By Meg Jalsevac

QUEBEC CITY, October 10, 2007 ( – Thanks to the work of a local, non-denominational Life Week Committee, Quebec City is once again participating in the international pro-life effort known as Life Chain.  However, this year’s organizers of the peaceful hour of prayer were surprised to be met by not only a counter protest effort coordinated by the local anarchist group but also an ensuing throng of media personnel.

  The Life Chain was held on the afternoon of October 7th on the sidewalk in front of the local hospital.

  The Life Week Committee had previously issued an official invitation to Quebec City’s Cardinal Ouellet and the auxiliary bishops of the area to both attend the one-hour of silent prayer and to encourage their approximately 300 diocesan priests and parishes to do the same.  None of the local bishops were present and of the diocesan clergy, only Father Guillaume Loddé, FSSP of the chapel of St. Francoise d’Assise stood in witness to the sanctity of life with the other Life Chain participants.

  One organizer, Stefan Jetchick admitted that the counter-protester numbers were higher than the pro-life numbers though he was encouraged that several of the Life Chain participants were married couples with young children.

Stefan Jetchick, wrote that upon arriving, the Life Chain participants were instructed by police to abandon their legally reserved spot on the sidewalk in favor of a location further down the street “to avoid provoking” the already assembled counter-protesters.  Though the Life Chain contingent did follow the instructions, throughout the course of the Life Chain hour, Jetchick said several of the anarchist counter-protestors approached the peaceful pro-life individuals.

“Some insulted us, calling Pastor Bernard a pedophile, or proudly showing blasphemous signs. Some banged large sticks on the street, some wore masks, but nobody threw anything at us, or touched one of us.”

  The officer who spoke with Mr. Jetchick also informed him that only one police cruiser would be nearby and kept far from the demonstration since the anarchists had been known to incite violence against police in the past.

  TV camera crews, radio stations and local newspapers covered the event though Mr. Jetchick commented that “the quality of information was often hilarious.” None of the confrontational activity of the anarchist group was reported on.  However, Jetchick explained that the extensive media coverage gave the pro-life participants an opportunity to spread their message even farther than the sidewalk that they were standing on.