Group reiterates its commitment to prayerful, peaceful witness
The Show the Truth tour is coming to the Ottawa valley July 5-9 and to the east coast of Canada August 1-15.
The tour, which features signs showing graphically what abortion does to preborn babies, has been the subject of some controversy after negative press coverage, especially a CBC feature earlier this year.
The CBC linked the peaceful pro-life movement in Canada with anti-abortion extremists in the U.S., including people who refuse to condemn the killing of abortionists.
To allay fears that the Canadian movement might be prone to violence, organizers are having participants sign a statement of non-violence. Rosemary Connell, one of the organizers, told The Interim that the people involved with Show the Truth, both the organizers and last summer’s participants, “are entirely non-violent as they bear witness to the truth in a peaceful, prayerful, Christian way.”
The statement is necessary, Connell noted, for two reasons. One is to demonstrate to other pro-lifers who might have been negatively influenced by the bad press, especially the CBC “documentary,” and now wrongfully think that Show the Truth condones violence. The other reason is to show the media that the demonstrators are committed to non-violence. Connell said Show the Truth’s connection to the controversial Missionaries to the Preborn, a group whose leader, Matthew Trewhella, has refused to condemn violence against abortionists, is minimal. Before starting on their own tours, Connell explained, several Canadian organizers joined the Missionary-sponsored Freedom Tours in Wisconsin. She said that none of the participants there showed any inclination towards violence. Last summer, several Americans joined Show the Truth in Ontario, but they had no role in organizing the events.
Connell said Show the Truth is not an American tactic imported by Canadians, but was developed at the same time in both countries. She explains that the kind of violence that is alleged in sensationalistic news stories in the U.S. has not happened here.
That is not to say there have not been strong reactions when Show the Truth comes to town. She said the graphic pictures are often the first visual images of abortion many people ever see and they are shocked by what they depict.