Small Victories denied permit to participate in
BY JENNIFER KAPIOLANI SAXTON
GRANITE CITY -- As folks watched the annual Santa
Claus parade Saturday, anti-abortion demonstrators who were denied a
chance to march stood on the corner of Niedringhaus and Madison
"I don't think this is the time or the place
for them to display all of this," said Mary Barchesky of
Granite City, who brought several of her grandchildren to the
In October, the organization Small Victories was
denied a city permit to participate in the parade, which usually has
Angela Michael of Highland, director of Small
Victories, said that because the group was denied, members chose to
hold up signs nearby depicting pictures of babies.
"Since this is celebrating the Christ child,
we're celebrating children,"Michael said.
No trouble was reported in connection with the
presence of the protesters.
During the annual Labor Day parade in September,
Small Victories members stood at the same corner with signs that
included a picture of an aborted fetus. Many said at the time they
were offended or disturbed by the pictures.
"They were the most disturbing signs I've
seen in my life," said Granite City High School band director
Wyatt Roberds. "Next year, I'm sure we won't march in the Labor
Day parade. I don't know about this parade, but I have to protect my
Roberds said he had reservations about marching in
the parade Saturday because of the pictures at the last parade.
"My 4-year-old adopted son was marching next
to me in the parade that day and pointed to the signs and asked me
what they were," Roberds said. "How do you explain that to
Mary Lynch of Granite City, who attended the
parade with her family, said with the number of kids at the parade,
it was not the proper time or place to interject such a politically
charged issue such as abortion.
"I think there is a time and place, but not
out here at the Christmas parade," Lynch said. "There's
too many little kids running around and they are asking
Granite City is home to the Hope Clinic, the
metro-east's only abortion clinic.