January 17, 1995
Pennsylvania officials said
the program requiring deadbeat parents to pay back child support from their
lottery winning has netted almost $70,000 since it began two years ago...
The Florida State Supreme Court recently ruled that it was legal to publish
the names of rape victims. The suit striking down the 1911 law that protected
women's identities was brought by The Globe after it published the
name of the woman who said William Kennedy Smith raped her in 1981 at the
Kennedy estate in West Palm Beach. Smith was acquitted.
Park Ellio Dietz, president
of the Threat Assessment Group, Inc., wrote in a recent article:
"Employers today are noticing increasing number
of jilted lovers stalking women in the workplace, perhaps because more
women are working and leaving their abusers, who know they can find them
What he didn't say - of course - is that such stalking
is costing women their jobs because employers are concerned about potential
violence such as occurred recently in a Michigan manufacturing plant.
David in Pittsburgh writes: I cannot agree more
with what you said about Speaker Newt. However if I were to write what
you wrote, I would have added that among the loudest critics of Speaker
Wright's ethical shortcomings was none other than the House minority whip,
a man named Newt Gingrich. Ah the sweet smell of irony!
Karen Gordon sends the news that the Metro Toronto's
police commission was denied permission to appeal a ruling that allows
a rape victim to sue police for failing to warn women that a serial rapist
was operating in their immediate area. Three judges of the Ontario Court
of Appeal took only a few moments to rule that the case should go directly
The victim, described in court documents as Jane Doe,
is suing police for $600,000. Mary Cornish, the lawyer for the woman, told
the court that the victim has been trying to get the matter to trial for
Christie Jefferson, executive director of the Women's
Legal Education and Action Fund, said the ruling finally gives the woman
a chance to question why police failed to warn residents in the area near
Church and Wellesley Streets in Toronto, the stalking ground of convicted
rapist Paul Callow.
The suit alleges that police failed to warn residents
because of a "stereotypical" belief that it would cause hysteria
among women in the area and because it might cause the rapist to flee and
It alleges that by using woman "as bait"
and failing to put enough re-sources into the investigation and the protection
of women in the area, the police acted discriminatorily, contrary to the
Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (Canadian Women's Issues - Strong Voices)
There is an increased movement
on feminist boards by radical religious rightists who appeared magically
just about the time of the Brookline murders. They mis-state the RR position
as well as say they are against the murders, yet do not condemn the Salvi
and Hill. They get the discussion so side-tracked that many feminists just
walk away from the discussions.
Be on guard. One woman I know of is a paid employee
of a religious dioceses in Baton Rouge, La., which attempted to build an
fetus holocaust museum next to a woman's clinic... the diocese bought the
property but the clinic had already decided on another location. She, of
course, does not admit her affiliation but her words and her tactics are
well orchestrated by professionals. Oh, yes... many of the she's are he's.
Thanks to Jennifer G. for
this release about the chilling new link suspected among anti-abortion
ORLANDO, Fla (Reuter) - Evidence linked to murder
suspect John Salvi suggests that radical anti-abortion activists in the
United States may be forming alliances with a network of violent paramilitary
groups, experts said.
Membership in the groups - mostly working-class Americans
who are struggling to keep up with high-tech, fast-paced social changes
- is booming.
"These movements are far more widespread than
commonly believed and involve much more ordinary people than assumed,"
said Chip Berlet, an analyst with Political Research Associates in Cambridge,
Mass. The non-profit think tank monitors anti-democratic trends.
"They are people who have embraced 'scapegoating'
theories out of desperation because they feel nobody is listening to them,"
Analysts say the right-wing groups appeal to those
who are fed up with what they perceive as high taxes and expanding government
as well as abortion rights and civil rights, among other issues.
Salvi, arrested in connection with the Dec. 30 shooting
deaths of two women at Massachusetts abortion clinics, is typical of the
people joining the groups.
"His statements (released by his lawyer) are
incoherent and certainly illiterate and show paranoid tendencies but also
reflect... widely circulated right-wing conspiracy theories," Berlet
While living in Florida in 1992, Salvi talked to a
friend about joining a militia and once expressed interest in a particular
camping trip with a militia from the Everglades, said his former employer,
Mark Roberts of Naples, Fla.
"Salvi had mentioned being affiliated with some
bivouac thing in the Everglades. They were camping and he wanted to go,"
said Roberts, who employed Salvi for maintenance work. Shortly before moving
to New England in 1992, Salvi stopped at Roberts' house and showed his
gun. He had sawed off its barrel and installed a silencer, Roberts said.
"He said he was going to shoot cans in the woods,
but he didn't want to make any noise," Roberts said. "That worried
While there is no evidence that Salvi actually belonged
to a militia group, several such groups met last November under the umbrella
of "Patriot Pro Family Movement" a few miles away from the Brookline,
Mass., clinic where the fatal shootings took place.
Speakers included anti-abortion organizer Mildred
Jefferson, a founder of the National Right to Life Committee and a board
member of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. Salvi attended at least one
meeting of that group and met with several of its leaders, Berlet said.
While Jefferson spoke, attendees browsed through tables
of literature brought by a local gun shop.
One book offered instruction in the use of the Ruger
.22-caliber rifle, the weapon allegedly used by Salvi. Other books contained
diagrams on how to build bombs and incendiary devices. One was titled "Improvised
Weapons of the American Underground."
A spokeswoman for the National Right to Life Committee
defended Jefferson. "The National Right To Life Committee condemns
violent activity kinds," said spokeswoman Olivia Gans. "Nobody
here was even aware anything like that (display of brochures) was even
But in recent months there has been evidence of a
growing alliance between certain anti-abortion activists and militia movements,
according to experts. Some are larger and more organized than others and
they vary in beliefs. For instance, some are anti-Semitic and racist while
others are not.
"Somewhere in the middle is a gray area of merger
where these movements are feeding off each other," Berlet said.
Violent militias have formed in more than 40 states
in the last 18 months, with an estimated membership of 10,000, Berlet said.
Many are in Florida, Texas, Montana, Wisconsin, states which also have
large anti-abortion activist populations.
"We've seen a parallel rise of militia movement
with an escalation of bombings and assassinations against abortion providers,"
said Fred Clarkson, editor of Front Lines Research, a journal published
by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)
statistics show some 150 bombings and arson attacks at women's health clinics
over the past 10 years.
"We have people like (convicted abortion doctor
killer) Paul Hill and others in the pro-violence wing of the anti-abortion
movement who are saying they ought to have a covert organization modeled
on the IRA (the Irish Republican Army) or Hamas (an Iran-backed militant
Palestinian group)," said Clarkson.
A crudely handwritten statement released last week
by Salvi sounds bizarre at first glance. It claims that government leaders
are persecuting Roman Catholics and proposes a separate Catholic currency.
But experts believe that many of his statements and
actions can be traced to materials promoted by specific right-wing organizations
in Boston or nationwide.
Don Treshman, leader of the militant anti-abortion
group Rescue America, denies any involvement with paramilitary groups.
"This literature about building bombs and weapons
has been readily available for years and years," Treshman said. "I
can't say that there may be some individuals involved in different militias,
but I'm not aware of any concerted effort to recruit pro-lifers in the
militias or vice versa."