CounterMedia Camerman Eddy Nix Assulted and Arrested at Clinic Defense

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

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."

This news alert issued by CounterMedia, a coalition of political organizations, media groups and individuals dedicated to providing alternative coverage of the Democratic National Convention and community struggle in Chicago.
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