https://www.theepochtimes.com/unlikely-political-alliance-changes-pro-life-protest-tactics_4536053.html

WASHINGTON—Pro-life protests outside the U.S. Supreme Court are learning the political Left’s distinctive protest style from a new activist group.

Lauren Handy, an anarcho-mutualist, is the director of activism for Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), a Left-wing pro-life protest group founded in October 2021.

PAAU includes anarchists, communists, and animal rights activists that oppose abortion.

Since the leak of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion draft that suggests Roe v. Wade might be overturned, her group has often counter-protested outside the court in support of the pro-life cause.

Left-wing pro-life protester Lauren Handy, the director of activism with Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, protests outside the US Supreme Court on June 15, 2022 (Jackson Elliott/The Epoch Times)

Handy herself has been a pro-life activist since 2013, she said. She dropped out of college to devote her life to fighting abortion.

“The reality of what was happening was pressing on my heart and pressing on my soul,” she said. “And I realized that I needed to pivot.”

PAAU protests abortion with a series of tactics that conservative pro-life groups use less often.

“Prayer and meekness, there is a time and a place for that. But showing this righteous anger and passion is just as important,” she said. Handy’s bio on PAAU’s site states that she is a Catholic who creates “trans-inclusive spaces” in the pro-life movement.

How To Protest Leftist-Style

Left-wing protesters often form a “unified front,” with chanting, bullhorns, and “call-backs,” she said.

In contrast, organized groups of conservative protesters tend to stand together and quietly pray while at protests, said Handy.

However, individual conservative protesters at the Supreme Court have gotten into shouting matches or used megaphones.

PAAU draws from the protest guidelines of Gene Sharp, Handy said.

Sharp, a political scientist, has written extensively on how to mount peaceful anti-government resistance.

Every Left-wing protest against the U.S. Supreme Court draft that The Epoch Times has covered has used either megaphones, drums, rhythmic chants, or a combination of these tools to generate maximum noise with minimum numbers.

Epoch Times Photo
Pro-life protesters with conservative group Students for Life wear blue as they protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 15, 2022. (Jackson Elliott/The Epoch Times)

Left-wing protesters wear symbolic colors to signal solidarity with other protest movements nationwide, said Handy.

In South America, green is the color of pro-abortion movements and blue is the color of pro-life movements.

“The other side wears green to be in solidarity with Latin American activists, and we’re wearing the light blue to be in solidarity with Latin American activists,” she said.

PAAU also used classic Left-wing protest chants in the unending Supreme Court shouting match.

“Pro-life is a lie, you don’t care if women die,” pro-abortion protesters chant.

“Pro-choice is a lie, babies never choose to die,” PAAU activists chant back.

On June 15, about 20 protesters from the conservative pro-life group Students for Life stood quietly in a group outside the Supreme Court. But when PAAU started chanting, they joined in and started passing around a megaphone.

“I’ve definitely seen how we have all grown together in this sense of unity through diversity,” said Handy.

Surprising Cooperation

This cooperation now marks many pro-life protests at the court.

Conservative pro-life groups and anarcho-communist pro-life groups have adjusted to each other, Handy said.

“We like feed off of each other’s energy with the passion and excitement,” she said. “I think it’s like a natural inclination to want to match each other’s energy. There wasn’t really ever a disconnect,” she said.

The Left-wing style of protest that PAAU uses is also angrier than the typical conservative pro-life protest, said Handy.

It mirrors the focus on “rage” that has marked the past several weeks of pro-abortion protests.

But “righteous anger” is valid when the lives of the unborn are at stake, she said.

“This righteous anger that we feel is appropriate to show during protests,” she said.

PAAU has sometimes blocked abortion clinics, then gone limp to make it difficult for police to arrest their members, said Handy.

“We do direct action, risk arrests, and put our bodies between the oppressors and the oppressed,” she said.

“If we believe abortion is murder, and that preborn humans are fully human with equal dignity and worth, our actions have to be reflective of that reality.”

Pastor and East Texas Right to Life director Mark Lee Dickson said that he praises God for the chance to work with PAAU.

“It’s been a blessing to connect with them,” he said. “Although we’re not on the same page for everything, we’re on the same page that babies should not be murdered in America.”

Epoch Times Photo
Pro-abortion protesters with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights wear green as they protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 15, 2022. (Jackson Elliott/The Epoch Times)

He added that he didn’t think using megaphones was a Left-wing protest tactic.

“I’ve seen Students for Life use megaphones even when PAU wasn’t there,” he said. “But this is something where we’re using every available avenue to be a voice to the voiceless.”

Handy added that she has learned how to build activist coalitions from working with conservative pro-life groups.

Right-wing pro-life activists often unite Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, and other groups that disagree on deep levels.

“People have been able to coalition build within their various organizations,” Handy said.

The far-Left includes more pro-life groups than most Americans suspect, Handy said. Vegans are often pro-life.

“I think they were always pro-life, but they kept it on the down-low because there’s a stigma of being pro-life and Leftist,” she said.

Jackson Elliott

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Jackson Elliott reports on small-town America for The Epoch Times. He learned to write and seek truth at Northwestern University. He believes that the most important actions are small and that as Dostoevsky says, everyone is responsible for everyone and for everything. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys running, reading, and spending time with friends. Contact Jackson by emailing jackson.elliott@epochtimes.us

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