The protest Tuesday morning outside Woodside Hospice is small and muted. A dozen people stand or sit in three areas roped off by bright orange fencing.
BECAUSE SHE CAN'T SPEAK FOR HERSELF! GET IT? OKAY, I'LL STOP
They say they are here to speak for Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged patient inside, the woman at the center of a national storm over the right to die - or live. Schiavo has been without food and water since Friday, when the feeding tube keeping her alive was removed under a state court's order.
EVIL ACTIVIST LIBERAL JUDGE INSISTS ON FOLLOWING THE LAW
The protesters' anger and frustration are directed at U.S. District Judge James Whittemore in Tampa. Early Tuesday, he rejected the urgent appeal of Schiavo's parents to restore their daughter's nutrition.
YES, THE SAME BUSH WHO COULDN'T BE BOTHERED TO FIND OUT IF ANY OF THE PEOPLE HE EXECUTED AS TEXAS GOVERNOR WERE ACTUALLY INNOCENT
The decision came one day after President Bush signed emergency legislation from Congress allowing the parents to take their case to federal court.
DOESN'T HE UNDERSTAND THE VALUE OF POLITICAL GRANDSTANDING?
The protesters are incensed. "I'm very disturbed and absolutely appalled at how this judge could take 24 hours to give a ruling when the United States Congress and President Bush flew in from their vacations to vote in a matter of hours," says Arianna Grumbine, 19.
BECAUSE TERRI SCHIAVO IS ALSO FASTING! GET IT?
She flew here 12 days ago from Southern California, where she's communications director for Survivors, a teen anti-abortion group. She says she has been fasting for nine days in sympathy for Schiavo.
BECAUSE TERRI...OH, NEVER MIND
Lana Jacobs of Columbia, Mo., was arrested after she attempted to bring Terri Schiavo water.
THAT'S BOB KUNTZ, A MISSIONARY FROM LUTZ
Bob Kuntz, 52, a missionary from Lutz, Fla., holds aloft a sheet of paper bearing the names of Florida state senators, their phone numbers and e-mail addresses. The Senate in Tallahassee could reconsider a bill today to order the feeding tube to be restored.
STALK THEM. KILL THEM. BURN THEIR HOUSES TO ASH.
"I have a list of legislators who are preventing Terri from being fed," Kuntz says into a megaphone. "Call these legislators. E-mail them. Lock them down."
HOLY SHIT, THE CHRISTIANS ARE MOBILIZING
Other protesters are mobilizing in Tallahassee, says the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition of Washington, D.C.
FOR WHAT, I CANNOT SAY
Nearby, John Dufek, 62, a real estate salesman from nearby Seminole, holds a sign that says, "Terri is the sacrificial lamb."
I SMELL A BULLSHIT STORY*
"The issue is about the dignity of life," Dufek says. "If Terri is allowed to die here, who's to say where we're going to go from here? I just visited a friend of mine who's a quadriplegic and he asked the question, 'I wonder if they're going to come for me next.' "
*: Seriously, this 'friend of mine who's a quadriplegic' thing just smacks of the kind of horseshit story religious people always tell. Like, "Oh, really, Johnny? Well, I used to be an atheist/drug abuser/skateboarder TOO!" or "Let me tell you about another young man who was worried about his sexuality, Timmy." First of all, the fact that this alleged quadraplegic friend can speak, reason, communicate, and live without being hooked up to a machine pretty much ensures that he's not going to be in Terri Schiavo's position anytime soon, right? And second, who's 'coming for' her? This makes it sounds like the fucking Gestapo busted into her house and is slowly torturing her to death in a basement somewhere, instead of it being a guy who is fulfilling his wife's wishes after she's been a goddamn vegetable for 15 years who every doctor in the fucking world has said is never going to get better. Gaah. "Well, let me tell you about a young woman I knew who also was a permanent coma patient. She prayed to Jesus, and now she's Anita Bryant!"