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Summer of Mercy leader says no civil disobedience planned

Associated Press - July 15, 2016 6:13 pm

A fire has gutted the Wichita gym where Olympic medalist Nico Hernandez trains.

The leader of the fundamentalist Christian group behind the Summer of Mercy anniversary in Wichita says it plans no violence or civil disobedience during the July 16-23 anti-abortion event.

Rev. Rusty Thomas, director of Operation Save America, told reporters Friday the goal is not to go to jail or be arrested. He says they are not going to “physically” block entrances to abortion clinics.

Thousands of anti-abortion activists gathered in Wichita in 1991 for the Summer of Mercy, sparking tumultuous mass protests that led to nearly 2,700 arrests outside local clinics.

Thomas says he wants to alleviate fears his group is coming to Wichita to do harm, saying they are coming to pray.

The Feminist Majority Foundation has been running ads locally warning about some of the abortion opponents coming.

City of Salina