Hundreds Arrested in Outside Milwaukee Abortion Clinic
MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Hundreds of people, including 87 children, were arrested Saturday as thousands of abortion opponents converged on a women’s clinic in the eighth week of an anti-abortion campaign.
Most of those arrested were abortion opponents who were charged with disorderly conduct or trespassing, police said.
Police said 50 people were charged with violating a Milwaukee county judge’s injunction that prohibited certain forms of protest at abortion clinics.
Police estimated more than 3,000 people, most of them abortion opponents, gathered at the clinic. Police had arrested 545 people by Saturday afternoon, Capt. Tony Bacich said.
It was the most arrests during a single day in a summer of anti-abortion activity at the city’s six abortion clinics, police said.
The protests, which began in June, are being organized by Missionaries to the Preborn, a Christian fundamentalist group.
″A lot of Christians are more fired up than before,″ said Bill Dray, 41, an elementary school teacher from Menomonee Falls.
Protesters were out at dawn blocking the clinic entrance. Abortion rights supporters arrived and took up positions outside.
The crowd swelled throughout the day, spilling into the thoroughfare.
Police on motorcycles circled the crowd. Officers erected barricades so women could enter the clinic through a back entrance.
″There are people throwing punches,″ said Stephen Glynn, an attorney for the Milwaukee Clinic Protection Coalition. ″There are people who are literally charging into our people on the fence. We’ve got people in the street, people trying to move vehicles. It’s dangerous.″