Each year across Canada, the social conservative lobbyist organization Campaign Life Coalition coordinates Life Chain, a series of simultaneous demonstrations against abortion that usually take place on the first Sunday of October. These demonstrations often attract counter-protests, which advocate for reproductive choice.

At a Life Chain demonstration in downtown Torontoon September 30, a man identified as Jordan Hunt defaced Life Chain signs, argued with counter-protesters and then roundhouse kicked Life Chain organizer Marie-Claire Bissonette.

Groups that wish to attack the right to reproductive freedoms should absolutely be vocally opposed. However, speaking from my experience working against anti-choice groups in the past, kicking a demonstrator is both a morally and strategically wrong way of counter-protesting.

It’s well-established that reproductive justice and gender-based violence are inextricably linked, with sexual and domestic violence affecting the ability to freely make choices surrounding family planning and childcare. So, how can we possibly justify enacting violence against women as a way of showing support for reproductive rights? Pro-choice activists should feel concerned to see a man so gleefully kicking another woman for having the “wrong” opinion, even if it’s one that is genuinely harmful.

The roundhouse-kick wasn’t the first time Hunt enacted physical violence toward an anti-choice demonstrator, having previously been filmed lunging at a woman and grabbing the sign she was carrying at another demonstration earlier this year.

Given that he has attacked women on multiple occasions, I believe he’s using anti-choice women as an outlet for his misogyny, while wielding a progressive cause as justification for his behaviour.

Counter-protesting an anti-choice group on campus as an undergraduate student taught me about anti-choice groups’ strategies, and effective counter-protesting. I learned very quickly that yelling, defacing signs and even inciting violence don’t make anti-choice demonstrators go away. Members of anti-abortion groups themselves …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Music


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