I have been following this story for some time, and the one thing that jumps out to me is this: It’s confusing. The counter protest was (is?) scheduled for this Saturday, but that event was cancelled by the organizers on Facebook.
This event was canceled
You cannot share this event, but you can still post.
This post was accompanied by an explanation by Ruth Lytle-Barnaby, CEO PP of Delaware:
Hi Everyone, I am the CEO for Planned Parenthood of Delaware. I just learned about the counter protest and have a favor to ask. I am asking you to not counterprotest on Feb 11th and here is why. First and most important, is for your safety. You might know yourself as a non-violent person. What you do not know is if someone protesting opposite from you when challenged is also non-violent. At Planned Parenthood we have a non-engagement policy. We do this because we do not want to give voice or media attention to the anti narrative. You can get media attention to counter protest, however, so will they. If you are willing, I am happy to organize a Pink out day at each of our clinics (Wilmington, Newark and Dover) for the day before their protest. I would love to see hundreds of people supporting Planned Parenthood of Delaware all wearing Pink. We can have a place for all of you to share your stories and support for PPDE, we even have a Clergy for Choice group that can come and share a blessing. I am happy to give some shirts, buttons, signs, or whatever you need. I will work to get media coverage for this if you all are interested. Please know that I am so encouraged by all of your support. We will need every bit of it to survive this political atmosphere. If you want to get involved, call me 302-655-7260.
Then this popped up on my FB feed:
Pink Out Planned Parenthood of Delaware
Pink out Planned Parenthood on Friday February 10th!
We will meet at noon outside the Wilmington Health Center to stand together in support of Planned Parenthood of Delaware and the essential services they provide to our Delaware community.
Wear pink if you have it- we will also have t-shirts, buttons, and signs here to share.
See you Friday!
*This event has been organized by Planned Parenthood of Delaware for both staff and supporters.
What’s a protester to do? Jason330 asks the same question: So, do you counter-protest or “stand with” planned parenthood in some less confrontational way?
I’m conflicted. I completely understand where PP is coming from. They’d like all protests to go away so they can just do their job. They also do not want a violent confrontation – and if you do plan to counter protest on Saturday, you had better keep yourself in line, or you will become the story and hurt the cause you believe in.
That said, I also understand the desire to show up on Saturday. PP may have to distance themselves, but that doesn’t mean citizens have to sit on the sidelines. A quick read up on non-violent confrontation might be in order. So, if you’re planning on showing up on Saturday and are rehearsing your zingers for anti-abortionists you might need to step back and ask yourself… Am I here to show support for Planned Parenthood or to score points against people who won’t listen to a word I say?
The first rule of this counter protest should be: Do no harm.