What Else Is At Stake?

By Margaret Stephenson

After 5 students were arrested at Carleton while setting up a pro-life display on campus it seems that our knee-jerk reaction is to denounce the university administration for censoring pro-life rhetoric on campus.

Such censorship should be condemned.

A clear message was sent by Carleton University’s administration: abortion is taboo. Don’t mention it. Don’t talk about it. Don’t protest it. And for heaven’s sake don’t show pictures of it!

But something else is going on here, something that bloggers, on-lookers, and protest-participants decried immediately. Carleton University infringed upon the students’ right to exercise their freedom of speech.

I first heard news of the arrests from my sister (president of uOttawa Students for Life) on Monday morning, just before 10am. I was shocked but not surprised. After all, I had just spent the weekend talking about such incidents with a group of incredible pro-life students from across Canada (where I had the privilege to meet 2 of the brave students arrested). But how frustrating to be in St Catharines, dependent upon sporadic text messages for news from the “front,” instead of in Ottawa! 

I couldn’t help but talk to nearly everyone about the arrests. The first friend I encountered on campus got an earful about the goings-on at Carleton. Much to my annoyance (profound annoyance) her support for the students vanished as soon as I mentioned it was a pro-life protest. …so then does the content of the speech/expression determine whether or not it may be freely spoken/displayed?  Or do we live under a stable, democratic, constitutional monarchy that provides for the freedom of expression?

Today Michael Coren invited his panelists to discuss just that question on his TV show. It’s worth a watch: http://www.ctstv.com/michaelcoren/

Carleton Students Arrested

On Monday morning 5 peaceful pro-life students were arrested at Carleton University while setting up the Genocide Awareness Project display on campus.

Brock Students For Life humbly applauds the courage of each of these students. Through their suffering they draw our attention to an even greater injustice: the killing of unborn children.

The students were denied a public space to air the peaceful protest, and were instead offered a closed room in a remote section of campus.

This is an issue of censorship of an unpopular message by the Carleton University administration, and a shameful violation of the rules laid out in Carleton’s own student handbook.

The students were charged with trespassing.

As a side, note  how an officer claims that the university is private property. It is not private property and is in fact government funded and they say so on their own web site:

By the end of the 1960s, Carleton, like other universities in the province, had become a provincial institution, relying on provincial grants to cover its operating and its capital costs. One consequence was that the regulations governing these grants often shaped university planning.

BSFL at Brock’s O-Week Vendor Fair

By Margaret Stephenson

Members of BSFL brought the pro-life message to crowds of students at Brock today!

BSFL set up a booth at the Vendor and Club Fair which showcases community services, campus services and student clubs. In a flurry of activity a few thousand students checked out the fair today and happily scooped up all the free-bees they could carry.

Predictably, the BSFL table didn’t attract hordes of students. Most passersby noticed us, though. A few abortion advocates asked questions; one hopes to engage us in dialogue later in the semester. Some pro-lifers connected with us, too: we look forward to working together this year!

James, in a stroke of pro-active presidential genius, suggested walking through the crowds to hand out as many of NCLN’s We Know Better Now information flyers as possible. We handed out 500 flyers (497 to be exact – we kept 3 copies at our booth). Tomorrow we’ll pass out another 500. This is what the cover looks like:

Thank-you NCLN for producing a resource that looks so unassuming! We’d ask each student “did ya get one yet?” and almost without fail they’d grab one from us and say “thanks!”  Distributing pro-life info couldn’t be easier.  Some stuffed the flyer into their bags, hopefully to read it tonight or when they rediscover it in a few months on their bedroom floor. Others opened the flyers up right away and started reading. Right away people were talking. Awesome! Let’s get people talking.

Come by and visit our booth at the Vendor Fair tomorrow!