Two days after Supreme Court hearing, pro-life activist Linda Gibbons rearrested
TORONTO, Ontario, December 17, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A scant two days after seeing her case pled before the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, famed pro-life activist Linda Gibbons was imprisoned once again December 16 in Toronto, following the same pattern of events that have seen her put behind bars for about nine of the past 17-plus years. See video of Friday’s arrest.
The diminutive grandmother appeared outside the Morgentaler “Clinic” abortion site on Hillsdale Avenue about 9 a.m. on a cold Friday morning, walking back and forth on a public sidewalk with her trademark placard, “Why mom? When I have so much love to give.” She smiled at passersby, waved to children, and handed a pamphlet to those who would take it. She attempted to speak to those who appeared to be clients entering the site.
About an hour and 40 minutes later a phalanx of six police officers and two sheriff’s officials in two vehicles descended on the scene. Sheriff Peter Krause read the text of a court injunction that forbids pro-life activism outside the clinic to Gibbons as she stopped to listen quietly. Gibbons then engaged Krause in a discussion after he had finished. She gestured at the sidewalk while speaking, appearing to make the point that she had a right to demonstrate in that location.
Krause was not swayed and directed waiting police officers to arrest Gibbons, which they did. They handcuffed her and searched her, removing a metal button attached to her lapel, and placed her into the back of a vehicle, in which she was driven off for processing.
There was no immediate word on what the charge or charges would be, but it has been the practice to charge her criminally with disobeying a court order. At issue at the Supreme Court, however, is the question of whether the government has the right to charge her criminally for breaches of orders issued in civil courts.
Gibbons was in Ottawa Wednesday for the Supreme Court hearing and other Gibbons supporters who were present said it went very well. Gibbons’s legal team of Daniel Santoro and Nicholas Rouleau argued very persuasively, they said, but it will be several months before it is determined whether their submissions were successful.
The Supreme Court case has prompted a swell in media interest in the Gibbons case. In addition to LifeSiteNews, the National Post had a photographer on the scene of the arrest and the Catholic Register a reporter. At one point, a shouting blonde female Morgentaler employee emerged from the doorway of the abortion site, guarded by a representative of the Intercon security firm, to berate photographers for supposedly violating the privacy of clients entering the site.
A complete video of the arrest will be posted on Lifesite shortly.