EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Australian father of 7 sent to jail for pro-life activism
LifeSiteNews filmed this special interview with Graham Preston just before his arrest on Wednesday which was also recorded. Jason Rushton follows with a report on developments following the arrest.
SYDNEY, Australia. May 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Graham Preston, the 56-year-old Australian man who LifeSiteNews.com earlier this week reported would spend eight months in jail for his pro-life activism, was moved yesterday from the Brisbane Police Watch House to the Brisbane Correctional Centre.
His wife Liz, who spoke to him on the telephone Thursday afternoon Australian time, said Graham is in good spirits. He spent his first night at the watch-house in the same cell as a prominent public-servant from Vanuatu who was impressed by Graham’s courage. She said the police who took him from his home on Wednesday morning were very polite.
His family will be able to visit once a week until his release in December. He can make 10-minute phone calls at any time, although he must queue up to be able to use the phone.
Earlier this week ninemsn incorrectly reported that this is the first time Graham has served time in jail for a conviction.
This is the second time Graham has served time in jail for a conviction. On four other occasions he has spent up to eleven weeks in jail on remand after refusing to agree to bail conditions - meaning that this will be Mr. Preston’s sixth term in jail.
The practice manager at one of the abortion clinics where Graham has protested - Vicky Brumley from the Greenslopes Day Surgery - said to ninemsn: “He stands there and intimidates girls and women as they try to walk in. He shows them photos of full-term babies, which is not what we do.”
In fact, Graham has only ever shown pictures of ten-to-twelve-week-old in-utero babies. Greenslopes Day Surgery aborts babies up to 16-weeks.
Fellow protestor Anne Rampa, who was arrested for trespass outside the Greenslopes clinic after a non-violent sit-in with Graham last February, said Graham is not intimidating at all. She said he never stood over anybody, (he was always sitting on the ground), never raised his voice, and always had his hands full with pictures and pro-life messages.
“The public are told what to think about us doing something like this… People are told ‘Oh, women are traumatised, you are traumatising them even more.’ But if they go into that clinic, what happens to them is - you can’t believe it because it seems so incredible… That is deeply traumatic… We want to help them to never have to look at that, to never have to live with that burden for the rest of their lives.”
Dawn Wallace, the manager of the East Coast Women’s Centre told the Sunshine Coast Daily that eight months was a “long sentence”, but that she hoped it would serve as warning to protesters.
“I wish these people would mind their own bloody business. I’m hoping now he has been given eight months jail it will say to other people this behaviour is not good enough.”
Graham’s wife Liz said that one thing people could do to help Graham is to read some of the articles on his website.