"Pro-Life Action League Demo" Met With Opposition

August 24 -- Chicago

In the early evening of Friday, August 23rd, on the sidewalk surrounding
the Art Institute, 21 Pro-Life Action League (PLAL) members [14 male, 7
female], brought out their 4-foot high fetus placards to protest the
beginning of the Democratic Convention in Chicago.  The PLAL contigent was
quite a cosmopolitan one, with representatives hailing from California,
DC, and New York.  PLAL, with Joseph Scheidler at the helm, were met by a
group of angry pro-choicers, led by the Chicago chapter of Refuse &
Resist.  The pro-choicers held the banner "Abortion on Demand And Without
Apology" and wore buttons stating "I'm Pro-Choice and I Shoot Back." 

The two groups stood side-by-side, with only a couple of minor run-ins, in
front of the Art Institute for about an hour.  PLAL then began their short
march to the free Aretha Franklin concert, closely trailed by the
pro-choice contingent.  Along the march, 20 or more police officers formed
a wall to physically separate the two groups.  When they finally reached
the concert park, PLAL spread along an entire sidewalk.  The pro-choice
contingent tried to cross the street to directly oppose PLAL, but suddenly
another wall of about 20 cops formed in front of them, refusing to let
them cross.  When queried about First Amendment rights, the police just
kept to their rehearsed script: "Until the end of the Convention, this is
the place you people have pi cked to protest.  Stay on this side of the
sidewalk."  When asked about whether or not they were going to help defend
abortion clinics during the course of the week, the officers remained
stonedly silent. 

Later, when PLAL tried to cross the street, they were met with the same
blue wall of authority.  They were, however, allowed to cross the street,
as long as they stayed off the sidewalk directly adjoining the concert

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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