April 2, 2012

Fighting Fire with Fire

Two can play at this game, some just better than others
Spoiler Warning: This post has some hot-button socio-political-religious issues.  I'm not advocating towards one side of the issues or the other, just pointing out some folks pushing the boundaries of "polite discourse" and getting served some sweet, sweet ironic justice.

 I was doing one of my infrequent reads of Jezebel.com and came across this article: Payback Is a Bitch for Abortion Clinic Protestors, Thanks to a Brilliant Landlord.  Basically this guy owned a property that happened to have a facility called Reproductive Health Services Clinic.  This clinic does provide abortion services, but I don't know if this a a primary function or just something they happen to do.  I've talked in person to some folks at Planned Parenthood and found out that their abortion services account for less than 3% of the work they do.

I only mention this because I don't think that the average person really knows of any "abortion clinics", but they do know of Planned Parenthood.  Right or wrong, these people do what they do for what they think is an important reason and the people that protest these people and places do so because they think it is important also.

That is all fine and dandy until someone crosses the line.  Evidently this landlord is pretty laid back when it comes to both the clinic and the accompanying protesters.  This clinic was previously owned by his father and at one time run by his sister, so all the hoopla normally associated with such an enterprise is old hat to him.

Todd, the landlord in question, was perfectly good with the status quo until the protesters started protesting him and his family.  No matter what side of the abortion issue you stand on, I think the average person would think that protesting a little girl's school with pickets showing.....showing stuff I don't even want to type about along with Todd's contact information is simply not civilized.  Shortly after this picketing he started getting tons of calls to his home at all hours of the day (and night).

The next thing that happened was pretty sweet in my opinion.  Good 'ol Todd started collecting the names and numbers of those people pestering him and returned their calls.  People started offering to help Todd and started using the protesters tactics against them....in a polite, orderly fashion by the sounds of it.

This effort grew into an organization.  Voice of Choice organizes people to establish "a calm, measured response to anti-abortion activists who engage in misguided, raging protest tactics that are often ill-informed and only serve to victimize women, pro-choice professionals, law-abiding businesses and unaligned bystanders."  Their methodology? "We use email, telephone and social media in peaceful, person-to-person counter-protests against groups that target abortion facilities, providers and patients, as well as their families and communities. We don’t question anyone’s right to express opinions and ideals; we challenge their bullying tactics and their contempt."

They had me at "we challenge their bullying tactics and their contempt."

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