CommunityFDL Main Blog

Mourning and Organizing in the Wake of Tiller’s Murder

It’s incredibly easy to give yourself over to cynicism in the wake of the Tiller murder. The net effect will be that politicians continue to turn their backs on women as anti-choice advocates push the ball incrementally further toward the goal of limiting a woman’s right to choose, and doctors who provide these services will continue to do so with the knowledge that they’ll be the targets of demagogues, religious fanatics and violent extremists.

The media won’t cover the story because of the "ick" factor, and we’ll be treated to the spectacle of the American Taliban preening in its righteousness and its inability to be appeased. Pro-choice advocates will be painted as unreasonable extremists incapable of compromise in a "pox on both your houses" burst of sensible (mostly male) centrism, and major pro-choice groups will sweep up the cash yet somehow fail once again to come up with a political strategy that manages to get choice off the ropes.

And yet, some still hope:

About 100 people got together tonight for a candlelight vigil in memory of Dr. George Tiller, organized via Twitter a few hours before it started.

After hearing of Tiller’s murder, Tanya Tarr, who works in the labor movement, put out a call for D.C. residents to join her in Dupont Circle, less than a mile from the White House. She posted her first message at around 5 p.m., four hours before the vigil started. (Various liberal bloggers, including the Daily Kos’s Markos Moulitsas and Firedoglake’s Jane Hamsher, passed the word on to their Twitter followers as well.)

"It is outrageous that a ‘pro-life’ movement would kill someone in their church," Tarr told me as people walked into the park to light candles in Tiller’s memory. Because of the short notice, Tarr passed out leftover Hanukah candles, with foil cupcake wrappers to catch melting wax.

The crowd stood quietly lighting candles and talking; there were no counter-protesters.

I was so grateful when Tanya’s Facebook announcement hit my email last night that Tiller’s killing at the hands of domestic terrorists wasn’t going to get sucked down the memory hole.

Wichita and Lawrence also held vigils last night. Tonight Boston, Seattle, Portland and Kansas City will do the same. Tomorrow, Ottawa. Feministing recommends that donations go to the following:

You can also write letters to the editors of your local papers.

Thanks to everyone for making the effort, and refusing to go quietly.

Previous post

My Four Days in Wichita

Next post

Imus Calls Rush Tactics "Insipid"

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
Subscribe in a reader