Monday, April 26, 2004

Silently speaking truth to power at "The March"

Amy Welborn and After Abortion have terrific coverage of the event from the pro-life side. Protests, marches, and rallies don't grab me much anymore, only because they seem to bring out the worst in people, even and especially when it's a "love-fest" or a Pete Seeger singspiel. People have forgotten that true protest, the prophetic variety at least, must be collectively, almost militaristically disciplined and quasi-liturgical, that is if degenerating into mere mob-brained catharsis session is to be avoided. I've always believed reverent silence works wonders as protest repertoire. Which is why I was heartened to read this about some pro-lifers at this past weekend's pro-abortion march in DC:
We stood, all 500 of us in the Silent No More Awareness groups, in total silence as planned, for over five hours, not replying or saying one word to anything that was said or done to us, and I do mean anything. But nothing prepared me for literally mobs of livid people screaming the most hateful vicious snide things at me personally. We were spit on, and had an egg hurled at us from the marchers. There were two groups of Satanists. And the signs. Like the guy who held a handmade sign, "BABY KILLER" with an arrow pointed downward at himself. If not for the riot police, we would have been mobbed. There was that much viciousness. People broke through the riot police's invisible line just to come up in my face and hurl insulting words. There were not enough police to form a complete line, so they would run up to me, shout out their abuse, and run back before the policeman or woman got to stop him/her. And I said nothing to anyone, just held my sign.