A handful of anti-globalization protesters trashed a pro-life sign during the G-20 meetings in Ottawa in November, an incident largely ignored by the Canadian media.
News of the violent G-20 protests which took place in Ottawa in November was seen around the globe with coverage mainly by the wire service Agence France Press. The Canadian Press coverage and the AFP coverage both mentioned that along with smashing windows at two McDonald’s restaurants, masked members of the mob were photographed kicking down Ottawa’s only publicly displayed pro-life billboard. Reports in Africa and Australia included the violence towards the pro-life sign, but the Canadian media, many of which ran the Canadian Press report, edited out the portion dealing with the demonstrators’ destruction of the billboard which read, “Abortion stops a beating heart” and included a 1-800 number for women considering having an abortion to call.
The Interim’s internet news service LifeSite researched the story in 23 Canadian papers, but found that only the Halifax Chronicle-Herald included the paragraph about the sign. Karen Murawsky, national affairs director for Campaign Life Coalition, said that it is “interesting that the media would choose to edit out violence by Canadian pro-choicers especially when they make every effort to associate pro-lifers with violence.” Another Ottawa pro-lifer told LifeSite, “Imagine for a second the fury with which the media and public would react if a pro-life protester were to wear a mask and smash windows.”
Merle Terlesky, a former radical associated with the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics during the late 80s and early 90s, told LifeSite that it is no surprise that the anti-globalization activists are anti-life. Terlesky said the rent-a-mob which appears at most leftist protests is virtually the same crowd who engage in violent anti-poverty protests and violent demonstrations against the pro-life movement.
But Carroll Rees of Action Life in Ottawa told The Interim that there were only two or three individuals involved in the vandalism against the sign, which her organization has paid to erect across from Henry Morgentaler’s abortuary since it opened in the city in 1995.
She reported that an anti-globalization protester contacted her the Monday after the incident and again later in the week to offer to cover any costs associated with repairing the damage to the sign. Rees directed him to Outervision, the company that leases the space. The sign was replaced within days of the vandalism.