40 Days participants harassed with pornography, physical assault: Washington state
EVERETT, Washington, March 24, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Only days after reports emerged of a firebomb attack on an elderly participant in a 40 Days for Life vigil in Kalispell, Montana, 40 Days for Life campaigners in Everett, Washington are also reporting harassment that has taken place during the current spring campaign.
On the 40 Days for Life Everett blog, local leader Michelle McIntyre wrote that on March 21, “a man appeared at our vigil site with his face covered by a handkerchief or some type of mask and displayed pornographic pictures, flat on the sidewalk just before a family of prayer volunteers arrived with their children.”
The display deterred the family from bringing the children on site, she said.
McIntyre noted that state law prohibits display of sexually explicit material in a public area. She also said that the same man “was attempting to engage some of the other prayer volunteers and mentioned something about a bomb,” which is when police were called.
McIntyre advised participants to treat instances of harassment seriously by calling the police, citing other incidents involving physical assault.
“We have heard of several instances at our site and other nearby vigils of incidences where clearly the police should have been called but were not. Examples are of people shoving, hitting and grabbing our signs and tearing them up. These qualify as assault and destruction of an other’s property,” she wrote.
Campaign Director Schola Frisinger told LifeSiteNews.com that a police report had been filed over the incident and that police have been cooperative.
“They were very cooperative, they encouraged us to call us with no hesitation if it happens again,” Frisinger said.
Pro-lifers elsewhere haven’t all received the same treatment at the hands of police: after an elderly 40 Days for Life participant was targeted by a homemade firebomb in Montana on March 16, the Thomas More Society noted that police seemed to brush off the event. The participant was unhurt after the device exploded into flames next to her.
Kalispell 40 Days for Life coordinator Karen Trierweiler complained that police acted as though the throwing of the incendiary device was “no big deal to them,” and that pro-lifers had been targeted with projectiles last year as well.
The Thomas More Society subsequently filed a complaint with the FBI, which they hope will take the incident more seriously than local police.