Wednesday 2 May 2012
Special Edition 7
0427 815 561
Brisbane Father Gets 8 Months Jail
for Peaceful Protest
Graham Preston, 56, was called by police last week to arrange a time for his arrest.
He negotiated to move it back from 8am to 9am this coming Wednesday, May 2, so he
would have enough time to get his children to school. This 8 month sentence is the
longest jail-term ever received by an Australian pro-life activist.
Mr. Preston will serve 232 days in prison - seeing him out just in time for Christmas
- for refusing to pay roughly $8000 in fines that have accumulated after ten years
of non-violently blocking the entrances of four abortion clinics around Brisbane.
Since beginning non-violent direct action with the group Protect Life
almost exactly ten years ago (April 16, 2002), Mr. Preston has endured more than
ten months in jail over five separate jail-terms - mostly in Brisbane's maximum
security Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre.
The warrant for Mr. Preston's arrest came after he received a letter from the
Justice Department telling him he had until April 6 - coincidentally, Good Friday
- to pay the fines or else face prison.
Mr. Preston refuses to pay the fines on principle, arguing that trying to save the
innocent from harm should not be regarded as criminal behaviour.
A similar letter was sent to Mr. Preston in 2010, although that time it was not
"Graham is amazingly humble. He doesn't make a song and dance about his commitment,"
said Anne Rampa, a fellow activist and mother of seven, who has herself been arrested
more than twenty times over the last twenty years for protesting outside abortion
clinics. "One thing he probably didn't tell you is that he regularly meets with
men who he met in jail, offering them hospitality and even legal help if he can."
Mr. Preston's wife Liz told LifeSiteNews.com that she was extremely proud of her
husband: "I have immense respect for Graham. He is a very courageous person who
has my full support in these actions. Facing the prospect of having Graham in jail
for eight months is quite daunting - however we have always realised that challenging
the abortion culture would be costly and we have tried to not allow the potential
cost prevent us from doing what we believe is right."
Graham's daughter Frances, 18, said: "I have a lot of respect for my Dad and how
he takes his convictions seriously, I hope I can live as consistent a life as his.
Of course I will miss him, and I will visit him as often as possible."
Daughter Suzannah, 8, said "I will miss him every day till he comes home in December,
five days before Christmas. I will pray for him every night."
When Mr. Preston's fines reached $12,000 in 2004, the Governor of Queensland, Quentin
Bryce, remitted half of them. (Fines for failing to follow police orders to move-on
were remitted; fines for obstructing police were not. Mr. Preston appealed this
decision since both charges were given by different police for the same action.
The appeal failed in 2009.)
Normally in Queensland, a citizen receives one day in prison for every AUD $100
of unpaid fines. To deter Mr. Preston from 're-offending', for most of the fines
he will receive three days in prison for each hundred dollars.
Two years ago, Mr. Preston wrote on his website: "Going to jail is of course not
a desirable thing, either for the person who does so, or for their family who may
be very directly negatively affected. Yet our conviction is that this is probably
an unavoidable part of seeing the value of all human lives given proper recognition.
When anyone pays a very high price for something, it makes everyone ask the question,
is it worth it? That is what we want our society to be asking, what are preborn
babies worth? We want to say that babies' lives are worth a person's, or even many
NORTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE INC
1 28TH April 12
Andamooka 23 goals 20 behinds 158 points defeated Coober Pedy 6 goals 4
behinds 40 points
Goal Kickers: J. Brind
8, C. Paterson 4, R. Testro 2, P. Ross , C. Rainsford , A. Moss , M. Treloar, L.
Brind , L. Sanders , B. Abela , J. Vanzati , T. Baldey 1 goal each
Best Players: 1st J. Brind, 2nd B. Abela, 3rd T. Baldey, 4th L. Sanders, 5th C. Paterson
Goal Kickers: L. Lionel 2, M. Bell, T. Hannes , T. Walker , D. Warren
Best Players: 1st B. Warren, 2nd D. Dodd, 3rd T. Hannes, 4th T. Stewart, 5th D. Warren
Olympic Dam 15 goals 10 behinds 100 points defeated Hornridge 6 goals 10
behinds 46 points
Goal Kickers: L. Copeland 2, A. Homer 2, R. Bennett 2, D. Summerton 2, R. McInerney 2,
J. Neindorf , D. Moyse , L. Francou , D. Rogers , B. Hill
Best Players: 1st R. Bennett, 2nd L. Francou, 3rd D. Rogers, 4th T. Hornhardt, 5th M. Elsen
Goal Kickers: C. Jurek 2, A. Robinson , N. Thomas , T. Golding , T. Grosser
Best Players: 1st C. Jurek 2nd N. Thomas 3rd L. Munro, 4th J. Dawson, 5th A. Robinson
DOWNS JUNIOR FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
1 28TH APRIL 12
Suns 5 goals 4 behinds 34 points defeated Giants 2 goals 2 behinds 14
Best players for Suns 1st B French 2ns R Holder 3rd
J Van Kruyssen 4th G Clarke
5th E Trethowen
Goal scorers B French 3 goals G Clarke D Gates 1 goal each
Best players for Giants 1st M Lamb 2nd J Dalgleish
3rd M Lynch 4th H Paull 5th F Arbon
Goal scorers J Dalgleish M Lynch 1 goal each
Hawks 2 goals 3 behinds 15 points drew with Bulldogs 2 goals 3 behinds 15
Best players foe Hawks 1st J Gotch 2nd B Humer 3rd
L Elliot 4th C Seery 5th B Chamberlan
Goal scorers B Cooper L Elliot 1 goal each
Giants 13 goals 11 behinds 90 points defeated Suns 11 goals 5 behinds 71 points
Best players for Giants 1st B Evans 2nd J
Male 3rd J Emmerson Sellar 4th L Johnson 5th D
Goal scorers D Kenny 4 goals L Johnson 3 goals B Evans B French J Male J
Dalgleish 1 goal each
Best players for Suns 1st T Odgers 2nd L Weston 3rd
A Hambleton 4th S Bacon 5th J McCarthy
Goal scorers J McCarthy 4 goals L Weston A Hambleton 2 goals each C
Taylor E Taylor S Bacon 1 goal each
Hawks 6 goals 10 behinds 46 points defeated bulldogs 3 goals 6 behinds 24
Best players for Hawks 1st M Ryan 2nd M Hanson 3rd
J Secker 4th R Heckenberg 5th S Kerrish
Goal scorers M Hanson 2 goals B Gambell S Kerrish M Ryan T Darling 1 goal
Best players for Bulldogs 1st D D’Artigo 2nd L
Rawlins 3rd K Dadleh 4th R Weetra 5th N Wyatt
Goal scorers L Young L Hancock L Rawlins 1 goal each