Monday, November 30, 2009

Look for the Giant Highlighter

Whew, the comments around here have been a little out of conTROLL lately (haha, see what I did there?). What fun!

Clinic is still chugging along. We had our end of year party for the clinic escorts on Friday, and as far as I know, a good time was had by all. It's really important for us to get together and let the volunteers know how important they are and what a difference they make in the lives of patients and clinic staff. THANK YOU!!

One exciting thing that we are looking forward to is a change in uniform for our escorts. We normally have blue pinneys with "clinic escort" written on them in white lettering. These are pretty distinctive but what SL and I have been finding lately is that the volunteers aren't as visible as we'd like them to be. When you're a patient, especially when you're coming to the clinic for the first time, it can be a bit overwhelming to drive/walk up and see a sea of people with protest signs, so we really want the volunteers to be super visible. What we've decided on is highlighter-yellow, paramedic-style safety vests. We're trying them out for the first time this week, so I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but in the last couple weeks Pink Hat has been back in her pink beret! It's very exciting to see her living up to her nickname once again, especially since we've had a very mild November. The protesters have definitely been stepping it up in general in the last couple weeks. Holy water is flying all over the place, some big signs have come out (including old favourites like the one with the cross made out of fake flowers), and there's been some verbal harrassment.

Sometimes our escorts can't get there quick enough, as was the case with one young woman last week - a protester got to her first and started talking to her, so by the time the escorts found her and brought her inside she was in tears. There's not much we can do in situations like that except to pick up the pieces afterwards - after all, they certainly have a right to talk to people.

Despite the aforementioned mild November weather, winter is almost upon us (it snowed today!). Toe warmers are ready for the volunteers, and I've started dividing them into three shifts instead of two, something that I started last year (at MP's suggestion) and that has really worked out in the cold months, when a half hour less of standing still really makes a difference.

I can't think of any stories from the last clinic because I've been slack and left my blogging too long. Methinks a New Year's resolution is beginning to form. Anyway, stay warm, trust women. Etc.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Note on Trolls

Hi friends. I didn't blog this week, sorry. I'm just dropping in to clarify my position on commenters who use personal attacks and so on - in other words, trolls. I am not going to be feeding the trolls; however, I have no problem with the rest of you engaging with them (in fact, it makes me feel both amused and supported).

Also, I will always publish their comments because I believe that it's important to see the kind of hatred we are up against, and the harrassment that abortion providers and patients face every day. These are people who cannot even put together a logical argument, or engage in debate; they show up right away with ad hominem attacks dripping in vitriol because that's all they have. They don't like women. They seems to be overwhelmingly anti-semetic. They are not worth our time, and yet at the same time I feel that it's important that we acknowledge that they are out there.

So there. I have published every comment ever submitted on this blog (except for a couple that were spam). And I won't be talking to people who come out swinging. But I support those who choose to. Because choice is awesome. ;)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Letters from the Quarantine Zone

Why yes, I haven't blogged for a while. I am almost as bad at updating as Peter Ryan (oh, snap!).

So, I have swine flu....maybe? Regardless, I am sick. So I may as well blog. The protesters really stepped it up this past Tuesday - maybe because of Remembrance Day, or maybe just to be dicks, it's hard to say. Regardless, there were a lot of them and they were being more aggressive than usual.

There is a new protester (as of last week). He is a young guy (well, younger than the rest of them) and he is nicely dressed, with a black leather coat. He stood across the street last week, which is a little weird because the rest of the protesters walk around on our side of the street. This week new guy started across the street but eventually came over to our side of the street. He got the honour of holding the "in memoriam" sign with the cross made out of glued-on plastic flowers. It is one of my favourites. Point being, we definitely need a nickname for this dude! Lay those suggestions on me in the comments.

A couple good observations from volunteer escorts this week. The first, from KM:

"[One of the escorts] was showing [another escort] a variety of dances that he had never heard of, including "The Shopping Cart", "The Chicken", "The Shower", and other things. We were all laughing, and then a flock of [protesters] near by looked at her with sad eyes, and said "Now imagine if her mother had aborted her".

Well....I guess then the other escort would still not know those dance moves? I mean seriously, the whole "what if your mother had aborted you" argument might just be the worst one. Or I guess the least effective one. I don't even want to get into it, it is so full of fail.

The second thing was that AB overheard one of the protesters telling another that God had called on her to quit her job and be a stay-at-home mom, and she had never worked since then. I wish God would help me make life decisions. Although afterwards we were talking about it and a couple of the escorts agreed that they felt "called" to be clinic escorts. So is God playing us, or what?

Anyway, if you weren't at the Andrea Gibson show last night you should be kicking yourself, because she is amazing. Google her. And if you are in Halifax tonight, please go see her - it will change your life, I promise.

I know there's more I want to blog about but I am DYING OF SWINE FLU. Bring me soup.