Peter Baklinski

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Pub owner to be charged for assaulting young woman over pro-life sidewalk chalk messages

Peter Baklinski
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TORONTO, August 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A 26-year-old pro-life woman has pressed an assault charge against a pub owner who came swinging at her last month after she chalked pro-life messages on the public sidewalk nearby his business.

Last month Alissa Golob of Campaign Life Coalition and two other pro-life activists were peacefully writing pro-life messages in chalk on the sidewalk near the Imperial Pub on Dundas Street in Toronto, hoping to engage the public on the issue of abortion. 

Colorful messages chalked in green, blue, white, and yellow included "Adoption, not abortion”, “300 babies die every day in Canada from abortion,” and "Abortion hurts women".

When pub owner Fred Newman demanded that the group leave, claiming that the area was private property, Golob stayed put, pointing out that sidewalks are public property. But Newman ordered his employees to wash away the chalked messages with buckets of water.

Unfazed, Golob and her companions decided to rewrite the messages.

Newman then became aggressive towards the group, shouting and waiving his arms.

Footage filmed by Golob shows Newman demanding the pro-life activists leave the area. Golob can be heard saying to her companions: “You don’t have to engage with him [the owner], I just want to make sure nothing violent happens.”

At that point, footage shows Newman turning towards Golob and launching himself at her with raised fists shouting: “This is violence.”

Golob escaped injury by ducking away from his blow.

“[This is just] another example of the pro-‘choice’ movement violently attacking women in attempt to take away their choice to publicly demonstrate,” said Golob at the time to LifeSiteNews.com.

When Golob reported the incident to police, she was disturbed when the officer appeared to take the side of the pub owner. Police refused to pursue the matter further.

“When I called the police, Officer Humphreys told me that since the pub owner didn't ‘touch’ me there was nothing they could do," she said. "They said that if I go back a second time, and the police get called, then I would be to blame because I would be ‘disturbing the peace.’"

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Golob sought legal advice from Toronto defense lawyer Daniel Santoro.

“The law on assault is clear,” Santoro told LifeSiteNews. “You don’t need to make contact with someone in order for it to be an assault. If you take a swing at someone, and they duck, then that is an assault.” 

On Santoro’s advice, Golob brought her video evidence before the Justice of the Peace at College Park, who ruled in her favour, saying there was enough evidence that a wrongful act had occurred.

“I’m glad that justice is being served despite the lack of due process the police showed in ignoring an assault on a women on the streets of Toronto,” Golob said.

“Even if Mr. Newman is not convicted, this process was necessary in order to send a very clear message that he cannot threaten or charge at anyone in that manner, especially women, just because he disagrees with their message,” said Golob. 

A date for the trial will be set on October 3. 

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