10am, Tuesday morning at the ACT Medical Center at 5714 W. Division. The clinic provides women's health services, including abortion services. Both sides had been facing off under increasingly tense circumstances since early this morning when Operation Rescue volunteers gathered to block patients' entrance to the clinic. Forty members of Operation Rescue, who clinic defenders refer to as "anti's", attempted to obstruct the front door of the medical center. They were met by thirty clinic defenders who intended to keep access to the clinic open. In addition, fifteen more "antis" sealed the back door of the clinic with glue, which temporarily prevented people from leaving or entering. During their efforts to shut down the medical center, a number of "antis" assaulted clinic defenders - punching some people in the face. At least 25 Chicago police officers stood by during the altercation. In addition, there were six police cars and a paddy wagon on hand since the early morning hours, with more arriving as the confrontation escalated. One pro-choice demonstrator marvelled at the passivity of the police, particularly their apparent unwillingness to make any effort to prevent the increasingly violent and aggressive actions of the "antis." Instead, the police threatened individuals who had come to defend the clinic, as well as making two arrests. One clinic defender was charged with "damage to property," while a video cameraman was charged with "disorderly conduct." A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department Office of News Affairs refused to comment about the police officers' passive response to the activities of Operation Rescue. After being questioned, the officer would only state "we're damned if we do and damned if we don't."
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