Linda Gibbons has been arrested multiple times for violating a temporary injunction that prevents her from protesting within 150 metres of Toronto abortion clinics. Photo by Sheila Dabu Nonato

Supreme Court to decide anti-abortion protester Linda Gibbons case today

By 
  • June 8, 2012

The fairness of criminally prosecuting anti-abortion protester Linda Gibbons for breaching a 17-year-old temporary order will be ruled on by the Supreme Court of Canada today.

"The case is basically about whether they can charge Linda criminally under the Criminal Code for breaking an injunction that was issued by a civil court," Daniel Santoro, Gibbons' lawyer, told The Catholic Register. "If I win, they won't be able to do that. They'll have to start a contempt proceeding and bring it before the court that made the order."

Gibbons, a 63-year-old grandmother, has been arrested multiple times for violating a temporary injunction that prevents her from protesting within 150 metres of Toronto abortion clinics. Each time she has been jailed judges have refused to grant her bail unless she promises not to continue her protests — which she refuses to do.

Her peaceful protests have seen Gibbons spend more than 10 of the past 17 years in jail, said Santoro.

But if you look at the way the courts and the government generally deal with a peaceful protest related to other issues, there's a huge double standard, said Santoro.

"Linda is a completely peaceful protester, she's never harmed anybody, she's never even been aggressive towards anybody… and she's repeatedly been thrown in jail. This is not the way people get treated when they're dealing with environmental issues or other issues for which the government have much more sympathy."

The government is very happy to sit there and not do anything about it, he said.

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