John Jansen sets up one side of the “Face the Truth” Tour site in Lake Zurich, IL [Photo by Sam Scheidler]
The Pro-Life Action League’s 11th annual “Face the Truth” Tour was a great success and the media stood up and took notice. Local and national sources, both online and in print, covered many different aspects of the Tour.
But perhaps most interesting was some of the coverage that came after the Tour when the Daily Herald, a local news daily, published a story prompted by a letter sent to the League and copied to the paper by the Lake Zurich, Illinois Chief of Police Patrick Finlon.
Lake Zurich Site Comes Off Without a Hitch
The Tour had stopped in Lake Zurich on the morning of Thursday, July 15. It was one of the most successful sites on the Tour with record numbers in attendance. A few local police officers were present and helpful. No problems arose with Tour volunteers, though one business owner did obliquely threaten physical harm to volunteers.
Needless to say, after such a great site, we were shocked to hear from Chief Finlon allegations that the League intentionally attempted to stop traffic with our literature distribution efforts. The chief also tried to blame the League’s display for an alleged car accident involving “minor contact” between two vehicles.
On the basis of these allegations and citing a defunct Illinois state law that has been struck down by the Illinois Supreme Court, Chief Finlon asserted that the League would not be allowed to protest in Lake Zurich in the future without his express permission.
He also required that the League provide him, at least 24 hours in advance, with the location and duration of demonstrations along with the organizers contact information and the expected number of participants. This portion is particularly ironic since the League provided him with this information more than 24 hours in advance each of the last two years!
On top of that, Finlon claims that we were blocking traffic with our literature activities, but all the League’s literature distribution was taking place under the careful supervision of the five Lake Zurich police officers who were on the scene during the stop. If there was a problem, they did not tell the League at the time.
Further, Chief Finlon claims in the first Herald article that every Lake Zurich police officer on duty was present at the League’s demonstration. Unless Lake Zurich only employs five officers at a time, there is no way this claim is true.
League Responds with Letter from Attorneys
The League’s attorneys quickly responded with a letter to Chief Finlon informing him that his advice to the League was to continue the current course of action of protesting where and when it is deemed necessary. Lake Zurich police have yet to respond, but the Daily Herald did note the letter to Chief Finlon in another story published today.
Read both Lake Zurich stories from the Daily Herald here and here and see all the media coverage of the Tour below:
- Anti-abortion protest riles some in suburbs—The Daily Herald
- Anti-abortion activists rally—The Geneva Republican
- “Face the Truth” prolife tour commences in West Chicago—The Illinois Review
- Anti-abortion group to display graphic signs—The Aurora Beacon
- DuBose: Pro-lifers put lives in danger with their methods—Kane County Chronicle
- Pro-Life Action League challenges Chicago to ‘Face the Truth’—EWTN News
- Pro-Life Group Forcing Americans to “Face the Truth”—The New American
- Supporting those ‘in the trenches’—Renew America
- Joe Scheidler’s letter to the editor August 12, 2010—Deerfield Review