Abortion clinic protestors: terrorists?

What would happen if we classified abortion clinic protestors as terrorists? I suspect that the objective is the same: to control public behavior through fear, intimidation tactics, and so on.

To clarify: standing outside a clinic with signs is probably not terrorism in and of itself. As long as it stops there, I think the right to peacefully assemble is perfectly legit. However, some anti-abortionists go beyond peaceful assembly into harassment, possible assault, vandalism, even to murdering doctors.

I believe many animal-rights organizations are now beginning to be called “terrorists” by the far right. Would the Republicans be as happy about all these anti-terrorist laws if those same laws be applied to a cause that the Right typically supports?

Define Terrorist please.

I have always believed that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom-fighter.

As an African-American, if I had lived in the days of slavery, I would have bombed every courthouse or state capitol I could. Terrorist? To slave owners perhaps.

Yes. Way back in the day I was doing some freelance work with a college buddy that involved design work on some Planned Parenthood pamphlets. when we went to meet our clients we were nearly assualted by crazies with signs telling us “Not to go in there”, “God will punish you” blah blah blah. Now none of them actually grabbed us, but if they had, it probably would have turned ugly. I have no idea why they’d want to stop 2 men wearing suits from entering. Its not like we were needed an abortion. (condoms maybe…:slight_smile: )

When I worked at the Pentagon protesters were common. They may still be, I haven’t been there for years. Only once did I see them get physical. One unbathed smelly gentelman pushed me to keep me from entering and before I could even think to respond two cops grabbed him and threw him in the paddy wagon.

While I understand what Clu-Me-In is sayingI think theres a difference. Slavery is a human rights violation. Denying me or anyone else access to a building by physical force because its against your beliefs…well, thats terrorism.

See, that’s the problem, Clu-Me-In. They (meaning certain elements of the right wing politicians and media) are using the word “terrorist” as if it means something extremely specific. It doesn’t.

I don’t know if it is possible to define “terrorist” in such a way that includes Muslim extremists who knock down buildings, includes people who fire-bomb animal testing labs, and exclude people who kill abortion doctors. I’m just wondering what would happen to all of these “terrorism” laws if more oxen on the right were being gored.

Many anti-abortionists feel that nobody should show any support for anything or anyone who has anything to do with providing abortions. If you find out your doctor of 20 years performed an abortion on a raped 12 year incest victim? Change doctors. Find out your landlord owns a commercial building that has an OB/GYN who provides abortions? Move. Find out your neighbor is an OB/GYN who provides abortions? If you can’t move, terrorize the hell out of them hoping it will stop.

Even something so innocent as dropping off pamphlets is enough to be verbally attacked by those people. They don’t care if you’re not having an abortion, you are seen as supporting baby killing.

They’d redefine “terrorism” to fit their own situation.

That is, indeed, what appears to be happening. I’m curious what would happen if “terrorism” were defined to include them.

If you want to count people who shoot abortion providers, then those people could be called “terrorists”. But anti-abortion protestors aren’t terrorists. Standing around holding a sign isn’t terrorism.

People who commit arson, shoot people and plant bombs to advance their political agenda can be considered terrorists. That doesn’t mean you get to count all the other people who hold that political agenda as terrorists. I understand the impulse to declare anyone who disagrees with you a terrorist, you and George Bush are two peas in a pod there. Great job.

You have completely missed the point of the OP. I pointed out specifically that peaceful protest is completely legit.

What I’m trying to do is speculate, “Would the ferociously anti-terrorist members of the far right reconsider all these anti-terrorism laws we have if doctor-murdering abortion protestors were classified also as terrorists?”

I also want to thank you for pointing out that simply holding the same view as a terrorist doesn’t make you a terrorist. Case in point: Ayers and Obama. Ayers, by some definitions, is a terrorist; whether Ayers is or not, Obama should not be judged by him.

Did you read the OP or are you responding to the title?

That sounds very much like what we’re doing in Iraq. Not so?

Peaceful protest = not terrorism
Violence on people or property = terrorism
Threats of harm, implied or direct = not sure, but leaning towards terrorism

Violence on people or property = terrorism

Not if I’m being held against my will, or the majority supports law/s that abridge my rights as human being. It may be terrorism to them, but for sure it is a fight for freedom for me.

Threats of harm, implied and direct will come before violent protest to anyone who attempts to abridge my right to freely and peacefully exist. The terrorism label be damned.

It’s the other side of the old line “Terrorist is what the big army calls the little army”; the “big army” also declares itself not terrorist, even when it does the same things that terrorists do.

And that’s one reason why few people want to define “terrorism” by actions instead of simply declaring this or that faction “terrorists”; if we defined it by actions, our “boys” that we are so fond of would qualify.

Are we basically agreeing that “terrorist” isn’t a very useful word, then?

It’s a useful word that we refuse to define in a useful fashion. “Someone who uses violence and fear for political goals” is a useful category.

No, “terrorist” is an extremely useful word–it is, however, not a terribly precise word.

Already done.
Cite. And I don’t hear much protest against that from the right.

One of the doctors who was murdered was charged with assault for smashing the windows of a van with anti-abortion protesters inside (cite). Would it change anything to label him a terrorist? What effect would that have?

Okay, sure, violent protesters in general - not just anti-abortion, but anyone who uses violence - is a terrorist. So several of the anti-Repulican National Convention protesters are terrorists. So - what?

We executed one of the people who killed an abortionist. Does that make anyone on the Left reconsider their opposition to the death penalty?


Why would it? Do you think I or other lefties would want someone who murdered an abortion doctor to be executed so badly that we’d override my opposition to the death penalty? Please. I don’t want anyone executed, period. Not even anti-abortion terrorists.

So apparently you feel much as the right does about labeling those who use violence in furtherance of an anti-abortion agenda as “terrorists”. It doesn’t seem to make any difference, to the left or the right. You aren’t a hypocrite; they aren’t hypocrites. So apparently the answer to the question

is no, it doesn’t make any difference at all. As you ask, why would it?


Are we actually in agreement here? Wow. I lost track, is this the third or fourth sign of the apocalypse? :smiley: