All quiet at abortion protest in Lake Zurich

  • Twelve-year-old Beth Cassidy of Fox River Grove participates in Wednesday's Pro-Life Action League's abortion protest in Lake Zurich at routes 12 and 22.

    Twelve-year-old Beth Cassidy of Fox River Grove participates in Wednesday's Pro-Life Action League's abortion protest in Lake Zurich at routes 12 and 22. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/8/2011 3:51 PM

A planned abortion protest Wednesday in Lake Zurich proceeded without incident.

Members of the Pro-Life Action League exercised their right to free speech at the busy corner of routes 12 and 22, and police were satisfied conditions regarding how the message was delivered were met in a cooperative manner.

 

"In a nutshell, everything went fine today," Police Chief Patrick Finlon said. "It was never about them not being able to do it. It was about us setting some guidelines."

Members of the group had assembled July 15 at the same corner. At the time, some protesters disrupted traffic flow by entering the roadway and others entered a private parking lot to place literature on windshields leading to a dispute with a store owner, according to Finlon.

Nothing of that nature occurred Wednesday, as the group held signs on the sides of the road at the corners of the intersection. Police were present for the 90-minute event and Finlon dropped by at one point.

"We did have a very cordial conversation," said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Chicago-based group, which has been holding periodic protests at the same Lake Zurich location for 10 years.

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Scheidler said the group agreed not to put fliers on windshields, and added there was no reason to be uncooperative, as the subject is controversial enough.

"You've got to pick your battles," he said during the event. "This is a peaceful mission. There's no point in adding trouble to a troubling situation."

Aside from a 10-day stretch in July, the group holds protests once a month in different locations. After Lake Zurich on Wednesday, protesters moved to the Route 60/45 intersection in Mundelein.

"In some towns where they let us, we'll handbill," explained Corrina Gura, projects coordinator for the group and a 2001 graduate of Lake Zurich High School.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It depends on the town and how they feel about it." Handbills were not allowed in Mundelein.

Finlon said he wanted to get an estimate of the number of protesters so resources could be properly deployed. That information was provided in advance.

About 50 protesters were in Lake Zurich. About three dozen displayed signs, some with graphic content regarding abortion.

The group included Liz Cassidy, a mother of eight from Fox River Grove. Two of her kids, Beth, 12, and Tom, 11 held signs along Route 12. Fourteen-month-old Jane was in a stroller.

"We're not here to make any trouble," Cassidy said. "It's awareness."