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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

City Forbids Anti-Abortion Protesters From Using Jumbotron Near Alamo

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 4:29 PM

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This is a screen capture of the Jumbotron TV from one of Created Equal's videos posted on its website.

After a few hours of back and forth Wednesday between city officials, the San Antonio Police Department, and anti-abortion protesters, the city ultimately barred the protesters from setting up a Jumbotron in Alamo Plaza to display video of late-term abortions.

Created Equal, which organized the protest, is based in Ohio and travels the country with their mega TV to show graphic images and video of late-term abortions, which according to the group's website "are only effective if people watch them—and when they do, the bigger the screen, the better."

The group, which is championed by other anti-abortion organizations that rely on graphic imagery like Operation Rescue, also seems to target college campuses and paid a visit to San Antonio College this week as well.

According to the San Antonio Express News, the group, along with locally based Love of Truth Ministries, had obtained a city permit to hold the protest at Alamo Plaza but then received a letter yesterday that said setting up the Jumbotron TV would violate a city ordinance that bans digital signs from historic property.

"I informed them that we would not permit that to happen, but that they were more than welcome to distribute any literature or any other information that they wanted to put out and we'd be more than happy to help them accomplish that," SAPD Chief William McManus told the Express-News.

At some point during the Wednesday standoff between police and protesters, the police threatened to give Class C misdemeanor citations.

Mark Harrington, Created Equal's executive director, told the Express-News that the organization will seek legal action and possibly return to the Alamo City for another protest later.


Harrington told Fox 29 News San Antonio that the group is prioritizing Texas because of the recent legal battles surrounding House Bill 2, Texas' sweeping abortion law that has forced more than half the state's abortion clinics to close since the law first took effect last year.

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