A Magic Mug

I signed up to receive a magic mug when I donated to Midwest Access Coalition back in March. At that time, volunteers could not host clients coming to Illinois for abortion (due to COVID restrictions), and I donated money to help place clients in the hotels.
That was back in March, and I completely forgot about the mug. When it arrived yesterday, it took me a while to recall what it was all about, yet along how it works. And it works magically – just pour some hot tea or coffee in it!

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Escorting During Pandemic

Today, I went to the clinic escort for the second time after our activities were resumed.

Look at our cool new masks!

Now, we do not throw our vests back to the common pile; we take our vests home and bring them back for the next shift. I like it, because now I always have my XS size, and do not need to search for it in the bag! We can’t share food anymore, and we can’t take food from our supporters, but that’s OK.

Since we are in the Pride Week (although events are canceled), there were people in the Pride gear biking on the streets, and they were cheering us. Also, there was one funny episode. A couple passed by, looking attentively at us, antis, the doors of the clinic, and the folding sign, which is explaining the bubble zone. And then the man said: I get it now! You are the good guys! We cheered: you got it right! 

Most of the antis do not wear masks. Our shift leader asked the lady in the middle: I heard you said that your mother has cancer, and you are visiting her. Yet, you do not wear a mask… For which she replied: Oh, she does not wear a mask either! 

What can I say?!

March for Life, and a Very Small Protest

It is hard for me to write about Saturday’s events because I feel like we (pro-choice activists) lost miserably. I am going to copy the summary of the even from Igor’s Flicker album: 

Album description

Every year, on the second Saturday of January, pro-life groups organize March for Life in downtown Chicago. This year, one new addition was a pro-life organizations convention and an evening banquet at Congress Hotel. (You had to pay to get into the banquet, but the convention was free, but you had to register ahead of time)

This year, the pro-life groups assembled at the Daley Plaza for a rally featuring several pro-life speakers. Then, they marched toward the Congress Hotel, where they had another rally and some prayer circles out front, even as some marchers slowly but surely headed out, and some groups boarded the buses to get to… whereever it was they came from.

There are usually counter-protesters, and, this time, they assembled at the southeast corner of Dearborn/Washington. My mom, who was there earlier, mentioned that there were speakers, and a number of pro-choice activists attended. But by the time I crossed to the pro-choice side after taking the photos at the Daley Plaza, most of them were gone, and Revolutionary Communist Party members and affiliates took the position. They mostly chanted about kicking out Trump and Pence, and about no war in Iran, with only occasional pro-choice chants. When the March for Life left the plaza, the pro-choice chanting (and some pro-choice taunting) started at its earnest. While a few pro-lifers did try to talk to the Communists, and some pro-lifers clearly wanted to shout at the Communists, it didn’t get beyond shouting.

Also, there was a “patriot” group at the southwest corner of Dearborn/Washington. While RevComm shouted some anti-war slogans, members of the group shouted something along the lines of “no war in Iran, save the babies!”

Igor

So – yes. I knew about the counter-protest, but the weather was miserable, actually, let me put it very miserable. For a moment, I was not sure whether I am going to go. Still, after all, I did, and I am glad I did! 

Yes, there were speeches, and I recorded a couple, but I was really upset with the low number of pro-choice activists that showed up. The picture looked horrific, and Igor’s pictures look even scarier… I can’t understand why so many people are … just not getting it! 

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My New Volunteering

This Saturday, I’ve attended the training for my new volunteering activity. I know that it sounds completely unreasonable and ridiculous. I am continually complaining, that I do not have enough time for anything, including my existing volunteering activities, and yet I’ve just signed for a new one.

However, this one is really important for me, and when I first heard about it I knew right away, I need to be a part of it.

I’ve been a part of the Illinois Clinic Escort Team for five years. The clinic escorts are people who come to stand in front of the abortion clinics and help patients to pass the “antis.” Antis are protestors, who are either trying to stop women from getting an abortion or curse them (and escorts for that matter) or trying to be intimidating in other ways.

Before I go further, let me tell you something. In my previous blog, I had several different levels of security so that different groups of readers could see different posts. There was a good reason for that, but when I’ve started a new blog, I resolved that all my posts will be public, that I will write the truth and only truth. If I am not comfortable making some information public, I do not need to blog about it.

Thereby, I am not going to hide the fact that I am pro-choice and actively volunteering for this cause.

Now I’ve signed for the new activity: I’ve joined Midwest Access Coalition, The mission statement says:

As a practical abortion fund, MAC helps people traveling to, from, and within the Midwest access a safe, legal abortion with support in the following areas: travel coordination and costs, lodging, food, medicine, and emotional support.

After some more formalities are completed, I will become a host for individuals, who are traveling to Illinois to obtain a safe and legal abortion. I am not sure yet, whether I will be doing it besides or instead of escorting, but I am going to do this because this is something much needed.