On May 7th, 2022 I attended my first Clinic Defense hosted by NYC For Abortion Rights. I didn't know what to expect as it was a rainy day and I had researched past clinic defenses that they had done and it seemed it could escalate badly. Despite all that I made sure to arrive early, I woke up at around 7:00AM in the morning and got there at 8:00AM sharp. Like any photographic expedition I don't care what the time is to go forth and capture it so when I found out the few days prior that I had to get up at 7:00AM on a Saturday it did not phase me in the slightest.
Pictured above: Pro choice counter protesters line up on the left side of the Basilica of Old Saint Patricks on Mott and Prince street. By 8:15 they usually start marching in a circle in front of the main gate into the Cathedral until the Witness For Life Mass ends and the procession comes out. At that point they will form a wall to block them when they walk on the sidewalk, the counter protesters mainly face off with a line of NYPD officers that escort the procession.
Pictured above: Two members of the Press wait across the street under an awning for the march to start.
Pictured above: Directly across from the Cathedral, NYPD police officers are stationed to monitor the situation.
Pictured above: The counter protestors begin to march in a circle along the sidewalk in front of the Cathedral shouting slogans and yelling at the Pro life members of the church.
Pictured above: A counter protestors holds up her sign, it reads: "Pregnancy starts with a penis. Regulate that."
Pictured above: A space is wide enough for press to photograph in the middle of the circling counter protestors.
Pictured above: Members of Witness For Life stand guard infront of the Cathedral door. No counter protestor is able to go within the gates of the Cathedral yard to not cause violence. One member includes the man front and center with the "America First" blue hat, who alligns with being a Groyper.
Pictured above: This is the first glimpse of Christopher "Fidelis" Moscinski I witnessed who looked directly at my camera while peering out of the doors of the Cathedral. I soon after would come to familiarize myself with his ideologies and goals as a Friar as I came to frequent the Clinic Defenses in the coming months to document the actions of both the Pro Choice counter protesters as well as the members of Witness For Life alongside 40 Days For Life. So far writing this, besides an article from Curbed and the New York Post, I have seen little media outlet / press coverage of such actions here in Manhattan, New York City.
Pictured below: This was also the first time I got to familiarize myself with Witness For Life member Bernadette Patel who is in the yellow raincoat on the left side of the frame.
Pictured above: Not only was this my first time seeing several Witness For Life members, it was also to my surprise the first time I saw the comedian and satirical live performer and troll who goes by Crackhead Barney on social media. The members of the Cathedral payed little attention to her antics which I was surprised to see but they were also in the middle of a prayer. On the other hand the many press photographers including myself were incapsulated with capturing this bold and satirical act towards the Cathedral and its members.
Pictured above: After some time, Crackhead Barney was ushered outside of the Cathedral gates by NYPD officers and there she still continued to yell and taunt the members shown above.
Pictured above: An NYPD officer is seen escorting and holding the door open for a member of the Cathedral who use the NYPD as a means of security and escort to the Planned Parenthood which did not happen that day that I went.
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