More on Brighton's Pro-Life Campaigners Arrested Yesterday
'We returned to Wistons Clinic in Brighton yesterday to peacefully display images of what abortion does to an unborn child. We had almost an hour of practising our freedom of expression until the police came out following complaints by members of the public.
We were asked to take the banners down under the Public Order Act section 5. We explained that we thought that we had a right to be there and that just because someone reports to be offended should not mean we have to stop our peaceful display. We also said that we thought their job was to protect our freedom to express our view, and deal with those doing the complaining rather than the messenger. After some lengthy discussion we put our banner back up and were arrested. We were then taken to the police station where we were kept for 14 hours in cells, released on bail just after 3am into Hollingbury.
Our strategy is founded in the principles of social reform and successful social reformers have always used graphic images to dramatise injustice. Even going back to the abolitionist movement; engravings depicting the humanity of the African captive and the inhumanity of The Trade were instrumental in gathering public opinion at a level necessary to force change politically.
Think about the big issues today. One of the most dominating is climate change. This has gathered momentum because of images like the one attached as well as massive expanses of land after deforestation. Again see the familiar attached image. We will not see abortion made unthinkable until we make it unthinkable. It will not be unbearable to live with until people understand the horror it represents.'
This is going to sound a little unfair on these campaigners but while I support their efforts in principle, I believe that the 'graphic imagery' road is not the road to go down. I think I object to it for the same reason I object to Gay Pride marches.
Gay Pride marches take place during the day, in the sight of children, therefore introducing a very adult issue, namely homosexuality, into the public sphere when children are around, who are young and impressionable and easily confused and this gives great scandal. By the way, I did ask one policeman why all of a sudden the 'street-drinking' laws had been relaxed and everyone was drinking in the street, even though signs are up everywhere saying, 'Street drinking prohibited' and homeless men and women are hounded for doing just that daily, and he said, "It's a special day, once a year. You'll have to take the issue up with the Chief Constable." If, as you can see from the video above, the Chief Constable is anything like the Deputy Chief Constable, it may be a futile line of enquiry. "I don't have a problem with street-drinking", I told the police officer, "but I that I had thought Sussex Police did" and dutifully told him that the police's hypocrisy stinks to high Heaven.
I must say also that the 'LGBT community' are rather stingy. I went busking in the evening, as I am flat broke, and I made about £9. Usually, on a Saturday, I make at least £20 with far fewer people around. Out of that £9, I had a £3 drop from someone who gave it to me as a gift for managing to encourage her smashed friend to go with her to get the train back to London, after she had sat down on my beer. That donor was a diamond in the rough. I asked a couple of homeless men whether they had had a good night begging and they both said, 'No, awful.'
Anyway, I digress. There is a reason why film classification boards place warnings on the content of a film if the content is horrific or disturbing, so that even, say, 'The Passon of the Christ', which inspired Pope John Paul II to state, "It is as it was," was classified, because the graphic nature and actual blood-soaked horror of Our Blessed Saviour's Passion is not something that you would show to, say, a 5-11 year old child, just as you would not show them 'Nightmare on Elm Street'. For the record, I saw that film at a friend's house at the age of about 10, but still, Prudence would suggest that, given that children are around (and it is the school holidays as well), displaying the awful truth and tragic horror of abortion in the daytime is not wise.
With this imagery, which I can assume is the only reason these campaigners keep getting arrested, we can certainly say, "It is as it is". It certainly gets to the heart of the matter, but is it the best way to campaign against abortion and should it be done like this during the day in the sight of children, even though it is indeed unborn children the pro-life group are campaigning to protect? It is right to shame Wistons Clinic, of course, because what they are doing is not offending children but murdering them and these images certainly do draw attention to that, but I am beginning to question the wisdom of the strategy. I've spoken to some Catholics on this matter and the vast majority say that the pro-life campaigning they do revolves around praying before the Blessed Sacrament and if present at a clinic, simply praying the Rosary. I am interested in your views and welcome your comments on this subject...