I was not the first one in this morning -- one person was before me. After me was a woman from Texas (her name is apparently in dispute; it had been up on the Kansas City Star but isn't anymore) who was quite fidgety. Regina Dinwiddie showed up along with a woman identified as her mother. Cathy Ramey came in from Oregon. Jennifer McCoy was also there. In addition was a woman who was a friend of Dr. Tiller's (I spent a lot of time with her) and a local attorney who had attended a couple of hearings, also a friend of Dr. Tiller's.
From Judy Thomas's fairly detailed KC Star article:
About a half-dozen of Roeder's supporters attended Friday's session. Roeder glanced at them and smiled as he entered the courtroom. As the session began, the judge warned those in attendance not to cause any outbursts or distractions. During the session, one woman was admonished when she reacted with glee when a photo of Tiller's body was shown to jurors.
Cathy Ramey, a longtime anti-abortion activist from Oregon, said she came to Wichita to observe the trial.
"I'm here because I believe that God has a consistent standard of justice and whatever force is necessary to protect an innocent born person ought to be applied to an innocent unborn person as well," Ramey said. Regina Dinwiddie, a friend of Roeder's from Kansas City, showed reporters a petition that she had been taking around Wichita. It said, "We, the undersigned, declare the justice of taking all godly action necessary to defend innocent human life,. We proclaim that whatever force is legitimate to defend the life of a born child is legitimate to defend the life of an unborn child. We further declare that if Scott Roeder shot and killed George Tiller, Roeder's actions are morally justified if they were necessary for the purpose of defending innocent human life. Under these conditions, Scott Roeder should be acquitted of all charges."
Dinwiddie said she’d gathered about 100 signatures on her petition.
"The tide is turning,," she said.
The woman "with glee" was the one from Texas. In the afternoon, she was having some sort of laughing or crying fit (we couldn't figure it out).
As for the petition ... I had caught this in a Google Alert a couple of days ago but did not see that it happened in Wichita. Ramey wrote the update I had found. I don't know which Wal-Mart they went to, but she also told Thomas today that she had a much lower response rate when she went to QuikTrip (a regional gas station). Dinwiddie estimated 8% of Americans support killing of abortion providers. Even if that were anywhere near true, no matter how many people are fine with murder does not make it right. Lots of people were fine with lynching.
Before the trial began, Dinwiddie wanted to see how far she could go before getting kicked out of the courtroom. She and Texas wanted to wanted to stand up when their "hero" came in. Seemed they wanted to cause a bit of a fuss. They were told they couldn't at all. Texas was disappointed (which I could tell because she was sitting next to me). We also saw the bomb-sniffing dog. Texas was all giddy. After I explained it's a bomb-sniffing dog, she complained that it's not fair that dog gets to be there but she can't bring hers. I tried to explain the dog is on duty, but that was wasted breath.
I found out Bray is "expected" in town next week, and Spitz is due in on the 31st. I didn't catch when Leach was suppose to be here. They told the media they hadn't planned any protests so far.
On a much happier note, over the lunch break we saw a young couple get married! We wished them well before the terrorists and terrorist sympathizers came back up. As the floor got more crowded, a gay couple introduced us to their newborn baby daughter, only 30 hours old when we met her. When we told them who was on the other side and who we were, they were glad they randomly picked to sit on our bench.
If you see something while reading these posts on the trial that you don't understand or think I should certainly be mentioning, please email us! These first few days are going to be quite strange for me. I'm still adjusting to all the national (and international) media attention on my hometown. It's surreal.