Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Prairie Lights Threatened, Closed; Supporters Freeze

Prairie Lights Threatened, Closed; Supporters Freeze

Krista Jacob (second from left) with supporters at Prairie Lights

Tonight's Live from Prairie Lights reading from Abortion Under Attack: Women on the Challenges Facing Choice by Krista Jacob was cancelled due to anti-choice threats.

With an hour or so's notice by email, about 15 of us showed up in front of Prairie Lights to take some sort of stand for choice and free speech. We told folks arriving for the reading what had happened; most left in disappointed disbelief but a few joined us.

To our surprise, Jacob herself arrived and thanked us. She said she'd gone to the Deadwood (one of our most famous local watering holes) to commiserate for a bit, wondering what the hell had happened to the Iowa City she knew (she attended UI and interned at the Emma Goldman Clinic). Her first thought had been that we were picketers AGAINST her, but a closer look and she realized we were there to support her. Krista thanked us and we apologized for this out of character happening (as Iowa Citians we were all pretty embarrassed.) Krista had already ordered some dinner but felt more like standing with us, and said we'd restored her faith in Iowa City.

Mutual warm fuzzies aside, we all acknowledged this was an anti-choice win; one threatening email succeeded in censoring Krista's reading. She said she has protesters on a regular basis, but this was the first event that had actually been cancelled. One supporter noted the irony: we should have been inside the store attending the reading, and it should have been the anti-choice picketers outside and freezing.

No press present, so this blogger gets an unwelcome scoop.

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