Surprise! Pro-life ‘flash mob’ forms honor guard for Joe Scheidler
CHICAGO, April 5, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The pro-life flash mob of Chicago has struck again - this time outshining a small pro-abortion protest against an event honoring pro-life great Joe Scheidler before bringing their infectiously cheerful message into a main thoroughfare.
The Evening of Tribute to Joe Scheidler took place Saturday evening at Chicago’s Holiday Inn Mart Plaza Hotel. It was hosted by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and 30 other pro-life organizations to honor the “founding father” of the grassroots pro-life movement.
However, a group of pro-abortion supporters had used the internet to organize a protest against the event, ultimately drawing a crowd of about 20 or 30 who shouted and carried signs outside the hotel. But Br. Chad McCoy of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, who was present at the event, said the screaming crowd was well outnumbered by the hundred or so youth who responded to a last-minute summons to carry their trademark yellow “life” balloons to the same place.
When Scheidler walked up, a backpack stereo blasted the Star Wars theme to enhance the entrance - a moment that was, in McCoy’s words, “super sweet.”
However, not all went according to plan. Although McCoy says the group secured permissions from the hotel to be there, security guards kicked the group off hotel grounds, ignoring explanations from McCoy that the group was expected.
“I had to plead with the chief security officer for a long time before he even let them come into the lower parking lot, not the main area by the door where we were supposed to be,” he said. Fortunately, Scheidler also happened to pull into the lower parking lot, and was able to greet his fans.
After Scheidler entered the building, McCoy says the group was “treated like criminals” by the security guards, who called the police and threatened to have the group arrested, which included several ticketed guests to the evening’s celebration.
“It was just weird. We didn’t have signs, we were clearly celebrating, we weren’t protesting,” he said. “We’d done nothing provocative and we were kicked off anyway.”
When the group moved away, it encountered the pro-abortion crowd, which immediately started shouting profanities, according to McCoy, who said, “it was just a sea of f-words as soon as we walked up.”
Pro-lifers attending the event later found the tires of three of their cars in the parking lot slashed. McCoy says a pro-abort protester was even seen tying a Life balloon to a fake bomb and leaving it in the hotel parking lot.
But the real mob event took place on Michigan Avenue where, rolling out the red carpet and blasting dance music, the pro-life crowd cheered and chanted pro-life slogans as passersby began getting more interested. “People could have chosen to walk around us, but most people chose to go through, high five, just have fun back, and we were giving out balloons to lots of people,” said McCoy.
The celebration culminated under “the bean,” a sculpture in Millennium Park, where the group set up an impromptu dance. “Everyone knew what we were about, but a lot of people were still participating,” said McCoy. Even the police, he said, were beginning to enjoy the scene.
“I was watching their faces, and it was really funny, you could tell they were enjoying watching people’s reactions,” he said. “I can’t even tell you how contagious it was. The whole experience was fanastic.”
A similar pro-life “flash mob” surprised a Planned Parenthood rally in Chicago in February.