Yesterday, Dr. George Tiller was shot down and killed at his church in Kansas. George Tiller had been scrutinized for his practice in later term abortions, and has been under the fire of many Pro-Life groups across the country for decades. His clinic, like many similar ones across the country, was subject to vandalizing and protests. However, he continued his practice because of the beliefs and freedoms he advocated, despite the daily and bitter backlash he received. He was an active member of his church, and their statement regarding his death can be found here. A suspect has been taken into custody, and the investigation has begun.
While this is abhorrent and extreme, it is a reality that exists all across the country. Just like LGBTQ people face discrimination and violence because of their lifestyle, people like Dr. Tiller are slain purely because of personal beliefs. Dr. Tiller believed in a woman’s right to reproductive freedom, and he lost his life for it.
A startling article in the Huffington Post mentions the trends of terrorism against the people working in abortion practices under different presidential administrations. It poses the question of what could happen in the remainder of the Obama Administration as conservative extremists become angrier with the liberal direction the country is headed. Read it here.
Pro-life and pro-choice Americans are mourning this act of terrorism, and events have been planned across the country to come together to recognize this injustice. Click here to see a list of these events, and it will be updated as more come along.
Yesterday’s murder is a shocking reminder of what people can justify with their beliefs. It can happen at any angle, and our community needs to be poised to handle that. Our community also needs to pledge complete non-violence in every aspect of our activism.
Americans need to pledge non-violence in every aspect of our lives. What has violence given us? Heartbreak and social distress. It has deteriorated our country in ways that may not be reparable. It’s in our media, in our homes, and it’s on our streets. It’s in our dreams. Regardless of whether or not our country is in a state of rapid transformation, and opinions are more passionate than ever – we all hold one thing in common.
Violence will only hurt us.
Nik, the author of this post, is an organizer for Join the Impact Chicago, which has been holding events, forums and rallies since the group’s creation after the November 15th protest against Proposition 8. Visit their website to sign up for their mailing list and stay tuned in on their upcoming actions!