Bullying, pure and Simple

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If you check a dictionary for what it means to be a bully you will find that it means “to use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something.” If we take this definition and compare it to protest which is “to express an objection to what someone has said or done;” or “to declare (something) firmly and emphatically in response to doubt or accusation”  there is an obvious distinction between the two. Protestors protest an issue, bullies bully people. Our anti abortion protestors are dancing the line between these two definitions, but for the most part they are bullying a particularly vulnerable demographic as well as people who work to support them in their choice.

In this case the protestors superior strength is their numbers, they are an organised GROUP who mass together to intimidate people who do share their beliefs (the INDIVIDUALS or COUPLES entering the clinics). Their graphic signage is designed to shock and offend. However they are offered to the public with an explicit lack of context. We do not know the stories behind these images, for all we know their was a complication with the particular foetus being portrayed and it would have been still born anyway, in which case it is safer for the mother to have it removed.

A protest can be effective anywhere there are people to listen to the message. Getting someones attention doesnt require you to be offensive or intimidating others so they accept your perspective. Harassment is Illegal, in any other situation the police would be obligated to step and move the group on, but they dont. So why are these strategies allowed to persist?

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