Face the Truth Tour in Lake Zurich, IL, Sept. 15 [Photo by Sam Scheidler]
The Pro-Life Action League returned to two “trouble spots” yesterday with our September Face the Truth Day, and the results were outstanding. Not only were police cooperative—a concern going into this event—but turnout was superb, and response from the public was notably positive.
The two-stop Tour began at Route 12 and Route 22 in Lake Zurich, Illinois, which has been one of the highlight sites of the annual summer Tour, with the pro-life crowd sometimes topping 100. I usually expect to see much smaller crowds for a stand-alone Truth Day like this, but we topped 50 volunteers yesterday.
Lake Zurich’s Police Chief Finlon Drops by
One likely reason for the great turnout was the controversy sparked back in July when Lake Zurich Police Chief Patrick Finlon publicly chastised the League for supposedly being uncooperative and deliberately causing traffic disruptions. Two articles in the Daily Herald cast the League in a negative light.
Finlon’s remarks and the Daily Herald articles were a shock, since the July Lake Zurich site had gone extremely smoothly. It seemed like Finlon was out to discredit the League and keep us from returning to the village.
But whatever his motivation was in July, I was pleased when the chief himself turned up midway through the site to introduce himself. I had the opportunity to explain why I found his remarks to the press so puzzling—especially his contention that he had no idea we’d have such large numbers, since 2010 was the third year in a row with such a large turnout.
The chief still insisted that this year’s turnout was much more than in the past. I didn’t belabor the point, but our 2008 and 2009 tour reports speak for themselves.
Our conversation was cordial, and the chief complimented the peacefulness of the protest going on—a point also made in the Daily Herald story on the site.
No Trouble with Police in Mundelein
For our second site of the day, we chose another spot where we’d experienced trouble with police: Mundelein, Illinois. In July 2006, police shut down the Truth Tour there, threatening massive arrests and confiscation of our signs. When we returned that fall, ready to sue the village, our protest was restricted to a tiny area spray painted on the parkway, and our closing prayer during a 2008 Tour site was interrupted by police who insisted our time was up.
Face the Truth Tour in Mundelein, IL, Sept. 15 [Photo by Sam Scheidler]
However, while police did patrol the site at Route 60 and Route 45 this year, we didn’t speak to a single police officer, though I had had a good conversation with a commander last week, during which we discussed the placement of warning signs. Even more surprising, the manager of the Pizza Hut at the corner where we unloaded our signs came out to say it was okay for us to park there; usually we’re told to move our cars.
Turnout was fantastic in Mundelein, too, again topping 50 people. This was thanks in large part to participation from high school teens from the Crusaders for Life pro-life club, but many new volunteers showed up for the second site.
All day, some 70 pro-lifers—including special guest Chris Slattery, who runs a chain of pro-life pregnancy centers in New York City—took part in the protest, reaching thousands of passersby with the truth about abortion.