Four More Years

Schiavo case results in threats, prompting calls for calm

BY HELEN KENNEDY
New York Daily News
Posted on Fri, Mar. 25, 2005

TAMPA, Fla. – (KRT) – As Terri Schiavo weakens and legal options peter out, tension here is intensifying.

Some pro-life activists are making ugly threats, making up “Wanted” posters for lawmakers and handing out the home addresses of judges who rejected legal appeals to keep Schiavo alive.

“I am afraid,” said state Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, who has received numerous death threats by phone and mail because she voted against a measure to reinsert Schiavo’s feeding tube. “We’re talking about the sanctity of life, and (they’re) threatening my life.”

The nine Republican lawmakers who voted against the measure showed up on anonymous “Wanted” posters that appeared in the state capitol in Tallahassee. State Sen. Nancy Argenziano said one of the “un-Christian” voice mails she’s received wished stomach cancer on her.

Guards have been posted outside the politicians’ offices.

Police won’t discuss their security measures, but Michael Schiavo and Judge George Greer, who has consistently upheld Schiavo’s requests to end his wife’s life, are under around-the-clock protection and staying out of sight. Both have been the targets of a flood of fury, branding them corrupt and abusive murderers who are flouting God.

“Various law enforcement agencies are aware of the emotions in this case and have taken appropriate actions,” said Wayne Shelor, spokesman for the police in Clearwater, Fla., where Michael Schiavo lives.

Popular right-wing Web sites have had to post prominent warnings against threats of violence on their discussion boards after calls for the armed “liberation” of Terri Schiavo from her hospice and comments suggesting that if her husband were taken out of the picture, guardianship would revert to her parents, who want to keep her alive.

People on Schiavo’s street in Clearwater have received anonymous postcards saying: “Your neighbor Michael Schiavo is trying to murder his wife.”

Gov. Jeb Bush was alarmed enough to call for calm.

“There have been some reports that people are making threatening declarations if this process doesn’t go their way,” he said. “I urge all who want to help Terri Schiavo to honor her by remaining calm and acting peacefully, even though we are all very distressed by what’s happening.”

“Even though we may disagree with the courts,” he added, “there is no justification for violent acts.”

(New York Daily News correspondent Richard Sisk contributed to this report.)

© 2005, New York Daily News.
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