PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Peoria resident is planning a silent community vigil on Sunday to show solidarity with Planned Parenthood.
On Jan. 15, an arson at Planned Parenthood in Peoria caused more than $150,000 in damages and shuttered the clinic for at least a month.
Nearby resident Vivian Taylor is organizing a Silent Sidewalk Community Vigil on Sunday to show support for the clinic.
“It’s my neighborhood. I’m close to it. I can’t stand by and abide someone firebombing a building,” she said.
Supporters are encouraged to bring signs to the vigil. However, Taylor said it will not be a noisy advocacy rally, but a solemn show of support.
“It’s a solidarity we’re with you…I’m expecting silence and respect for the clinic even though it’s closed…Expect some police cruisers because they’ve been monitoring the clinic in a friendly way because they’re trying to catch the guy and people return to the crime all the time anyway,” said Taylor.
The arson occurred two days after Gov. JB Pritzker (D-Ill.) signed legislation expanding abortion access in Illinois and protecting out of state patients.
A statement from Gov. Pritzker’s office said in part:
“Hate has no home in Illinois and Governor Pritzker is proud to have recently enacted even more protections for patients and providers of reproductive healthcare, upholding human rights and creating an inclusive state that all residents can be proud to call home.”
Taylor said no matter where you fall on the abortion debate, terrorism is never the answer.
“I think that even if friends are and community members are pro-forced birth or pro-choice or pro-abortion, whatever your stance is, I think the one unifying factor is that we’re all against firebombing places,” she said.
Taylor is expecting 30 to 50 people for the silent vigil. She is also hoping to raise money to donate to the Peoria clinic.