5280 Magazine: DNC and Abortion
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* American RTL NEEDS YOU for its DNC Sheets Project: Old friends and new friends, we need your help if you can sew or fold sheets! Much of the work on ARTL's DNC Sheets of Shame project is top secret, but even if we don't know you, you can come on out and help with this historic project! We're working seven days a week, three shifts a day! Call to sign up to help, 1-888-888-ARTL (2785)! See below...
* Power in the Park: sponsored by American Right To Life during the 2008 DNC to expose the democrat-supported genocide of black babies. Please plan to come on out during the mornings of the DNC to the Martin Luther King Jr. Park right across from Planned Parenthood's brand new 52,000 mega-abortion facility in yet another minority neighborhood. Speakers include Jesse Lee Peterson, Ambassador Alan Keyes, Clennard Childress (BlackGenocide.org), Matt Trewhella, Bob Enyart, Flip Benham of Operation Rescue, plus a dozen others!
* Sewers and Untrained Helpers Needed: American RTL's DNC Welcoming Committee has collected 2,300 sheets for their top secret Sheets of Shame project! And they're running three daily shifts of volunteers (all ARTL officials work without salary), mornings, afternoons, and evenings, seven days a week! We need folks to sort and fold sheets, to iron, and seamstresses (and we've even had two guys sewing so far). Needed: Can you help ARTL sew these sheets? ARTL has the sewing machines and thread. They need volunteers, both experienced and inexperienced (some folks are assemblers who only move the fabric along). Please call 1-888-888-ARTL or 303 587-3660 to sign up for a morning, afternoon, or evening 3-hour shift in Arvada Colorado anytime from now till the DNC.
Sponsor a Sheet: Can you sponsor a sheet? For any size contribution to help this project succeed, you can be a sponsor and we'll write your name on a sheet (or a Bible verse or something else). You can click to donate to American RTL to help fund the $5,000 Sheets of Shame project or call 1-888-888-ARTL!
Gold S-O-S Sponsor: Can you be a $1,000 Gold Sponsor of the top secret DNC Sheets of Shame project? If so, please call 1-888-888-ARTL (2785) or click to donate to ARTL! And we'll also want to dedicate 10 sheets to you with your message! Be a part of this historic project!
* Colorado's Largest Magazine: reports "Twenty years after anti-abortion protests made history at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, Colorado has become a battleground for reproductive rights, and the next generation of activists [Amendment 48's Kristi Burton and the Collaborators Project's Will] is targeting Denver to commemorate the occasion. ... Amendment 48, a pro-life ballot initiative that is historic in its potential impact, will be presented to Colorado voters in November.
Meanwhile, a new brand of anti-abortion street protesting has cropped up around Denver. Both efforts have drawn out-of-state attention and resources from national right-to-life groups, and both are spearheaded by believers under 30 years old. Believers like 21-year-old Kristi Burton [sponsor of] Amendment 48, or the 'personhood amendment' ... says God gave her the idea after she spoke with friends who regretted their abortions. 'Our intent is to lay the foundation to protect every person," she says, "no matter how small.' 'This is a change in Colorado anti-choice tactics, and it would represent a national change in priorities for the anti-choice movement,' says Crystal Clinkenbeard, spokeswoman for the No on Amendment 48 campaign...
Clinkenbeard calls Amendment 48 a concerted and coordinated departure from the 'chip-away' approach favored by pro-life groups over the past two decades, designed to 'chip away' at Roe v. Wade by passing [and-then-you-can-kill-the-baby] laws... certain moderate pro-life groups have been hesitant thus far to support Amendment 48. The Colorado Catholic Conference, for example, has not endorsed it. 'Righteousness is rarely popular,' argues Leslie Hanks, the vice president of Colorado Right to Life and a 20-year veteran of the anti-abortion movement. The change in focus, she says, comes after years of failed strategy and ineffective legislation. A new guard of inspired young Christians, along with a renewed drive in the movement, has changed that. Hanks counts Kristi Burton among her personal heroes and says pro-life efforts in Colorado are stronger now than ever. 'Getting the personhood amendment on the ballot was our highest priority this year,' she says. ...
For months, local pro-choice organizations and their counterparts at the national levels have been developing strategies for how best to mitigate the expected convention chaos. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, in particular, has had practice. Colorado Right to Life and other religious groups regularly pray, chant, and picket [at] Planned Parenthood... But during the recent construction of its brand-new health center and administrative headquarters in the Stapleton neighborhood of Denver, Planned Parenthood became the target of some of the most vehement and visible protests in Colorado to date. A group called the Collaborators Project, led by 25-year-old Will of Lakewood, set up camp almost daily outside the chain-link-fenced construction site. But even that activity wasn't considered out of the ordinary. It was the group's extension of its consternation to those actually building the facility that seemed to write a new chapter in the pro-life playbook. Will declared it his personal mission to make a 'national example' of the Weitz Corporation, which was the lead contractor for the $6.3 million [Auschweitz] Stapleton center. His Collaborators Project spent weekends and holidays, including Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday, and the Fourth of July, on the sidewalks and streets outside the homes of Weitz's corporate executives. Collaborators Project volunteers toted bullhorns, video cameras, and graphic signs. A 'truth truck' (borrowed from a national anti-abortion group) plastered with pictures of aborted fetuses and the words 'Weitz Co. takes blood money to build abortion mills' patrolled the executives' suburban neighborhoods. Will publicized the names, phone numbers and addresses of company officials via Web postings and YouTube videos.
Like Burton's personhood amendment, the Collaborators Project has proven extremely controversial, even among pro-lifers. In fact, it was Colorado Senate Republicans who introduced legislation to restrict protests at private residences, in direct response to Collaborators Project actions. 'Home protests are looked at very negatively, and of course they would be. Who wants to be protested at their home?' Will allows. 'But you really need to go for the jugular when you're trying to stop something as [enormous] as abortion in this country.' Throughout the process, Planned Parenthood has maintained its long-standing policy of nonengagement with detractors, says Leslie Durgin, senior vice president for community development for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM). 'Having said that, we were still surprised by some of the tactics, because every week it felt like it was something new and different,' she says. While residential protests are routine on the abortion-protest circuit, 'it was much more intense here.'
Even before Will came onto the scene, the Stapleton building was designed with security cameras, an extra-long driveway, tall gates, and lush landscaping, amounting to 'enormously increased privacy for clients, for doctors, for volunteers, and for staff,' Durgin says. Both PPRM and Weitz hired extra security... during the construction process. And Weitz steadfastly refused to back out of the project, despite threats of satellite protests of its offices and even its other clients around the country. ...Will still claims victory. He says new chapters of the Collaborators Project are springing up in other states, including Oregon, where anti-abortion pressure caused [the general] contractor [Walsh Construction] to pull out of a construction... for Planned Parenthood in Portland. 'The motto I live by is do right and risk the consequences,' Will says. 'And I think it's very effective.'
Flip Benham has widely praised Will and the Collaborators Project. As early as January, Benham's group, Operation Save America/Operation Rescue (OSA/OR), was making plans to include Weitz and its Denver-area clients in its protest plans for the 2008 DNC. Benham succeeded Randall Terry as OSA/OR's national leader. ... Emilie Ailts, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, is disheartened that progressive groups will devote valuable time and resources this fall to fighting Amendment 48. And by the fact that clinics throughout the country are still being targeted by protesters insistent upon closing them down. ... 'Here we are, 40 years later, fighting the same fight,' she says. 'That is astounding to me.'"
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