Pro-Choice Man (Grzegorz Jurkiew) Sexually Harasses Pro-Life Women while Crowd Cheers

While our team had an extremely successful “Choice” Chain outside a pro-choice rally on Friday night, it ended with a pro-choice man, Grzegorz Jurkiew, sexually harassing two of our female team members:

The most shocking part of the sexual harassment was that the pro-choice crowd cheered on him, so much so that he did it a second time. In fact, the rally’s stated objective was not just to support abortion, but to “address all gendered and racialized violence” – yet it ended with a white pro-choice man sexually harassing racialized female pro-lifers.

I guess it shouldn’t be surprising if the signs say anything about the conduct and character of those holding them – Jurkiew dropped his pants while being flanked by signs with slogans like “GET DAT FETUS KILL DAT FETUS” and “HAIL SATAN ABORT EVERYONE.”

His girlfriend, Abby Goldman, spent quite some time exposing her backside as well, which had “ABORT THIS” written on it – so clearly the couple had planned this out in advance. I’m not sure what’s worse, dropping your pants in the spur of the moment, or thinking beforehand, “you know what would be a great idea this evening?” Even after the fact they’re both quite proud of it, bragging about the sexual harassment on Facebook.

Pro-choice activists are getting increasingly desperate. When all you can do is take off your clothes in the face of the photos of human beings killed by abortion and a message that all human beings deserve human rights, that’s not a sign that you’re winning. In fact, one rally attendee who spent time talking to our team members even remarked that we are “so well trained” that her only suggestion was to try to disrupt dialogue.

Let me be clear: I do not enjoy writing blog posts like this. I hate having to waste my time describing the ridiculous antics and misconduct of pro-choice activists, rather than focusing on the important work that we’re doing the other 95% of the time, changing hearts and minds and having fruitful conversations.

The thing is, I dislike the fact that female members of our team were sexually harassed even more. It’s unacceptable that members of our team increasingly face assault, discrimination, theft, and now, sexual harassment. These are not acceptable ways to voice disagreement in a civil society. We continue on because we know that our presence makes a difference in changing and saving lives. There must be consequences for these actions, and the perpetrators won’t face consequences if we remain silent.

The part of this episode that bothers me the most is every time I hear the pro-choice crowd cheering on a pro-choice man dropping his pants to intimidate pro-life women. Does the pro-choice community support sexual harassment as long as it’s aimed at pro-lifers? Or will the rally organizers and other pro-choice leaders condemn sexual harassment unequivocally?

The Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective: A History of Thefts, Assaults, and Harassment

Since November 2016, we’ve faced threats, assaults, thefts and other forms of pro-choice violence from the Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective. We’ve followed up with Toronto Police and Ryerson University, and other legal action is ongoing.

After the attack by Gabby Skwarko on Monday, October 1, we are going public with the evidence we have of the pattern of aggression from this group.

Our team members have never been the subject of a police investigation for our activism. The RRJC has falsely alleged that we have assaulted them. This is categorically untrue, and we challenge the RRJC to produce any evidence whatsoever to substantiate the false allegations. Here’s our evidence of their consistent pattern of pro-choice violence.

The Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective has been trying to figure out how to censor us and prevent us from sharing the pro-life message for two years. They have no clue how to stop us. They have tried unsuccessfully to cover up the corpses and stifle the abortion debate on campus. Despite this opposition, we continue to change hearts and minds at Ryerson.

However, our team is consistently the target of pro-choice violence from the RRJC for our peaceful and civil outreach. The RRJC resorts to violence out of desperation because they are not content with civil discourse and they have been unsuccessful in trying to censor us or prevent us from sharing our message. This needs to stop. No one should be assaulted for having a civil conversation on a university campus. We are shining a light on the RRJC’s deplorable conduct to put an end to it.

Featuring…

  • Paige Galette, then Campaigns Coordinator for CESAR (Continuing Education Students Association of Ryerson) and Co-Founder of the RRJC (Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective) — a variety of incidents including theft, threats, disruption of University-sanctioned event. Cautioned by police, no charges laid. Student union employee, not subject to Ryerson University sanctions.
  • Cassandra Myers, then RSU (Ryerson Students Union) staff member as coordinator in an Equity Centre, then Ryerson Board of Governors 2016-2017 — assault by water throwing, theft and destruction of property. Cautioned by police, no charges laid. Ryerson University refused to investigate a complaint under the Student Code of Conduct after the police investigation.
  • Gabriela “Gabby” Skwarko, 2017-2018 Faculty of Arts Director for the RSU (Ryerson Students’ Union). Investigations underway from Toronto Police and Ryerson’s Student Conduct Office from Oct 1, 2018 attack.
  • Julia Pivetta and Alex Douglas — stole a sign with an image of a healthy embryo and attempted to put it into the trash. Cautioned by police, no charges laid. The Ryerson Student Conduct Office applied penalties, but refused to say what penalties were applied.
  • Liezl Yance, President (Interim) CESAR (Continuing Education Students; Association of Ryerson), seen blocking camera while incidents were in progress.
  • Hannah Levitt-Day, grabbing camera and using threatening language (“I want to rip you apart ’cause I hate you guys so much”, “I’m really gonna grab a can of spray paint and just spray you guys” minutes before Gabby Skwarko’s attack)

Some people question why we film our demonstrations. The video should make the answer to that question obvious — for our own safety and protection, we film during our demonstrations so that when we face pro-choice violence, we have evidence to report to the authorities.

Pro-Choice Violence at Ryerson: Gabriela (Gabby) Skwarko

On Monday, October 1, two Toronto Against Abortion team members were attacked while engaging in civil discussion about abortion with pro-choice counterprotesters at Ryerson.

Gabby Skwarko, a member of the Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective and last year’s Faculty of Arts Director at the Ryerson Students Union, approached Blaise Alleyne and Katie Somers from behind and launched into an attack on them and their property. Another member of the Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective attempted to block one of the cameras from filming the attack.

Police and EMS were called. Katie Somers suffered injury, including bruising to her leg. A police investigation is open, but charges have not yet been laid.

Free speech is under serious threat in Ontario, and especially at Ryerson, where people are being assaulted for peacefully and civilly sharing their beliefs. While we are always peaceful and civil, we face violence and illegal activity often at Ryerson. This is one of many incidents our Ryerson Team has had to endure over the past two years from the student unions and the Reproductive Justice Collective.

We continue to reach more and more people in the Ryerson community with the pro-life message every week, despite attempts by the Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective to censor and stop us through assaults and thefts. Hearts and minds are being changed on abortion at Ryerson every week, and our team is growing. We will not be intimidated by violence. Pro-choice violence is a desperate attempt to slow our momentum, and the pro-choice violence we face is nothing compared to the pro-choice violence that pre-born children face in abortion.

Blaise Alleyne and Katie Somers are both available for comment by email or phone:
blaise@torontoagainstabortion.org
katie@torontoagainstabortion.org
647-478-6309