June 2nd marks the third consecutive week of action in defense of the Fertility Control Clinic on Englehardt Street in Albury. Due to work commitments I was unable to attend for the full day, so this report will be somewhat shorter than last weeks.
Last week there was some concern that passing traffic and clients of the clinic might mistake our presence for support of the anti-choice picket. Never fear! Susie Reid has had some fantastic t-shirts made up, they read “Pro Choice, Pro Privacy”. They’ll be availible to wear at each weeks gathering.
The anti-choice group have escalated their presence at the clinic. At around lunch time (when attendence on both sides seems to peak) there were 12 anti-choice picketers and 14 gathered in defense of the clinic. The anti-choice group also had two vans and other vehicles. Video cameras were setup within two of the vehicles, and one of the vans was decked out with a banner across the windshield promoting their new website.
I shot this video of one of the cameras pointed at the entrance to the clinic:
I am informed that at one point the anti-choice group attempted to park a van in the parking space directly in front of the clinic. They were prevented by five supporters standing in the space. At this point, someone called the police.
A supporter who was there at the time reports:
The police spoke with them first, they then approached Susie to ask whether she or anyone of us had called the Police. We had not. The Police reminded us that we must not block the footpaths. They spoke to a couple of people, observed for maybe three quarters of an hour, and then left without incident.
During the day the anti-choice group had made numerious threats to “call the police”, but it seems they when they eventually did make a frivelous call, they were unwilling to own up to it.
At 3pm the anti-choice group packed up and left.
We continue to recieve strong support from passers by with several stopping to express their thanks and support.
“Although people on the defense side had different views, one thing we all agreed on was that women have the right to access healthcare without intimidation”. – Kay
This report is just one person’s account, and is no way an official position of any group, or the gathering as a whole! Also, ongoing updates are being posted to twitter using the hashtag #albchoice. Please share widely, no rights reserved.