So yesterday I managed to get out of work early, and I am driving home from downtown DC along 14th street to the bridge, then to the GW Parkway. Traffic of course is hellish, and 14th St across the mall is bumper to bumper.
Looking around, I see the tail end of a demonstration, a bunch of people standing by the roadside with their anti-abortion placards showing pitcures of aborted fetuses. I give them a cheery wave and point to the NOW bumper sticker on my vehicle proclaiming “Keep Abortion Legal.”
Now I have no problem with them demonstrating, and no problem with the placards as such. I’m a pretty hard core First Amendment person, and this is an area I think the ACLU (despite being a card carrying member) has simply got wrong - they are on the wrong side when they support the use of civil lawsuits and in particular Civil RICO to suppress anti-abortion protestors.
But that’s not the point here. As I get to the corner of the Mall, I realize why they chose this spot for the demonstration. It was centered on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. And those protestors left outside that place included many carrying placards not with pictures of fetuses, but instead pictures from extermination camps, carry a slogan along the lines of “They weren’t people either.”
I was stunned. I wanted to stop my car and start arguing, or at least give them the finger, but I could not see how I would get across that while I would go to the wall to defend their legal right to protest, they had chosen a despicable place and manner to do it. I hope they felt, in their warped little minds, it was worth it. I can’t imagine how it made any survivors or descendents of voctims who were visiting the place feel.