Jackson, Mississippi — Christians in Mississippi report that police are attempting to intimidate them for their continued stand for life outside of the last abortion facility in the state.
Cal Zastrow says that police have become more aggressive over past few months at Jackson Women’s Health Organization in the state capital.
“The police have been arresting every other day now,” he told Christian News Network. “So there’s been multiple arrests.”
He explained that he believes the Jackson Police Department is trying every avenue possible to force the Christians to leave.
“What the police are saying is that we cannot have a lawn chair, a folding chair, a small step ladder, or even a little seat cushion or sit down on the sidewalk,” Zastrow stated, advising that the sidewalk is the only place where the Christians are allowed to stand. “So, they’re arresting people for these purposes.”
He added that police have also informed the Christians that their signs must remain in the air and may not touch the ground, and that if they stand on the curb, they will be cited for trespassing.
“So, basically, the police have gone overly aggressive with arresting people in trying to intimidate us to get off the streets,” he said. “Two more people were arrested last week.”
Zastrow himself was arrested on February 28th and March 1st, and has been charged with allowing his sign to touch the ground and obstructing a public sidewalk. He states that there is no law prohibiting people from allowing hand-held signs from being on the ground. He and the two others that were arraigned in city court last week plead not guilty to the charges.
Zastrow is slated to also be arraigned on a later date on a trespassing charge, and prosecutors have decided to pursue a citizen complaint that is seven years old.
“They also brought up a charge against me from 2006 where the neighbor next to the abortion clinic filed a complaint saying that I was disturbing the peace on the sidewalk while I was preaching,” he said.
However, Zastrow was encouraged as he shared a story of God’s protection surrounding his court appearance.
“We had church in the morning on the sidewalk right in front of city court/the city police headquarters building, and we stood right next to the memorial for the slain police officers of Jackson,” he explained. “Shortly after we got out, a Jackson city police detective was shot and murdered while he was interviewing a criminal suspect in the same building. Same place, same day, a little different time.”
Zastrow, who had been sprayed in his mouth with pepper spray by a guard at the abortion facility earlier this year, advised that the guard also appeared for arraignment last week.
“[H]e has four counts of simple assault that he will be tried for,” he said. “The city is also prosecuting him for a charge that a woman brought up against him three years ago in 2010. It’s alleged that he threatened to shoot this woman and her child.”
As Jackson Women’s Health Organization is scheduled for a closure hearing on April 18th, Zastrow said that he is uplifted despite all of the attempts to silence the voices of Christians.
“Tomorrow morning, we are going to start a Jericho march for seven days around the abortion clinic,” he explained. “We’re going to trust God, and sing and pray and cry out to God to shut this death pit down.”
“We expect the state Department of Health to just say, ‘Okay, your license is revoked,” and the abortion mill — they’re going to fuss and fight,” Zastrow continued. “[But] the question is: Will there be political will to shut them down right then? I mean, they’re probably going to appeal to county and state courts, and file motions, and do what they can for delay, but will there be political will, and will there be the will of Christians to come out and shut this death pit down or not?”
With joy in his voice, Zastro outlined that he is glad to report that many Christians have been joining him on the sidewalk each day to take a stand against the shedding of innocent blood.
“Just in the past month, we’ve had four or five pastors come out to the streets and preach and witness and evangelize who hadn’t done this before,” he explained. “So, that’s a tremendous answer to prayer, because if more leaders — if more pastors — come out to the street and bring people out, then the killing will stop much quicker.”
Zastro said that women have been turning away from abortion because of the efforts of Christians on the street.
“The numbers have decreased at the abortuary,” he stated. “Pro-Life Mississippi has seen close to two hundred saves that we know of from the sidewalk, plus many, many more turnaways.”
“When Christians come out to the streets and confront the gates of Hell, the gates of Hell will [not prevail],” Zastrow exhorted. “When we preach the Gospel, when we sing, when we pray, when we trust God and peacefully come out to love our neighbors as ourselves, and we do rescues, God will bless these efforts. He will bless this faith, and He will show Himself mighty and powerful, and continue closing down surgical abortion clinics and turning hearts to himself. Praise the Lord.”