Fri Aug 5, 2011 - 10:25 pm EST
Thoughts on the arrest of Linda Gibbons on Aug. 4, 2011
TORONTO, Ontario, August 5, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday I once again filmed and photographed Linda Gibbons being arrested for doing nothing more than peacefully trying to convince women entering an abortion clinic to not make the same mistake she herself made years ago. Since Linda’s first arrest in 1994 I have covered the story of her arrests again and again. In 1999, I was also arrested by police officers directed by a sergeant and sheriff who seemed to have a much too cozy relationship with abortion center staff. Eight months later the phony charge was dropped.
Yesterday, however, seemed different and unreal. (See video)
The officers and the sheriff were again going through the usual required motions, but this time they seemed confused about how to justify a law enforcement contingent of 6 police officers and 2 sheriffs for this situation. The quiet, passive, soft spoken woman of conscience was obviously no danger to anyone. The severity of the penalties for violating these injunctions, which she has endured for years, is an embarrassment to anyone of reason.
The officers that arrived were the most respectful I have seen over the years and it seemed that this was an awkward and unwelcome task for them. They probably would much rather have been called to go after real criminals than do the bidding of that profitable, government funded baby killing business.
Linda arrived at the Morgentaler Clinic at 8:55 a.m. Thursday morning. She had never attempted her counseling and protest at this particular location before. The permanent injunction at this location, which is not the same 1994 “temporary” injunction under which Linda has repeatedly been arrested at the Scott abortion mill, prohibits any pro-life activity within a zone of 500 feet from the abortion facility. That makes it impossible for any sidewalk counselors to offer alternative information or assistance to the women without risking certain arrest and heavy penalties.
An abortuary staff woman soon came out and warned Linda to leave. At 9:15 a large, intimidating security guard arrived and posted himself at the non-descript baby-killing center entrance. At 9:30 two police arrived on bikes and a third, a woman officer, soon joined them. They consulted with abortion center staff, were given a copy of the injunction and consulted with each other over this mysterious document.
They took turns talking to Linda, finding out what she was doing and why, and trying to convince her to leave. They were notably professional and respectful in going about their business.
At 10:25 the police supervisor arrived in a cruiser to direct the officers who seemed unsure about what to do. This was all taking much longer than it usually does at the Scott abortuary on Gerrard St. where Linda experienced all her previous arrests.
The Ontario sheriff and his deputy finally arrived at 10:35. Police cannot arrest protesters at facilities covered by the injunction unless the sheriff first reads the injunction to the pro-lifer(s) and then gives direction to arrest those who refuse to comply after the reading. At least that is how it is supposed to go. Some officers and sheriffs have had their own creative understanding of who should be threatened with arrest, or actually arrested and intimidated, regardless of the stated rules.
Thursday’s tall, lanky sheriff, who participated in past arrests of Linda, unrolled himself out of his car and immediately called out “Hi, Linda”. His intense, eager deputy followed him.
The sheriff, police and abortuary staff had a pow- wow about the problem of that persistent, quiet little women. Another police car and officers arrived. All this backup was apparently needed to deal with Linda, this reporter… and no one else.
Then a roving CBC cameraman accidentally came upon the scene and started to film. He had no idea what was going on, so I briefly filled him in. He had just been filming and interviewing the Show the Truth group that was displaying their graphic abortion signs along the very busy Bayview and Eglinton intersection only two blocks and well over 500 feet away.
As for those people with the signs, I can only imagine the huge commotion if they came any closer with “The Truth” about what was going on in that respectable office building with that unmarked side door seemingly for deliveries and with two prominent “727 Hillsdale” signs over and in front of it.
For the next 20 minutes, the lengthy injunction was read to Linda. She was repeatedly asked to comply; she remained mute; her rights were clearly stated to her and she was given more opportunities to comply; she continued to remain mute and non-compliant.
Linda was handcuffed and walked to one of the police cars and gently guided into the back seat. I have in the past seen her roughly and painfully dragged and thrown into police cars by aggressive officers who obviously had no use for her pro-life views. But not this time.
Linda’s long, now over 8-years total time in jail resumes again. How many more months or years in jail remains to be seen. Her young, very determined current lawyer has notably advanced her cause, although it is still an uphill battle. Linda does not speak in the court, just as the unborn cannot speak as they are destroyed. A Supreme Court appearance is upcoming, probably in the fall.
The publicity of three significant articles in the National Post in the last year on July 30, 2010, Feb 21, 2011, and Jun. 6, 2011, and recent more favourable and extensive coverage than ever in the Catholic Register and reports in other media has changed the landscape somewhat.
The travesty of this injustice and the incomprehensibly privileged legal and political protection provided the abortion industry must finally be addressed. This continuing situation seems to present the “freedom of choice” movement as a fat, big money-making, choice-denying lie. Linda has proved that for 16 years.
After all, the police should be protecting Linda as she tries to offer help to those women, many of whom are forced by friends, family and others into an abortion they really do not want. Why, the police should even hold her sign at times as she tries to counsel the women and save the lives of their unborn children.
See and hear Linda tell her story:
Linda Gibbons: ‘The end of abortion is Armageddon’