And it doesn’t stand for “LINDA”.
Welcome to Loserville, Linda Gibbons — Population: you. But some of us didn’t need the Supreme Court to tell us that.
For the blissfully unaware, Linda Gibbons is a deranged religious crackpot who, over the years, has made quite a name for herself (I mean another name besides “Loser”) among Canadian fetus fetishists as a Martyr to the Cause. Gibbons’ relentless picketing of Toronto womens’ clinics has earned her a stay in the Graybar Hotel more times than the half-bright old fool could likely even remember, and given her a lock on deification as Our Lady of Perpetual Pestering, St. Linda of the Smited Feti.
Toronto has a bubble zone law, you see, to prevent dingbats like Gibbons (and even worse dingbats like Scott Roeder) from doing their frenzied screeching, praying, humiliating and slut-shaming right on the clinics’ doorsteps. But Gibbons insists on getting as close to the clinics as humanly possible, the better to facilitate one-on-one slut-shaming. In Gibbons’ demented eyes, the patients have no right to privacy: “God’s Law”, you know.
It’s the same routine every time: Gibbons parks her doddering ass at the clinic, a court order to cease & desist arrives, Gibbons refuses, cops are called, and she’s carted off to the hoosegow, lock stock and two smoking feti. There she writhes in the throes of a persecution frenzy for a few months, along with all the other fetus fetishists who regard her as a maligned saint. When she’s released she goes straight back to the clinic, personifying that old quote about the Definition of Insanity.
Violating the bubble zone law is a civil offense, but as I understand it, when the court order arrives things escalate and the refusal to leave becomes a criminal offense. That is in fact the primary leverage of a court order, and it’s why Gibbons spends so much time in the slam. At some point Gibbons was wracked by a brainstorm of epic proportions and decided that it wasn’t “right” for a grandmother to be criminally charged. She took her case, such as it was, to the Supreme Court.
The Supremes were not impressed:
The Supreme Court has ruled against a relentless Toronto anti-abortion crusader who has spent more than nine years over two decades in jail for repeatedly violating a civil order to quit picketing outside abortion clinics.
Linda Gibbons, 63, who is in jail again, has long maintained she has a right to peaceful protest and that the courts were unfairly pursuing her because of her unpopular views on abortion.
The Supreme Court was asked to rule on a technical matter — whether it is right for the grandmother to be charged criminally for a civil violation.
The top court ruled eight to one that she could, in fact, be charged criminally for disobeying a court order.
Sorry Linda, hundreds of years of legal precedent disagree with your hypothesis that old people should be allowed to get away with anything they want. If your age is the only defense your lawyer can come up with, you need a new lawyer.
Predictably the hysterical shrieks of “freeeeee speeeech!” have already begun… ironic as they are, coming from the same people who’d dictate what we can watch, read, smoke, who we can marry, and what medical procedures we can have.
Now, I’ve thought long and feverishly about the issue of anti-choice picketing as it impacts on free speech.
Make no mistake, I despise every perverse and twisted notion these people stand for: but at the same time, they have the same right to peaceful protest and free speech as I enjoy, and I wholeheartedly support that right. I don’t care if it’s Neo-Nazis marching down the street in full fascist regalia — as long as they’re not beating anyone up, I support their right to do so. On that level, I’m always glad to see the fetushists rapturing out at their goofy Marches for Life, wheeling around in their Fetusmobiles and standing on street corners with gory signs. The fact that they’re out there means I can be out there counter-protesting if I so choose. (And besides, a cartoonist couldn’t invent these people — they’re just great material.)
But given the Clinic Staff body count and the fact that clinic patients enjoy some rights too — specifically, the right to privacy — I don’t consider bubble zones to be an infringement on free speech, as the fetus fetishists are so fond of claiming. The clinics themselves are Private Property, which trumps the right to protest at that location. Even outside property lines, there are clearly safety issues in allowing these idiots within gunshot range (as Dr.David Gunn would agree if he wasn’t dead). And yes, demented senior citizens who spend half their lives in prison and the other half muttering and shrieking at clinic patients should be considered a potential danger. It’s not a bridge too far, in my opinion, to imagine the brain-damaged Gibbons being given a .38 and talked into using it. Bubble Zones are about the patients’ privacy rights, but they’re also about the clinic staff’s Right to Life. (Ironic, huh?)
What the psychotic anti-choice constituency doesn’t get is that the Free-Speech-Stomping Jackboot of the State isn’t preventing them from protesting: they can indulge themselves in all the Jesus-driven fetus-fury and spittle-flecked slut-shaming they want, from 500 feet away. The right to free speech doesn’t come with a guaranteed audience at the venue of your choice.
By now, one would imagine that Linda Gibbons’ arms are festooned with jailhouse sleeve tattoos of dead fetus porn. Not that this, or the bitchslap from the Supremes, will stop her from going straight back to the clinic. Time to start inking those legs… maybe a tasteful wreath of fetuses around the ankle for starters.