Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reading the Litter-gy

Yesterday's clinic was ridiculous - there were like a thousand protesters (ok maybe more like twelve to fifteen), for no reason I can think of. Maybe because it's getting close to Mother's Day? I know that in past years they've become a bit nuttier when May draws near, so perhaps that's it.

Regardless, they were quite aggressive. Kudos to the volunteers yesterday for putting up with their garbage.

Pink Hat is still wielding her sad, broken little Jesus. She also often holds a prayer book to read while she walks and does her rosary (yes, she holds a Jesus, a prayer book and a rosary. That's why she can't have a sign). This week, her prayer book - which is almost as shabby as her Jesus - started to fall apart, and the pages blew into our parking lot. One of our escorts, LS, told her that she was littering, but Pink Hat was too busy yelling at patients to pay her any attention. So LS scooped up the pages and jammed them into her empty coffee cup, which she then brought into the clinic to throw out.

Well. The protesters immediately got together outside in a prayer huddle for like twenty minutes, and Peter Ryan came over, and they started having intense discussions that, sadly, led to no action on their part. They did become a little more aggressive towards the volunteers, of course.

Later in the morning, just after the last patient arrived and I went out to call the volunteers in, a woman pulled her car over on the side of Brunswick Street, got out, and stormed over to yell at the protesters. "I just want you to know, I really disagree with what you're doing!" They argued back and forth for a while. I know it's a public safety risk but I like when people do that; it gives me hope that there are people out there who are as angry about the protesters as we are. The escorts mentioned that the woman had a Saint Thomas University parking pass; maybe a prof at STU? Anyway, thanks Mystery Lady! You brightened our morning.

Clinic went well on the inside. A couple difficult cases, but that's the norm. One too early, one too late, some no shows - a pretty "average" clinic day, all told. No one was particularly upset or put off by the protesters, which is excellent.

Before I forget, I want to mention that Our Bodies, Ourselves is doing their annual Women's Health Heroes awards again this year. Check it out, nominate someone or just have a look at (and vote for) the nominees so far: there are some pretty cool people in the world.

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