Anti Abortion Protestors explain their use of strong imagery, and why they came to protest Dan Rather’s speech to Planned Parenthood, at the Hilton in Minneapolis. Craig Stellmacher who shot and edited this video writes:
Last night, I went to see Anti Abortion Protestors outside of a Planed Parenthood Dinner. I talked to them, and they showed me abortions on 3 by 4 foot posters, and a video of one on a DVD player.
I hadn’t wanted to see the video, but before I knew it, it was over.
I videoed this event, as usual, but I have blackened the posters and the video. In my time covering news, that extends with stills back to high school, I don’t recall ever censoring something before. Really.
I’ll let you listen in, while I talk to them about their purpose.
Wow, I walked home un-easy last night.
In the cold of a Minneapolis night, past the Million dollar condos and the homeless.
I got to think.
I’d just watched an abortion on video.
Now I can say, I’d gone downtown in search of these protestors. Originally, it was thought I’d even get into see Dan Rather speak at a fundraising dinner for Planed Parenthood. After it looked like I would, I found out 24 hours before the event that I wouldn’t be allowed in.
I right away, thought that was a mistake. I valued, what Dan Rather had to say, and I thought his message would be rational and would weigh against the people who stood outside the Hilton where he spoke.
But, with Dan canceled, I still felt like walking a few blocks to the Hilton to see if there were any counter-protestors outside.
I wasn’t disappointed, there were about a couple dozen spread around the one-block sized Hilton. What isn’t on the video, is that most of them DIDN’T want to talk to me. Camera shy, “I shouldn’t say anything”. This, while they held up 3 by 4 foot signs of abortions.
Maybe that said enough.
I was directed by everyone to Brian, and we had a rather low-key gentle conversation. The paradox is, a normal conversation while he held a 3×4 foot sign of an abortion.
I stood back to take it all in, and then when I got home and saw it on my 24 inch monitor, I just felt I couldn’t show it. It was late, and I was supposed to upload this to the uptake.org in town. This meant interesting problems, wouldn’t the people at the uptake also wonder what to do with this? We post nationally and locally and we often have our videos embeded in other people’s news sites. So, this made me wonder if the uptake would want to censor it. I decided after calling another blogger Grace Kelly, to censor it myself. This flabbergasted me really. I’ve shot news and art since I was a kid. I was once very serious about journalism, and then left it for art photography. I’ve half-way returned, but I don’t recall a single other time when I’d censored something I’d done.
But I did this video.
Because, it wasn’t just the signs…
They also offered me a video of an abortion, and before I knew what was coming, I’d seen it.
It looked strangely familiar to me, I’ve done a lot of biology and dissected many animals, so biology never scares me.
I guess, it’s the cultural taboo, that got me right? The rest of you who read this, have likely not watched an abortion on video. It’s pretty rare…
But, they walk around this way, with a video player…
Walking up to all they can to show them abortions.
While I don’t show them to you on the video, hundreds of people walked and drove by those signs, so those signs are NEWS.
I think though, they may not be using the best message I tell them…
And I was not convinced by their bloody messages… I think you’ll note the exchange, where I ask him how many times he’s watched the video… “That’s too many times”