TORONTO, April 4, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Toronto police released a report and photos on Tuesday of a man and woman wanted for assault and criminal mischief against pro-life demonstrators who were holding signs and handing out leaflets to high school students last month.
On March 18, the pro-life group “Choice” Chain set up a demonstration at Harbord Collegiate Institute in Toronto. Six pro-life individuals held large signs with images of first-trimester aborted babies with the word “Choice” printed across the top.
At about noon, a man wearing a black toque and fleece took exception to the team’s presence in the area, spitting on one member of the team, according to the police report.
The man then went to a nearby shop, obtained coffee, and returned with a woman, who was also holding a cup of coffee.
They approached the team and threw their hot drinks at them, hitting and damaging some of the signs, police say.
When the man realized that he was being filmed, he reportedly assaulted the member of the team who was filming the incident, trying to grab the camera.
Detective Jospeh Matys of the Toronto Police Service told reporters that no one was hurt during the assault.
“The group’s signs luckily took most of the damage,” he said.
“Choice” Chain, a team operating under the umbrella of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR), uses large graphic signs to expose the injustice of abortion. The team goes out five days a week to Toronto area high schools to show teens the reality of abortion. Team members stand on public side walks during the lunch hour to ask students what they think about abortion.
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Stephanie Gray, CCBR’s executive director, told LifeSiteNews.com how the “Choice” Chain members peacefully and respectfully held their ground that day, despite the abusive language, spitting, and assault with scalding beverages.
“What they did is a reflection of our culture of violence,” she said. “In our culture, as a result of embracing abortion, people are being taught that if someone gets in their way, they can use violence to stop them. That’s what abortion does, and that’s what these people did through intimidation, through verbal assault, and through the physical assault of trying to grab the camera and throwing coffee.”
Gray related how footage of the event captures the man going face to face with each pro-life demonstrator shouting “f–k you”.
Gray also related how friends of the man drove up to the team in a white van, forcibly seized the pro-life signs, and proceeded to load them into the van.
It was only when the would-be thieves realized that they were being filmed that they threw the signs out of the van and drove away, not before stomping on the signs and destroying five of them. A team member captured the van’s license plate on film.
“What we always like to ask people is that if abortion is such a good idea, then why would a picture of it bother people so much,” said Gray.
Devorah Gilman, CCBR’s activism coordinator and the “Choice” Chain team member who was assaulted while filming the incident, told LifeSiteNews.com that what was going through her mind while being assaulted was an Arthur Schopenhauer quote: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
Gilman said that the truth is that “hundreds of Canadian children are being slaughtered by abortion every single day,” adding that what happened to her is “nothing in comparison”.
Gray said that police informed her organization yesterday that the owner of Sam James Coffee Bar, a small shop close to where “Choice” Chain was demonstrating, was charged with two counts of mischief for spitting and throwing coffee and for assault for when he tried to grab the camera from the team member. Police are still looking for the man’s accomplice.
Attempts to contact the Toronto Police Service were not returned as of press time.
Gray said that “Choice” Chain members are not disheartened or deterred when they personally suffer violence on behalf of those who have no voice. She said that persecution actually “firms their resolve to press forward”.
“We will not allow violence to stop us because we know that whatever happens to us is nothing compared to what happens to pre-born children [who are aborted], and that is our primary concern,” Gray said. “It’s not about my safety, it’s about the safety of those who can’t even scream, who can’t make a complaint to police, who can’t pursue charges the way we can.”