Disrupting a Christian Fascist Anti-Abortion Rally in Philly

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From a reader:

We found out about a “pro-life” demonstration being planned outside of a Planned Parenthood (PP) location in Center City (downtown) Philly. It was part of a coordinated blitz launched by Catholic Christian fascists organized under “Regnum Christi” and Mission Youth to target multiple PP locations across southeastern Pennsylvania on Good Friday. There was a sorry excuse of a counterprotest being organized that was attempting to wield the Bible to oppose the Bible, coupled with the ridiculous “Gritty” reification phenomenon.

The other Philly revcom supporters and those in our orbit here had obligations that prevented them from going, so I had to pull up solo. The night before, I drew up a simple (but large) poster with the following slogans:


I brought some POAs [Points of Attention for the Revolution] and Calls for the Tour (both with local contact info) in my backpack just in case. When I arrived, there were only four counterprotesters. They had hung up a banner outside the PP location that read “Thank God for Abortion” and then they went to the other side of the intersection to spectate. A line of a dozen or so PP escorts stood at the front of the entrance and chose to remain silent and stationary. I chose to get right up front, putting on my REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! shirt, and do everything I could to disrupt it, taking inspiration from BAsics 6:3.

The Catholic fascists set up a podium in front of PP; I stood next to it, and the police blocked off the street at both intersections. There were around 40-50 of them, at least 2/3rds being teenagers/very young adults, with a core of middle-aged adults corralling them. Every time they would try to proceed with their sermon or prayers, I would just keep alternating between shutting down their arguments, disrupting their prayers, countering lies & distortions about abortions, etc. and calling upon the youths (particularly the young women) to break from the chains of religion and patriarchy. “Get up off your knees, stop praying to a god that doesn’t exist, quit wasting your one and only life and become an emancipator of humanity!” “You don’t have to be a slave to a man and be forced to give birth against your will!” “We need a revolution based on reality and science, not submission to Dark Ages mythology!” “You are a Christian Taliban, foot soldiers for the fascist Trump/Pence regime, and this represents a nightmare handmaid’s tale future for humanity!” Things of that nature, and a few chants similar to the slogans on my poster.

Many of the youths couldn’t help but divert their attention away towards me, a few even began crying. Although I was loud and disruptive for the entire hour—totally ruining any chance of a “successful” action on their part (at least in terms of being able to broadcast their message and, of secondary importance, their optics), I was also making sure to not be shrieking at people or to be vulgar for its own sake. Instead I was trying to stand on principled scientific and revolutionary determination, refusing to allow them to set the terms unopposed, and being loud/disruptive on that basis.

A few of the fascist adult handlers would try to engage me under the guise of “civil discourse,” but I knew they just wanted to stop me from disrupting it, so I ignored them. There was one person that came by and stood with me to protest, agitating in her own way, but she was proceeding from an anarcho-liberal “trolling” approach. She did not really wish to engage with me after the protest, and she was rather flippant and cynical about the whole thing in general.

After about an hour, they packed up to go on a procession, carrying crosses through the city and performing a bloody, sentimental reenactment of the Bible’s account of Jesus’ execution a la Passion of the Christ. Unfortunately, I could not continue to hound them, as I had to leave to go to work.

As they were gathering up to move on to their procession, the youths briefly dispersed a bit and I did manage to get some POAs to a few of the young women in the demonstration that had been led there. My thinking was that there was perhaps a slight possibility that things had been shaken up inside them by my presence and agitation, and there was perhaps an opening in their minds to begin questioning their thinking and beliefs. I don’t know on what basis they took the POAs, however, since none of them would speak to me. At this point their evangelist leaders were trying to sort of simultaneously “love bomb” me, fire off rapid-fire counterarguments, and offering to pray for me. In effect they were trying to quarantine me away from the youths, and as there was a rapidly dwindling audience at this point, I chose not to engage with their little mob surrounding me.

One PP escort came around the corner as I was leaving, saying that he was an atheist and that he agreed with me, but he expressed concern that it was a “bad look” to put forward such views so openly and said I should rethink the approach. I told him that I had put very careful consideration into choosing to confront these people with the truth, however harsh it may be. Before we could keep talking, one of the Catholic fascists noticed this interaction and started questioning him and asking if he was with me, and he started backpedaling and distancing himself very quickly. At one point during my disruption, I had paraphrased BAsics 4:20 and it got a good laugh from a few of the PP escorts behind me; perhaps he was one of them.

I can’t be sure that too much came out of this in an immediate sense, or what lasting impact my actions will have. There were a few short “thumbs up” and words of support from people passing by, and an acquaintance I knew from elsewhere stopped me for a second to say how bad-ass he thought I was, but when I encouraged him to participate he said he was on his way to an appointment and could not join me. I was trying to stay focused on making an impact, so I perhaps missed an opportunity to pass off a POA to him and the others who “wished me well,” but I only have two hands and things were kinda hectic (unfortunately, I don’t have his contact info either). However, I did make sure to report the experience to the people that are in the orbit around the core of the movement for revolution here (which they were quite glad & encouraged to hear about), hoping to inspire them to not only take bolder actions as individuals but to strengthen the collectivity as well. There are no photographs or footage of this that we could find online as of the time of this writing.

Side note: A number of the fascists trying to stop me, when I agitated with basic facts mainly derived from the “What Is an Abortion and Why Women Must Have the Right to Choose—Life Cannot and Should Not Always Be Preserved” article, would ask me if I had seen this new documentary on Netflix called Unplanned. I haven’t watched it yet but I’ve seen it in headlines, and I’ll be checking it out when I have time.

Let me know if you have further questions, feedback, criticisms, etc. regarding this report. I’ve attached an image that was circulated on the counterprotest Facebook page that exposed the plans for the Catholic fascist assault, as well as their official propaganda graphic from social media.



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