Goals and Guidelines
(Revised March 3, 2019)
- To ensure that all people have access to all reproductive health care services that they desire.
- To convey the message that all people have the right to control their own bodies and lives.
- To encourage personal empowerment through action.
- To keep the clinics open and functioning at the request of the providers.
- To maintain a commitment to nonviolence at all times; see the WACDTF Nonviolence Policy below.
- WACDTF NONVIOLENCE POLICY: The Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force (WACDTF) is committed to nonviolent direct action. While engaged in clinic defense or escorting, WACDTF acts at the invitation of the clinics and seeks to keep the entire location as calm as possible. Therefore, WACDTF volunteers agree not to act in a confrontational manner or to engage in physical or verbal attacks against anyone present. We ask people to abide by this Nonviolence Policy at all times. Any person who, in the opinion of the WACDTF site coordinator acts inappropriately will be asked to remove their WACDTF identifier and leave the clinic property.
- In keeping with our Nonviolence Policy we will seek to secure the positions required to keep clinic access open, hold our ground, and not be bullied out of position.
- We will not engage anti-choice activists (“antis”) in debate. We are not counter-protesters.
- We will always attempt to utilize designated spokespersons when talking to the media.
- Only designated persons should talk with police or other such officials on site. We will maintain respect in all interactions with police. This does not preclude negotiation when appropriate.
- If asked by law enforcement to move from private property when we have permission of the clinic (or other owner) to remain present, we will ask if not moving will result in our arrest. If told yes, volunteers should be notified and given the opportunity to move and avoid arrest. With the concurrence of site leadership, volunteers willing to risk arrest to defend the clinic despite the police order may do so.
- We will work in ways that put the goals of clinic defense above personal differences and respect the diversity of participants in all WACDTF settings.
- The safety of patients, providers, volunteers / escorts, and everyone else present is paramount and will guide our actions. Volunteers are never expected to tolerate risks they find objectionable. All are encouraged to take reasonable actions to protect their own safety and that of others, and to support each other in doing so. Safety includes refraining from posting details of WACDTF volunteer activities on social media and other public forums.
- All WACDTF members agree to abide by the Standards of Civility. This code applies to all volunteer time with WACDTF, including trainings, organization meetings, in electronic communications to other WACDTF members, and any other situations or settings where WACDTF business is conducted.