Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We're in the news!

we're in the news... (it should be noted that no phone calls or emails were received from lifesitenews, despite their assertion that " did not hear back from the Pro-Choice Coalition of Ottawa by press time")

Pro-choice group wants anti-abortion protest permit revoked

Ottawa Pro-Aborts Trying to Get 40 Days for Life Permit Revoked

Bodies of dissent: a panel discussion on building radical support for our sexual justice movements

The pro-chocie coalition of Ottawa / Coalition pro-choix d'Ottawa
invites you to a pro-choice, sex-positive event

Bodies of dissent: a panel discussion on building radical support for our sexual justice movements

...Monday, Nov1st, 6:00-9:00pm

a fundraiser for an abortion emergency access fund, in response to the anti-choice harassment campaign sanctioned by the City of Ottawa, and currently happening on Bank street (

Tania Dopler, a member of the Ottawa Aboriginal community and an outreach worker with the Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy, will be there to offer a smudge.

Feminist support workers from the Carleton Sexual Assault Support Line will be present to offer support on site.

SHAG, a youth advisory group from the Youth Services Bureau that is dedicated to educating, advocating and acting as a resource on sexual heath and wellness for our peers in Ottawa, will be selling us some sexy baked goods.


Rayna Farr-Dutchin has been alive since December 1994, she is an Ottawa native with a penchant for music and poutine. She became involved with RJ at a very early age but never really thought she'd be doing anything like this in the future since she's a bit of a goof-ball. Rayna's favorite colour is rainbow and her favorite word is a swear so it can't be written here (note from organizers: fuck ya it can!). Since the age of 13 Rayna has watched the slow but steady sexual progression of her peers with interest, disgust, and horror. At the same time she has been blessed to experience a Catholic High Schools Sex-Ed curriculum. After attending a Young Women's Leadership Institute in New York City this summer Rayna realized that there was a need in society to hear from a teen when it came to sex. Instead of some adult who thinks they're "with-it" enough to be able to speculate how a 16 year olds mind works.

A proud Two Spirit youth, Jessica Yee is the founder and Executive Director of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, the first and only organization of its kind in North America by and for Indigenous youth working within the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health throughout the continent. Jessica is currently serving as the first Chair of the National Aboriginal Youth Council at the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, the International Indigenous HIV/AIDS Working Group, and is the co-chair of the North American region for the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She is a strong believer in the power of the youth voice and agency, and you can see her writing on sites like Racialicious, or pick up her recently released book "Sex Ed and Youth: Colonization, Communities of Colour, and Sexuality" and look for her upcoming book in Winter 2011 "Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism: Feminist Education Now - Youth, Activism, and Intersectionality". She is the 2009 recipient of the YWCA Young Woman of Distinction award, named one of 20 International Women's Health Heroes by Our Bodies/Our Blog and was recently awarded the Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneur Award for her founding of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network.

POWER is a non-profit, voluntary organization founded on February 17th, 2008. Membership is open to individuals of all genders who self-identify as former or current sex workers, regardless of the industry sector in which they work(ed) (i.e. dancers, street level workers, in and out call workers, phone sex etc). POWER envision a society in which sex workers are able to practice their professions free of legal and social discrimination, victimization, harassment and violence and in which sex work is valued as legitimate and fulfilling work making an important contribution to society.

Tomee Sojourner is an Organizational & Community Development Consultant, Social Entrepreneur, Diversity and Social Inclusion Expert, Social Commentator, Artist, and Motivational Speaker. For over 15 years, she has situated her activism, professional, and personal work on developing socially transformative courses/workshops/resources covering various topics including, anti-racism, oppresshun awareness, intersectional diversity, health care, sexual and mental health, and organizational/community development. Tomee has as M.A. in Social Justice and Equity Studies. She has been a College Professor and guest lecturer for high school, graduate and undergraduate students.Tomee’s professional work is informed by her intersectional diversity, and her lived experiences as a Black, masculine-identified queer woman, educator, and social entrepreneur thriving with a learning disability.

tickets are sliding scale
35$ at the door
(no one will be turned away)

Advanced tickets are really appreciated and help with the organizers anxiety levels.

Tickets sold at Venus Envy- 320 Lisgar St
Ottawa University Women's Resource Center- UCU 220
Ahora's Mexican Restaurant - 307, Dalhousie St
or with your friendly neighborhood activist.

ASL interpretation available. Please contact us for further accessibility needs. Please register for free childcare before oct 25th at

online petition demanding that we revoke the antis permit to harass and intimidate

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sample letter demanding that the City of Ottawa revoke the permit for the 40days of harassment campaign

Hello there Pro-Choice Folks,

I urge you to contact the City of Ottawa and your councillor to ask that they immediately revoke the permit given to the Anti-Choice 40 days for "life" protesters who are currently demonstrating in front of the Morgentaler Clinic on Bank Street. I have attached a form letter for inspiration with contact info for the people responsible for giving permits at the City of Ottawa and your councillors. Please forward this widely to your Pro-Choice friends. If anyone is interested in translating this form letter in to French or in providing their own form letter in French this would be appreciated very much!

In solidarity,

Jessica Oliver


Form letter:



September 28, 2010

Pertrina Bonia, Special Events Clerk
Todd Allinotte, Coordinator By-Law Services
Patricia Ann Belanger, Case Coordinator
Diane Holmes, Councillor Ward 14 - Somerset

Dear Ms. Bonia, Mr. Allinotte, Ms. Belanger, and Councillor Holmes,

I strongly object to the decision of the City of Ottawa to give anti-choice activists a permit to protest across the street from the Morgentaler Clinic on Bank Street as part of their 40 days for “life” vigil. Women who choose to exercise their legal right to access abortion services at the Morgentaler Clinic should not be subject to the intimidation and harassment of anti-choice activists. Whether these anti-choice activists are waving signs, shouting, praying, chasing down women with their pamphlets or just staring menacingly at women who enter the Morgentaler Clinic, it is intimidation and harrassment – whether these anti-choice activists are across the street or not. Women should not have to run the gauntlet of anti-choice activists in order to access legal health services. The City of Ottawa must immediately revoke this permit in order to respect the dignity, privacy, and legal rights of women to unimpeded access to health services at the Morgentaler Clinic.

As I urge you to revoke this permit, I suggest that you consider the legal precedent. Protesters have the right to protest where they like unless that right infringes upon the rights of others to unobstructed access to legal medical services. Court injunctions bar anti-choice protesters from protesting across the street at certain clinics in Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec. In British Columbia, the Access to Abortion Services Act or “bubble zone law" protects two clinics and a hospital that perform abortions from protesters. The legal precedent in this country demonstrates that protests in front of abortion clinics violate the constitutional rights of women accessing a necessary medical service; these protests have also been shown to endanger the health of women patients. Although no specific injunction or law is in place to protect the Morgentaler Clinic in Ottawa from anti-choice protesters, it is highly inappropriate to issue permits for activities which are illegal in other Canadian jurisdictions because they violate women’s rights, endanger their health, and put the clinic and its staff at risk of violence. 
This permit must be revoked immediately. I look forward to hearing your response.