Gibbons: Not home for the holidays

Despite groups efforts, pro-life prisoner must spend Christmas in jail

Linda Gibbons, political prisoner, jailed for defending life, has been transferred to Vanier Correctional Institute in Brampton. Linda is serving time for offering assistance and counseling to women outside Buruiana’s abortuary on Gerrard Street East in Toronto. She committed the “crime” of walking on a portion of sidewalk banned from pro-lifers in Ontario.

The former New Democratic Party Government of Bob Rae sought and was successful in getting into place a temporary injunction against “peaceful witness” and “sidewalk counseling” within a certain distance of the Toronto abortuaries. Linda was unable to obey such an unjust law and abandon women in need. She is now a “Prisoner of Conscience.”

A large group of Linda’s supporters gathered at Vanier Institute on Saturday evening, November 18th for a peaceful witness and candlelight prayer vigil.

No sooner had they arrived and gathered outside the fence separating Linda from freedom, when a security officer ordered the group to leave the property or face arrest.

This is the first time an officer has refused to allow a pro-life vigil outside the gates of a jail or correctional institute. Disheartened and disappointed that they could not offer comfort to Linda and to other inmaes, the grou peacefully complied with the officers request.

They witnessed for one hour on public property bordering the correctional institute, carring candles and signs asking to “Free Linda Gibbons, political prisoner,” and “Free Linda Givvons, jailed for defending life.” Before dispersing, the security guard allowed a moment of prayer lead by Father Ted Colleton outside the gate of the building where Linda was being held captive.

Members of the group expressed outrage that the Harris government is allowing the undemocratic injunction of the Rae government to remain in place.

If you wish to help overturn this terrible miscarriage of justice, please call the office the Attorney General, Charles Harnick, (416 326-4000. If you are long distance, call collect.

When you call, demand that Linda Gibbons, Prisoner of Conscience, be immediately released from prison and that all charges against her be dropped. Demand also that the Harris Government immediately throw out the injunction and once again restore Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly to the Province of Ontario.

Linda may be contacted at: Vanier Correctional Institute, 205 McLaughlin Road, Brampton, ON, L6V 2M5.

For information regarding vigils or other pro-life gathering, call Joanne at Aid to Women, 616-921-6016.

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