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Thursday, December 15, 2011

In Canada we jail peaceful grandmothers and lionize “occupiers” who destroy public property

The current Supreme Court challenge undertaken by Linda Gibbons highlights how uneven and mean-spirited the Canadian justice system can be at times. Ms. Gibbons is a 63-year-old grandmother who has been arrested about 20 times and spent more than nine of the past 20 years in jail for protesting peacefully in front of abortion clinics. On Wednesday she appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in a bid to have her most recent conviction quashed.

Six years after Canada’s abortion law was struck down in 1988, authorities in Toronto sought a court-ordered “temporary” injunction ban against protesting directly outside an abortion clinic. There had been incidents of intimidation, including violence, near abortion clinics and the ban seemed reasonable as a temporary measure until things cooled down a bit. That was almost 18 years ago, however.

Since then the Alberta-born Torontonian and anti-abortion crusader has been arrested about 20 times and has spent some eight years behind bars for protesting too close to abortion clinics—though she has never been accused of threatening or abusive behaviour.

Time and time again we have sent this woman to jail yet we have allowed the “Occupy” Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver protests to violate city laws, damage public property and disrupt nearby businesses. The Occupiers we politely leave alone for weeks on end; Ms. Gibbons we arrest and lock up.

Doesn’t sound fair to me.

© 2011 Russell G. Campbell

4 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. Our entire legal system is cowardly. The reason the OWS hooligans are left alone is due to the threat of increased violence and civil disobedience should they be challenged. Grandma isn't likely to put up much of a fight so she gets hauled off in short order.
    Lesson learned: politicians, cops, judges can all be intimidated. Be the strong horse and you can do what you want. A certain world religion has got this down to an art. This world is being run by a bunch of ninnies.

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  2. The police have crushed and laid charges against the occupies.

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  3. This is what happens when the campus revolutionaries of yesterday become the law makers of today.

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