Monday, July 17, 2006


(Information taken from news reports)

Right: Patrick Johnston outside CapCare, March 2006. Picture taken by the author.

According to the July 17, 2006 Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger, Central Ohio anti-abortion activist Dr. Patrick Johnson was arrested in Jackson on Sunday charged with obstructing traffic and protesting without a permit during an Operation Save America-sponsored anti-abortion rally outside out St. James Episcopal Church. The picture at the top left of the Clarion -Ledger story shows Johnston, in the red shirt, at the church.

Johnston and his wife Elizabeth are attending Operation Save America's "national event," this year targeting the Jackson Women's Health Center, the state's only abortion clinic.

No violence was reported at St. James, and it is unclear why the church was targeted. At an earlier protest at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, however, where a pre-service abortion forum was scheduled, the windshield of a car belonging to an anti-abortion protestor was smashed after the driver allegedly hit an abortion supporter in the church parking lot. The Clarion-Ledger reported that the OSA supporter attempted to drive into the parking lot past church security who were attempting to keep abortion protesters off church property. OSA claims the car was beaten with PVC pipe and "demolished" by masked "anarchists" while Jackson's "facsist" police stood by and did nothing. Pictures of the incident are here. Similar accusations of police disinterest were made by OSA in Columbus two years ago during the take-over of City Hall Plaza and here.

Here is the the report on Johnston's arrest. Johnston was charged under his "professional" name "James".

Arrested and released outside the Episcopal church were Ronald Brock, 67, of Winchester, Calif.; John Calvin, 46, of Jackson; Phillip Carnaggio, 80, of Greenwood; Ashley Harriet, 72, of Jackson; and James Johnston, 35, address unavailable, according to the police arrest docket. Brock, who was driving a vehicle bearing pictures of fetuses, was charged with disorderly conduct.

The other four people were charged with obstructing traffic and protesting without a permit, Cmdr. Lewis said.

Johnston's arrest followed a day of turmoil in Jackson. Smith Park was evacuated after a suitcase, later found to contain nothing but prescription bottles, was left in a trashcan during an abortion rights rally in the park where Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women was speaking. About 15 police were on hand for the rally, but the bomb squad, ATF and FBI have now been called in to investigate.

On Monday seven OSAers were arrested while protesting on the sidewalk at the Jackson Women's Health Organization. Lawyers for the American Center for Law and Justice and the American Family Association are seeking a restraining order against the Jackson police to stop further arrests.

Patrick Johnson is a well-known domionist figure in Central Ohio. I have written about him here and here. Saturday mornings he can often be found protesting at CapCare. His webpage includes a large collection of photos of clinic staff and patients along with their license plate numbers. I'll be writing more about Johnston over the next few months.

Members of Minute Men United are also in Jackson, but I have heard no reports of their activities.

Addenda: Check out "lesforlife's account of the Jackson mess, Masked Mauraders Assault Operation Save America's Evangelists" on Blogs for Life. (It includes a picture of the "anarchists.") The writer tosses WTO protesters, Anti-Racist Action, World Can't'Wait, NOW, Unitarians, liberals and the Jackson, Misissippi Police Department into the melting pot and pours out a gang of anarchists running amuck. Who wouldda thought!

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