Volume , Number 0
There are no articles.Commentary
There are no articles.Culture
There are no articles.Features
New Energy Debates
20th Year of Z
Eleanor J. Bader
There are no articles.
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Suicide Arsonist Rocks Iowa Health Center
A s reproductive rights activists across the U.S. gather to commemorate the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 22, they’ll of course cheer the defeat of South Dakota’s abortion ban. Clearly, it’s a victory worth toasting. At the same time, anti-abortion activists are not turning tail and vanishing. Bills to expand the reach of biased mandatory counseling about the psychological and physical problems that the antis attribute to the procedure—plus 24-hour waiting periods between counseling and surgery, parental consent or notification requirements for minors, and restrictions on insurance coverage—are continually introduced at the state level and, when passed, stymie access. What’s more, antichoice activity contributes to the near-endemic stigma surrounding the abortion experience.
On top of this, says the DCbased National Abortion Federation, the first nine months of 2006 were dangerous for providers. There were 10 blockades, 23 burglaries, 8 death threats, 7 incidents of assault and battery, 283 charges of trespassing, 51 acts of vandalism, 6 bomb threats, and 219 harassing phone calls or letters. During the same period, nearly 6,000 picket lines were set up outside clinic doors to jeer patients and staff as murderers, baby-killers, and worse.
One of the most disruptive incidents took place on September 11 when 45-year-old David McMenemy of Sterling Heights, Michigan orchestrated what was to have been a suicide-arson at the Edgerton Women’s Health Center in Davenport, Iowa. While the rest of the country was awakening to red, white, and blue tributes to the fallen, McMenemy, a former Marine with a history of mental illness, chose that morning to drive into the Center.
I ronically, the Edgerton Women’s Health Center does not provide abortions. Founded in 1971 as the Maternal Health Center—it changed its name in 2000—it serves approximately 5,000 family planning patients and delivers between 450 and 500 babies a year. The Center also offers comprehensive well-baby care to parents eligible for the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program. Although its patients are predominantly low-income women from the Quad Cities—Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa and Rock Island and Moline, Illinois—rely on the Center for everything from prenatal risk assessment to post-partum care.
McMenemy’s sabotage closed the clinic for two weeks and stunned the people of Davenport. “He went right through the plate glass doors and drove into the lobby,” says a still-incredulous Libbet Brooke, a health educator at the Center. “He then tried to set his car on fire. He had gasoline in an empty pop bottle and the fire got going pretty quickly. It lasted until the sprinklers came on. The fire trucks came as soon as the sprinklers started. When the firefighters arrived, McMenemy walked out of the building and was immediately arrested.” He was charged and taken to Scott County Jail. McMenemy has since pled not guilty and is facing a 10-year sentence for second degree arson. According to the Detroit Free Press , he told police that he intended to die in the blaze.
Brooke estimates the rebuilding total will be near $200,000. Staff worked with contractors around the clock to get the Center up and running. “We worked constantly,” Brooke says. “It’s amazing how much damage can be done with a sprinkler. Of course, it’s better than having the building burn down, but it was major destruction.”
Yet despite this, Brooke concludes that it wasn’t all bad. Their landlord helped staff establish temporary satellite offices to attend patient needs during the reconstruction and was extremely supportive. So were patients and the general community. “It was touching to see how concerned our patients were. One after another they walked up and said, ‘I’m so glad you’re all okay,’” she reports.
In addition, local media attention amounted to a public relations blitz. “The community was inundated with information about us,” Brooke continues. “The fact that we don’t provide abortions, but do provide information about all pregnancy options is now out there.”
Eleanor J. Bader is a teacher, activist, and freelance writer whose work appears in the Brooklyn Rail , the New York Law Journal , Lilith , Library Journal and the Public Eye .
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.