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IA: Special Report from New Orleans
Last week, members of the Intact America staff, along with dozens of intactivists from around the country, attended the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. Unlike in years past, this year the AAP barred us from hosting a booth inside the exhibition hall, citing as a reason Intact America’s planned demonstration, which we promoted on our Facebook page. The real reason they barred us: They know we are right. They are afraid of us. And they want to pretend we don’t exist.
Well, thanks to your generous support, we made our presence VERY well known:
- We staged a major press conference attended by supporters as well as doctors and people new to the cause. The event was subsequently covered by The Washington Post!
- We spent three days protesting on the corner directly across the street from the convention center, on the sidewalks in front of the building, and on the “neutral ground”—a strip of land in the middle of the street, a spot impossible for the convention-goers and passers-by to miss. We talked with attendees; we walked and hoisted our signs and voices high. See our AAP Conference Report Page for more photos, and our Facebook page for even more.
- Intact America reinvested the funds from the exhibition booth into running our Open Letter in both the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Baton Rouge Advocate—twice!—reaching several million people over that weekend.
The demonstration was unlike anything we’d ever experienced. Said Georganne Chapin, Executive Director of Intact America, “It was amazing. The presence of so many young men made it different, especially men who had the courage to speak out about the pain and suffering they’ve experienced because of what was done to them as babies without their consent.”
At the Intact America press conference, four men (Dan Bollinger, Jonathon Conte, Christopher Kehoe and Anthony Losquadro) spoke out publicly, some for the first time. They were surrounded and supported by their colleagues in the intactivist movement. Protesters spent hours picketing and talking with pediatricians about the ethical problems with a policy that promotes unnecessary, harmful surgery on infants and children who cannot consent.
We Will Not Be Silenced!
We know our protest worked, because the AAP tried to infringe on our freedom of speech, asking the police to have us removed from the public sidewalk! “Conference officials tried to get the police to evict us from the public sidewalks and the ‘neutral zone’,” reported Georganne. “NO GO! The police told the AAP that our protest was completely legal.”
And judging from the huge number of conference attendees who came to talk with us and who took photos of us, our signs, the banners hung on a chain-link fence, and the street theatre actions organized by Jonathon Conte and others, we know we made a tremendous impact—more so than had we been inside, talking politely with pediatricians who thus far seem unable to take a stand within their own trade association.
For more photos and stories from the conference, visit our AAP Conference Report Page.
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