Pro-lifer Kevin Rilott stands next to pro-choice counter-protester to show what "choice" really means [Photo by John Jansen]
Despite numerous obstacles, the Pro-Life Action League’s one-day “Face the Truth” Tour in Rockford, Illinois on August 16 was a series of successes.
Heading towards Rockford on I-39 on Thursday morning, League staffers drove through pouring rain — and, looking at the forecast, saw that there was a 90% chance that rain would continue during the first site of the day at Riverside Boulevard and Alpine Road.
Yet by the time we pulled into town and set up all of our Warning signs, the rain had stopped. Fully anticipating it to resume at any time, we deployed volunteers with graphic abortion signs in all four directions, half expecting we would have to bring them in early if a hard enough rain began to fall.
But against all odds, we saw no more more rain the entire day.
What’s more, the prospect of unfavorable weather did nothing to discourage a great turnout, as more than 50 pro-life activists took part. Dozens of Rockford area pro-lifers came to all three sites, and they were joined by numerous others who came from as far away as Peoria, Illinois and Racine, Wisconsin.
Ann Scheidler holds a life sign during Rockford Truth Day [Photo by Eric Scheidler]
In the midst of election season, one might have expected to see a dropoff in attendance, but the strong showing in Rockford demonstrated that as important as it is to elect pro-life candidates, the often thankless job of grassroots pro-life activism can’t be neglected.
Pro-Life Activist Attacked; Incident Caught on Video
During the first Tour site, a man in a passing car threw a can of sodapop at a woman holding one of our signs. Rockford pro-lifer Kevin Rilott witnessed the incident, and he had the presence of mind to immediately turn on his video camera in case the assailant tried anything else.
Sure enough, as the car came to a stop, the man exited, came over to Rilott, and physically assaulted him and grabbed the sign out of his hands, all the while hurling a string of profanities.
Rilott caught the whole thing on video, but because of the excessively bad language, it needs some significant editing before we can post it.
Needless to say, watch this space.
**UPDATE, August 21, 8:00am—Here is the video:
Although assaults on pro-lifers are relatively rare at our Face the Truth Tours, this was by no means the first time this has happened — but this is without a doubt the clearest video footage we’ve ever obtained of such an incident.
Rilott immediately called the police, who arrived on the scene soon after. From the video footage, he was able to give the police a clear view of the car’s license plate. The matter has been turned over to a detective, who is investigating.
Turnout at the second site of the day, at State Street and Alpine Road — one of the busiest intersections in Rockford — was even bigger. Once all of our large signs were distributed, we had to give out handheld Stop Abortion Now signs.
This site also brought out our sole counter-protester of the day: a woman with a Honk 4 pro-choice sign. We couldn’t resist the opportunity to juxtapose this sign with a picture of what exactly “choice” means (see above, left).
At the final site of the day at the extremely busy intersection of State Street and Perryville Road, Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric Scheidler was interviewed by WNTA Radio. Additionally, the Truth Day also received coverage in the Rockford Register Star and the local CBS TV station.
A fantastic turnout, cooperative weather, and great local media coverage — all of these combined to make the Pro-Life Action League’s August 16 Face the Truth Day in Rockford a great success.