She's spent more time behind bars than notorious murderer Karla Homolka, but Linda Gibbons isn't a serial killer. Instead, Gibbons, 67, is a peaceful pro-life protester whose long campaign against abortion has finally received sympathetic attention from Canada's mainstream media.
After Gibbons was arrested yet again on September 2 for silently walking on the sidewalk outside Toronto's Morgentaler Clinic, the National Post's Christie Blatchford reported:
[Linda Gibbons] spent an astonishing total of 10 years and seven months behind bars.
I’ve written about people convicted of gun offences, serious drug offences, sex assault, drunk driving, child abuse and manslaughter who have done significantly less time.
Gibbons’ crime is worse.
She’s a veteran pro-life protester outside Toronto abortion clinics. She’s on the wrong side (the pro-life side) of the wrong issue (abortion) and yet she persists in trying to make her voice heard.
Blatchford wrote that Gibbons held up her usual sign, depicting a baby and the words, "Why mom? When I have so much love to give."
Gibbons has been repeatedly charged with violating a formerly "temporary" 1999 injunction barring particular protesters from demonstrating outside abortion clinics.
Blatchford says that eventually, "the order began to be interpreted by judges as applying to everyone — not just to the original named individuals who had consented to it, but to Gibbons and anyone else who dared come within 500 feet of the clinic."
"I think you'd be hard-pressed to conclude Gibbons" did any of the things she was charge with Wednesday, Blatchford added, such as "interrupting" the business of the clinic and "blocking" patients from entering.
Another writer, blogging at Toronto Catholic Witness, questioned one of the police on the scene:
He admitted though that there were hundreds of obscure laws that were and have been disregarded as to police action. But this law, according to him was to be enforced. (...)
But more than Linda was arrested and handcuffed yesterday. Truth, life, love and liberty were arrested, handcuffed and led away.
(Photo credit: Toronto Catholic Witness)
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