UU Jackson MS Antiracist Action

Anti-Racist Action provided protection and support for a Jackson Unitarian Universalist church against the intimidation of the extremist pro-life group Operation Save America.

Today (Sunday) was an ultimate win for Anti-Racist Action. We were asked by the Unitarian Universalist Church to provide protection during their Sunday service  from Operation Save America (previously known as Operation Rescue) who came bearing 10 foot signs of an aborted fetus, set up a speaker on a tripod, and began yelling (from across the street) about how we’re all going to burn in hell because we allow 50 million unborn children to die in the U.S. alone. Many read from the bible at length, told us they wanted to save us from the depths of hell (by turning to Jesus, of course) and called us cowards and shameful when we wore our bandanas as face masks (even though almost all of them had either a digital camcorder or a camera)

The Jackson Police, upon viewing the arrival of the Pro-Lifers, warned them that they had parked their cars on private property (an auto-body shop parking lot) and that they had to leave. After about 10 minutes of the Christians ignoring the police requests, the police stopped making them, and allowed them to stay.

The real treat of the day, however, came when a "Pro-lifer" tried to enter the church parking lot. Even though we had reiterated that they were not welcome, and not allowed on private property, one man, wearing a "Jesus is the standard" shirt, tried to drive his car into the lot. Affinity groups assembled, locked arms, and stopped his progress. He tried to open up his car door only to be met by a member of the congregation standing directly in front of it, and holding a "Protect Women’s Rights" sign up to his window. During the chaos and yelling, the car’s hood was dented, the windshield was badly cracked, and the passenger door was caved in. Despite several cameras being present (from both sides) there is no footage showing who was responsible for the damage.

After that, no other car attempted to enter the church area.

Several individuals, however, did try to cross the street to preach to us about the Bible. Again, groups assembled and prevented him from stepping foot onto the grass parking lot. A police officer slowly sauntered over, and said "Excuse me, Sir, but you’re going to have to go back to your side." The man tried to say that it was public property, and which point we clarified that it was private, and harassed him back to the other side of the street.

The fun dwindled around 12 pm (Many of them were severely overweight, and needed a break to get a meal from McDonald’s) after having started around 9 a.m.

http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=20060716132934706

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3 responses to “UU Jackson MS Antiracist Action

  1. Wow, that is a dramatic incident! I’m glad no one was hurt.

    While I do not support OSA’s actions, it isn’t clear to me in what way opposition of them is an “anti-racist” action. I know that anti-racists and pro-choicers are sometimes fellow political travelers, but still it doesn’t seem like an automatic fit. Large numbers of African-Americans and Latinos are pro-life, after all. Many make the argument that abortion is part of a racist conspiracy to depopulate minority communities in America.

  2. i have heard that as well, about the “new” genocide. there is a real need for some deeper thinking about pro-choice and people of color communities…some of that is happening out here in Oregon as we have a parental notification measure on the November ballot.

  3. Boots Sommers

    Hi, just saw your post here and the question about it. I think the link between “anti-racism” and pro-choice work is the common enemy of fascism. Anti-Racist Action is a group which got its start confronting street Nazis, rather than dealing with systemic racial oppression. When the group was ready to grow as a political force, the tactics and ideas we had developed were more useful in confronting other quasi-fascist groups (which many anti-choice groups seem to be) than in struggles that were more obviously “anti-racist”. In a sense the name is a throwback. Although ARA is still very focused on ending racism, our fights are often about resisting the broader concept of fascism.

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