Ottawa City Hall removes March for Life flag

To my surprise, for a short time on Thursday, Ottawa city hall flew a March for Life flag to coincide with the national march. What did not surprise me is that this provoked protests and the flag was promptly lowered, along with embarrassed officials denying responsibility and vowing not to affront the spirit of the age ever again.

In contrast, a gay pride flag fluttered on the same city hall for the entire duration of the Olympics in 2014. I don’t believe anyone dared to protest this; if they had no one would have listened.

From here:

The flag of an anti-abortion movement raised at city hall has come down Thursday afternoon after some city councillors expressed outrage and demanded it be removed.

The raising of the March for Life flag, which coincided with a major rally in Ottawa, angered many on social media and prompted seven city councillors to demand it be taken down.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson was widely criticized for allowing the flag to be raised, but he says the March for Life flag was not approved by him.

He said he is calling for a review of the city’s official proclamation and flag-raising policy.

The city’s flag-raising policy allows any charitable or non-profit organization to request that their flag be flown, with the caveat that the group’s undertakings or philosophy are not “contrary to City of Ottawa policies or bylaws, espouse hatred, violence or racism.”

City solicitor Rick O’Connor, in a memo to councillors, said the request to raise the flag came from an individual, and not a group, and therefore “did not meet the criteria.”

“When this was discovered, the flag was taken down under my authority,” O’Connor said.

LifeSiteNews.com tweeted a video of a March for Life flag being raised at City Hall as about 20 people looked on. No elected officials appeared to be present at the flag-raising.

In the video, a spokesman for the group said he was “so proud of the mayor and the [city] staff that they went along with this.”

Watson said he never personally spoke to anyone from the anti-abortion movement.

A spokesperson for his office said the mayor received an email on April 24 referencing the March for Life and that he politely responded that their feedback would be taken into consideration, but did not take any further action.

Watson said he did not support the raising of the flag and has publicly stated he supports a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.

But when the flag first went up, some people did not see it that way.

Anti-capitalist Feminists Oppose Reactionary Misogynists

At least, that’s what the headline says. The opposition was directed against the March for Life in Ottawa and was organised by the Proletarian Feminist Front.

Here is their version of what happened:

Anti-capitalist Feminists Oppose Reactionary Misogynists
(May 14, 2015) Today, between 100-150 protesters took the streets of Ottawa to protest the National March for Life, a march of thousands of people led by reactionary misogynists calling for the criminalization of abortion. Initiated by the Proletarian Feminist Front, organizations of anti-capitalist feminists from Ottawa, Hull, and Montreal rallied to put an end to this patriarchal parade. The counter protest was led by women and gender-oppressed people; despite some men activists attempting to take control over chants or the route, they were quickly shut down.

Before the march even began, Ottawa Police were videotaping protester’s faces, prompting many people to cover up. After the second time the Ottawa Police blocked us with metal barricades, we decided to push through instead of marching to another intersection. So, we smashed through their barricade and past the police!

Once we reached the March for Life, the pigs had formed a line with bicycles in front of another metal barrier. As we charged the barrier to smash through, police began pepper spraying protesters, injuring and temporarily blinding dozens of people. Although we hadn’t expected such an escalation in police brutality in Ottawa, there fortunately were medics prepared to help the injured. The morale of the march was high enough that they were ready to push through another intersection, but another wall of metal and pigs stopped us. From there, we denounced the pigs as obvious defenders of the patriarchal ruling class interests, and continued marching through the city in celebration and in defiance of the Ottawa Police.

Today, we can happily shout that thanks to our collective strength, we forced those patriarchal misogynists off their planned route multiple times before crawling back up to Parliament Hill!

I was one of the patriarchal misogynists who found himself “crawling back up to Parliament Hill”.

But before that, I happened to be at the corner where the altercation between the police and pack of screeching harridans took place. Considering they were being physically assaulted by the protesters, I thought the police exercised remarkable restraint; I didn’t see any pepper spray, police brutality or medics. I took this sequence of photos from the start of the spat until the restoration of order.

The signs wielded by the ladies of the Proletarian Feminist Front are an apt reminder of the coherence of their thought: for example, “Life begins when you are ready to face it”; you can read the less savoury ones for yourself.

March for Life, Ottawa 2015

More photos here.

The opposition:

A colourful member of the opposition:

Not all attendees were Christians:

Some allies were unexpected:

The Anglican signs had the advantage of being tasteful:

 

Abortion is green, it seems. Another reason, in addition to Elizabeth May, for not being green:

More opposition:

The violent opposition:

March for Life Ottawa, 2014

Ecumenical worship before the march:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABishop Don Harvey:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABishop Charlie and Rev. Dorothy arrive:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome of our lot:

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlenty of cameras:

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABishop Charlie Masters opens the march with prayer:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd off we go:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI know it’s hard to believe, but not everyone agrees with us:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost do:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter the march:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA