Robert Scott’s abortion facilities on Gerrard Street in Toronto was the scene of an exciting pro-life demonstration on July 24. Over the course of the day, over 200 supporters gathered to protest the illegal operations of his ‘clinic.’
Protesters were out for an early start, and the numbers grew as the day progressed. Early in the afternoon, 15 protestors sat down on the steps of the abortuary and were forcibly removed by officer of 51 Division.
Annette McLoughlin, Catherine Fox, David MacDonald, Angela Bruan and Joe Bissonette were all arrested for breach of the peace, although they were not accorded the special attention that Richard Moore received.
Protesters watched in amazement as Moore was handcuffed and searched – the only protester to be treated in this fashion. Moore is black and some picketers speculated that there are traces of racism in the Metropolitan Police Force.
Events were further complicated by the actions of a City parks employee who decided to stop watering the grounds of Allen Gardens in order to turn her hose on singing picketers. She was then asked to join the arrested picketers for a ride to 51 Division station. Police were kept busy trying to clear the traffic that had been temporally stopped by the hosing down.
Although media coverage was on the weak side, the demonstration had a strong impact. Protesters were able to talk to many neighbours, onlookers and 51 Division officers, many of whom were unaware of the abortuary’s existence in the neighbourhood.
Equally important was the fact that the regular operations of Scott’s facilities were disrupted for the day. A visibly annoyed Robert Scott appeared long enough to tell the police to get their act together and arrest the protesters.
“It was a very successful demonstration,” said Annette McLoughlin of Campaign Life, “I think we accomplished at lot. At the least, we saved a few lives today.