By Hilary White
JACKSON, July 18, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A week of rallies, vigils and sidewalk protests outside and near the state of Mississippi’s sole abortion facility is half way through and has seen two arrests and police citations for pro-life demonstrators and a lawsuit against the police of Jackson. Organizers hope the demonstrations will result in the closing of the facility.
Monday was the third of eight days of demonstrations by the North Carolina based group Operation Save America. Members of Operation Save America were protesting on the sidewalk outside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion mill in conjunction with a larger rally at the state legislature downtown.
Two of the demonstrators, Cal Zastrow and Ken Scott, were arrested and taken to jail. Five more protesters—Cliff Powell, Tanya Britton, Harriet Ashley, Ed Martin and Ester Mann—were cited by Jackson police for holding signs and assembling for a protest without a city permit. The signs included graphic depictions of aborted children.
At the downtown rally about 100 pro-life demonstrators and about 35 counter protesters were present and peaceful. Local news sources reported, however, that approximately 50 police formed a line between the demonstrators and the legislature. There were no physical clashes between the two groups and the rally broke up at about 2 pm.
Both sides are complaining of an over reaction by police and attorneys from the American Family Association’s Center for Law and Policy have filed complaints against three Jackson police officers, including Chief Shirlene Anderson.
Tanya Britton, president of Pro-Life Mississippi, and one of the demonstrators cited by police at the abortion facility told the Clarion Ledger, “We have been through this time and time again.”
“If I have to go to jail, I guess I’ll go to jail. I’m not in violation when I’m on a public sidewalk,” she said.
By Hilary White