...this 63-year-old grandmother must be a very dangerous person: She has spent
almost all of the last 20 years locked up in jail.
Linda Gibbons’ story began in 1994, when... attorney-general Marion Boyd
obtained a Court injunction to prevent anyone from offering up a public protest
within a 60-foot “bubble zone” around abortion clinics. The merchants of death
must not be impeded...
So Linda Gibbons stands on the sidewalk outside abortion clinics and prays
silently. Sometimes she goes further; sometimes she goes so far as to hold up a
sign that says: “Why, Mom, when I have so much love to give?”
Free speech in
Canada is not so robust as to withstand her conduct, so Gibbons is immediately
arrested. As a result, she has become Canada’s most obdurate prisoner of
conscience, spending more time behind bars than most convicted robbers or
Gibbons is an exceptional criminal... She says nothing in her own defense. She
refuses to acknowledge the jurisdiction of a court to prevent her from
praying....She makes few criticisms of her treatment in jail. She seeks no early
Now I do not go so far as to suggest that she is a model prisoner. Admittedly,
Gibbons was a pain when she asked to have a Bible in her cell. And she sometimes
leads her cellmates in prayer. In the past, prison guards have noted how
jailhouse language markedly improves in Linda’s presence. Such, I suppose, is
the nefarious control that one criminal mind is capable of exerting over other
Ten years ago she wrote to me about noise levels at Toronto’s Metro West
Detention Centre where she was then incarcerated, piped-in music so loud and
unrelenting that she considered it a form of “unnecessary torture.”
...she has written again, this time from the Vanier Women’s Centre in Milton,
Ontario, regarding the cold in certain corner rooms located on the outside of the
facility. She tells me that the women held in these rooms “suffer chronic colds
with symptoms of hypothermia; blue nails with red, runny noses with often
subsequent illnesses from being chilled.” When Gibbons herself spent two weeks
in such a room, she estimated that the overnight temperature inside the room
fell below 10C. ...
But why, you ask, does Ms. Gibbons not file a formal complaint with the
proper authorities? She has [on behalf of other inmates].... But neither has
produced any result. Well, no result in terms of heat, but plenty of hot air....
Ms. Gibbons is more charitable than I am. She writes: “I am confident it is not
the purpose or intent of the Correctional Service of Canada to house women in
rooms so cold they are prevented from sleeping.”
What a ministry she has to God's hurting people!
is a Professor
Emeritus in the Faculty of Law at the University of
Please read his complete article
February 14, 2011
My goal is God
Himself, not joy nor peace;
Nor even blessing,
but Himself, my God.
'Tis His to lead me
there, not mine but His...
At any cost, dear
Lord, by any road.
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