October 29, 2012
Monday Oct 29, 2012.
Ground Zero – 40 Days for Life
Today at the 40 Days for Life Vigil we were temporarily surrounded by another demonstration. As I walked back and forth with my 40 Days for Life sign on, people started showing up in front of McDonald’s across the street. They proceeded to set up a sound system and some were dressed as pieces of corn and had signs on protesting against genetically modified (GM) food and companies such as Monsanto. Some of the people had on t-shirts which said PowerShift 2012 – which was the name of a conference taking place in Ottawa from Oct 26-29. Soon media showed up to record what was to take place.
We then heard a police siren and yelling. Approaching us from Bank & Wellington was a police cruiser leading about 150 to 200 people. They had signs and banners protesting against things such as GM Food, the Tar Sands and Corporations. They had an effigy of Prime Minister Harper and there were also Canadian Union of Public Employee (CUPE) flags. Someone was walking with their head stuck out of a small tent labeled an “occupier” and there was a banner held by an older man and older women which read, Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice.
They set up in front of McDonald’s because I suppose they view it as an evil symbol of capitalism. Later in the afternoon I saw them set up in front of a building on Lisgar St. I do not know who their target was at that stop.
It was approximately 12:45pm and a 40 Days for Life vigiler was reading the Bible as part of the Proclamation of the Word. One of the demonstration organizers came over to us and asked if we could stop reading while their demonstration was going on. We use a small speaker and only had about 10 minutes left so I told the organizer that we would be done in about 10 minutes. There was a lot of noise, especially once they started with their sound system and you could barely hear our reader Proclaim the Bible. (I must commend our reader who did a great job while being surrounded by people from this crowd with their larger sound system blaring away).
Some things that struck me as all this was taking place;
We were not the target of their demonstration yet once they saw us they modified there chants and managed to throw in some “Get your Rosaries off our ovaries”.
When they read our signs they would roll their eyes and give us looks of disgust.
The crowd faced McDonald’s with their backs to 65 Bank St – The Abortuary. They held signs protesting they way food is produced, but had no concern for the innocent human babies lives being ended 2 floors above them.
I wanted to ask them if their Social Justice concerns would someday include speaking out against the destruction of human life through abortion, but I resisted getting into an argument because 40 Days for Life is a peaceful, prayerful witness.
When this stop on their march had ended they began to move on and a few minutes later we were again witnessing in relative quite. It struck me how they had arrived outside the abortuary, set up with great fanfare and media coverage, then moved on. It was a perfect reflection of many in our society who seem to completely ignore real evil.
We must pray, that someday these people will may remember stumbling across our 40 Days for Life Witness and reflect on what is going on at 65 Bank Street.