Media Release — For Immediate Release October 24, 2000
"How Should We Treat Our Neighbour?" — Vandalize Their Property!
VANCOUVER — Early Tuesday morning, three anti-abortionists were arrested on charges of vandalizing the Everywoman's Health Centre. The vandals painted over a full-length mural on the front of the building, using black paint. The professional mural was created in 1996 and depicts a meadow of multi-coloured wildflowers.
Arrested at the scene by police and taken into custody were Jennifer Ziemann, Tim Vincent, and Darren Holubowich. Before the accused were taken away by police, Mary Wagner, Cecilia von Dehn, Glenn Reed, and other local anti-choice activists stood inside the bubble zone and applauded their support of the alleged vandals. Von Dehn owns the house next door to Everywoman's.
Mary Wagner was also arrested. On Oct. 16, Wagner was given an injunction to stay away from the clinic by Justice Wallace Craig, as part of her conviction for violating the bubble zone outside Everywoman's in August. Craig told Wagner at the time that violating the injunction would result in an automatic 18-month jail term.
The three alleged vandals are members of the Just Neighbours group, an anti-choice group recently formed by local activist Lane Walker. Just Neighbours is the group responsible for sending letters to abortion providers in recent weeks asking them to stop performing abortions. The group professes non-violence. Joyce Arthur, spokesperson for the clinic, said: "Just Neighbours said in their letter: 'How should we treat our neighbours?' The answer became very clear today—by vandalizing their property!"
Cheryl Hamilton, the original mural artist, stated: "By destroying the mural, the vandals haven't hurt the clinic, they've hurt the neighbourhood. When the mural was being painted, we got a lot of positive support from neighbours. Through this selfish act, all the vandals have created is ugliness."
Just Neighbours also said in their letter that "…we have no reason to be angry with you [abortion providers], as we are reminded by Gandhi." Also, they claimed to want to heal wounds "through non-violent means with love."
"What unbelievable hypocrisy!" said Arthur. "If vandalizing a beautiful mural is their idea of 'love' and 'non-violence', it means we're truly dealing with dangerous fanatics." She added, "This crime is an act of terrorism because it's designed to frighten doctors and clinic staff. You can't get any further removed from Gandhi's peaceful message than that."
Donations to help repair the mural and support the clinic's security costs can be sent to Everywoman's Health Centre at 2005 E. 44th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5P 1N1.