Carleton pro-lifers arrested -

Carleton pro-lifers arrested

Students charged with trespassing after erecting anti-abortion display


Five students were arrested and charged with trespassing after erecting an anti-abortion display at Carleton University’s main quadgrangle. Four of the students are members of pro-life group, Carleton Lifeline, while the fifth student was from Queen’s University.

The university had denied the group permission to put up the display in the quadgrangle when it applied two months ago, citing the size and offensiveness of the photos. Instead, the students were offered a table in university centre, an offer that apparently was not suitable for the group’s goals. It is about telling “the truth about abortion,” a Carleton Lifeline member said in the Post.

Photo of Ottawa police arresting students, courtesy of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform


Carleton pro-lifers arrested

  1. I agree completely with Paul Griffiths.

    Carleton is a sorry excuse for a university.

  2. God Bless these brave students for standing up for those who do not have a voice. Their selfless actions are an inspiration to us all. Keep up the fight for justice. You are not alone.

  3. Here’s the dilemma… if mere pictures of abortions are really that offensive, isn’t an actual abortion much MORE offensive?

    If so, why are they legal through all 9 months of pregnancy and paid for by the government?

  4. I hope the rest of thge university student body rallies to the cause and supports these young people. There should be outrage at this denial of freedom. Scandalous behaviour on the part of the univ. should be met with some kind of reaction.

  5. Shameful! How have we allowed a centre of higher learning in our national capital to be commandeered by such a repressive regime that freedom of expression is being squelched with jackboots? I’m hoping criminal charges can be brought against the Carleton board of directors.

  6. It was a Carleton that the student government cancelled a fundraising event to fight some disease because the disease primarily occurred among white males. I guess only equal opportunity diseases deserve curing.

  7. Shame on the ?University of Carlton, and shame on the police. I count four officers used for this nonsense. Since when does the university determine which thoughts, which speak is acceptable to them, then use the state and police to back up their opinions/policies. Hopefully this is unacceptable to most Canadians, unless we have become a nation of bovine thinkers. When an honestly help opinion has to be ‘disappeared’, then we are all in trouble.

  8. Error in previous comment: replace help with held

  9. What a disgrace for Carleton. I’m sorry I ever attended that school…

  10. Legally, this is not even Trespass. As students they had permission to enter the property. The Crown has no choice but to drop the charges.

  11. I wish I could say I was surprised by this.

  12. What this article doesn’t say is that these students were using graphic images to compare abortion to historical atrocities. I think the group is entitled to their opinions but when it takes on the form of something as distasteful and offensive as that, then I have to side with university. Such a campaign has no place on a university campus, just like any campaign that had racist or homophobic messages would have no place! To be quite honest, I’m shocked and pretty disgusted that the university even permitted them to display it in the unicentre! As a young woman I find the campaign extremely offensive, distasteful and disrespectful. End of story.

  13. It doesn’t matter what is on the sign. You can’t have debate at university, or expression of your own ideas at Carleton. Shame on that ‘university’.

  14. In Canada, freedom of expression is limited to expressions that are politically correct.

  15. Shame on Carleton University and Shame on the Ottawa Police force.

    Sometimes I get tired of how politically correct you must be in Canada. I mean when has offending someone become a crime.

    In response to the comment made by “T”, I am sorry you find their display offensive but get over yourself. Who cares if you are offended at what they are saying. I sure as hell don’t.Its very interesting to me that people say posting signs of aborted babies is offensive. The truth is that is what aborted fetuses look like. So maybe you find abortion offensive.

    All that is beside the point. What is significant about this video is not their political stance but that they were arrested and silenced.

    I truly hope Carleton University and the Ottawa Police Service are publicly shamed for their actions. Realistically that wont happen because the freedom of speech issue is wrapped around a pro life issue which could possibly make someone who doesn’t agree with abortion look good. And we cant have that in Canada can we?

  16. It sickens me that Universities are so quick to censor out information that they do not want associated with them. In environments where we as university students are supposed to be encouraged to seek out an active education, and express our views freely and peacefully, we are only able to do so if that view fits in accordance with what is deemed to be socially acceptable.

    I am appalled that a university would clearly violate the rights of students which are guaranteed not only by student rights and responsibilities handbooks of the university, but also those which are guaranteed and supposed to be protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that governs this country.

    The Carleton students have my support 100% for what they have done by taking a stand which they are entitled to take. As a university student myself, I am disgusted to see these students being prosecuted for taking a stand on an important issue such as this simply because many people don’t like to hear about it.

    We live in a society where we pay for entertainment that is offensive and promotes violence. Why are these students being arrested for showing the truth simply because some people may perceive it to be ‘offensive’.

    I am offended that the university has censored and silenced a viewpoint that many people share, and are only expected to share and express this behind closed doors. I am 99% certain that if it was the “pro-choice” side that was portraying their argument on campus, no one would have thought twice about this, and they would not have been asked to take their protest to an isolated area. Why the discrimination and the bias for the anti-abortion protestors?

    Don’t guaranteed rights in the student’s rights and responsibilities handbooks and then try to arrest people for expressing those rights peacefully.

    What is university if not somewhere that people can have intellectual conversations about important issues backed up with facts. If we are to simply be quite because facts can be offensive, what kind education are we really getting?

    Way to go Carleton- you just showed future students where to go if they DON’T want to be encouraged to think for themselves, and explore other viewpoints that differ from the norm.

  17. Pingback: Courageous pro-life students are examples for all of us

  18. They were given a table. Most displays are given a table. Their viewpoint is exactly that, theirs, and the other students have an equal right not to be inundated with graphic photos that have nothing to do with them. The same decision would have been made about any graphic presentation, such as one depicting teen suicides from kids who’s parents would have had an abortion but couldn’t and therefore the kid lived in hell on earth until they finally made the decision themselves. Those graphic images would also have been told to use a little table.

    Here’s the main thing, though. The same decision would be made about virtually any presentation, that’s where presentations happen, tables in common areas where the people can explain their viewpoint instead of forcing it down everyone’s throat.

  19. “…graphic photos that have nothing to do with them.”

    The thing is, Matt, it has everything to do with them. As taxpayers, they are funding this atrocity on an ongoing basis.

    “…teen suicides from kids who’s parents would have had an abortion but couldn’t and therefore the kid lived in hell on earth…”

    So, Matt, you think you can judge whose lives are not worth living. I sure hope you are never in a position to implement your twisted ideology. We have seen the results of such thinking in totalitarian regimes around the world.

  20. Shame on Carleton!
    These students have been abused by the system and now they will have a crimal record. Political correctness in this country is nonsense. I urge these students to continue to fight the good fight because LIFE is worth fighting for.

  21. This is another black eye on the face of Canada as it proves to be a cultural Marxist society particularly in our universities, when it takes 4 armed policemen to arrest five peaceful students for displaying an issue contrary to socialist norms. Where will this all end? Very scary.

  22. students have a right not to be subjucated to that kind of material. the quad is no place for a demonstration or political statement of any kind. it’s a place for students to have quiet, peaceful study-time and enjoy thought provoking conversations in private.

    don’t confuse your anger of why they were arrested with where they were arrested.

  23. “What this article doesn’t say is that these students were using graphic images to compare abortion to historical atrocities.”

    Pictures of abortions appear similar to those of historical atrocities. The point of the display is to demonstrate that the result of an abortion is a dead baby.

    Are you saying that a university is not the place to openly discuss important and controversial issues?… Really?

  24. “…..other students have an equal right not to be inundated with graphic photos that have nothing to do with them.”

    How many times have I been on the bus, in a bathroom stall, walking on campus, in the mall, and I am inundated with all kinds of advertisements which I personally find offensive? Do you think if I marched up to the authorities and said, “I, personally, find this offensive, as do all my friends who are of the same mind as me,” that they would quietly take everything down and apologize? I’m sure they would laugh in my face and say, “too bad that offends you, we can put up these posters if we want to because we have the freedom to do so.”

    The problem is that there is an unclear definition of what is acceptable and what is not. It is acceptable to have an information kiosk on the Rwandan genocide and show pictures of chopped bodies in a heap because it serves a purpose of raising political awareness, but not of aborted fetuses. Don’t forget that millions of world citizens denied that the Holocaust happened until they were convinced by graphic imagery. In present day we do not find that unacceptable….we even visit concentration camps in Europe as a sort of historical field trip…but it is considered unacceptable to show aborted babies.

    If I were a Holocaust survivor, you better believe I’d be in favour of showing the world pictures of my murdered family in order to raise greater awareness of what happened.

    Regardless if you share this group’s views or not, from an objective standpoint it is unacceptable that Carleton decided that the images were not allowed based on the fact that they were offensive.

  25. It is appropriate to show disturbing images of abortions because abortions are not only permitted in our society, but actually paid for by the taxpayer through all nine months of pregnancy.

    If you want to make the case that the images are disturbing, you have to confront the reality that abortions themselves are disturbing.

  26. In the Youtube video shot by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, club president Ruth Lobo is clearly seen reading from a code of conduct published by Carleton University which permits students to challenge, critique, and debate, even when that action is taken against the university. In the video, the police officer says “Okay, now you’ve critiqued, now take the signs down.”
    It is horrible that the university has allowed the Ottawa police force to carry out their dirty work – silencing the very displays that they claim to sanction.
    At uOttawa Students for Life, Carleton Lifeline’s sister club in the capital region, we are horrified at this treatment and wish to offer our support and solidarity with the Carleton club. We are also thankful that the University of Ottawa has always respected our right to public display, even if the topic is considered unpopular.

  27. Dear Carlton University, I have a suggestion for how you can reduce costs associated with a University Education…in the future send applicants a package with a detailed explanation of what they are required to believe and simply have them sign the agreement and return it in exchange for a degree. Why waste all this time in discussion and expression of ideas. It seems so messy and awkward and inconvenient in an Institute of Higher Conformity.

  28. I’m not surprised anymore by the actions of Canada’s marxist universities. Calgary, Victoria now Carleton. It’s a shame that students have to fight for the right to speak or otherwise display what’s on their minds. God bless them for being bold to be prepared to take on the political correct university leadership (and I use the term loosely) through court proceedings. There is an agenda well underway to have everyone think the same and not question anything that is against the cultural marxism (the true term for political correctness) thinking of the day. Since when have peoples’ skins become so thin that they can’t grapple with the topic of the rights of the unborn in an intelligent manner and prove why they think that aborting babies in the womb is right? Perhaps they don’t have an argument. Shame on you Carleton! Instead why don’t you open your doors to a proper debate on the topic. When does that developing baby have it’s own unique human DNA anyway?

  29. The University of Calgary has attempted on many occasion to evict the same student groups using the same anti-abortion “awareness” propaganda. If I want to see this horrendous and offensive display of aborted fetuses I would go to a public talk in a room. But to have this display thrown at me in the morning during my walk to class is offensive and an outright abuse of the charter of rights.

    Do I not as a student have the right to choose where I wish to discuss these issues? Must I have disgusting pictures of dead fetuses and genocide in my public space? Does this mean that I can paint Swastika’s in a park? Or racist remarks on the sidewalks?

    I watched a young professor walk her two young children past that display. It’s one thing to bring to public the ethical discussions of a controversial issue, it’s a whole other monster to use anothers suffering to dramatize it for publicity. Thank you for demeaning the concept of social discourse on my university campus.

  30. Before anyone goes off saying that this is proof that the left (all those radical left university administrators?) hates free speech (and I think I might be too late. I mean, seriously, a Marxist university administration? Give me a break), I’d like to remind people that Carleton also banned posters for Israeli Apartheid Week as well.

  31. regardless of whether i am pro-choice or pro-life, i think it is cowardly to only allow protests that you know won’t offend anybody. there is no point to protesting then. the protest was provocative, controversial, and graphic, yes. but abortion is provocative, controversial, and graphic. excuse them for exposing the reality of abortion. perhaps the location was not one for protesting, but then carleton should have offered them a location that was not so isolated, so that they could have made a valid protest. instead of arresting them. that just seems ridiculous.

  32. this is not a problem with the canadian government, this particular protest, and these posters which relate abortion to genocide are allowed in most places in canada. the problem here is with Carleton University. because it was their property, they had the right to shut down the protest. And they did. Because they are cowards. They should not have. Just because the message may disturb you, does not mean it should not be said. Grow a backbone Carleton. I am ashamed to attend Carleton University right now.

  33. Like it or not, a campus is a private property, owned by the university. They were given an opportunity to protest in one of the buildings and not have bageezusly large posters with dead babies on them, but they decided to do it anyways, and got arrested shortly before anybody could see their message. Far from victims of totalitarianism, these guys were just being attention-seeking dicks.

  34. I fully agree that arresting them for expressing their opinion was wrong, but frankly, I don’t want to look at aborted fetuses at 9:35 in the morning. I was lucky and showed up just after they had been arrested, but what if I had been earlier? Expressing your opinion through calm debate is one thing; forcing me to look at graphic photos by putting them in an area I have to walk through to get to class is another.

  35. The simple fact is that that the university offered them a space, they refused, and set up somewhere else anyways. They weren’t arrested for expressing their beliefs, they were arrested because they didn’t follow the established protocol set up by the university. Everyone is entitled to express their opinion, but when on private property, you have to follow the rules as to when and where you can do so. Below is a link to a news article by the Charlatan (Carleton’s independent student newspaper) that explains the situation in better detail:

  36. “If I were a Holocaust survivor, you better believe I’d be in favour of showing the world pictures of my murdered family in order to raise greater awareness of what happened.”

    Do NOT compare an abortion to the Holocaust, they are not NEARLY the same. I am offended that you would compare these two things. Hundreds of thousands of people died in the Holocaust because of their RELIGION. A woman has a right to choose whether or not she wants an abortion. If she chooses not to have one then that’s her choice too.

    Also, you are ALL missing the point of WHY those people were arrested. It is not because of what they were protesting, it is because they were protesting in an unapproved place on private property. It would have been the same outcome for anyone protesting there whether it was about professor tenure or something like student levies. They were given a table in the unicentre where 90% of students walk through on any given day, to express their opinions and they didn’t take it. That’s their problem. They were arrested because they protested where they were told not to do so.

  37. Millions of people died in the Holocaust because the Nazi leadership decided that they did not have the right to live. Over 2.5 million people have been killed in abortions in Canada. Approximately 42 million people die in abortions worldwide every year. These are killed because, again, those in authority over them decide that they do not have the right to live. What’s the difference?

    Regardless of your personal views for or against abortion, the point here is that these students had the right, according to university policy, to a lawful protest on campus. The university failed to specify exactly where such a protest could or could not occur, therefore, the students had the right to set up wherever they wished.

  38. That is so awsome that there are some university students who will stand up for their beliefs like that. I hope they fight this in court and win.
    How can we say that Canada has freedom of speech if events like this show that we don’t if the speech is “offensive”? Who decides what is offensive?
    The question is, would the university have censored the display if it had been pro-choice? People find that offensive too! This is completely inconsistent with the universtie’s policy, and Canada’s “freedom of speech.

  39. “The question is, would the university have censored the display if it had been pro-choice?”

    If pro-choice advocates attempted to use graphic pictures of dead women and/or women dying from hemorrhaging and infections that are often the result of back-alley abortions, I would think the University would have acted the same way.

  40. It seems to me that the choice to abort a foetus (murder a baby) is a cowardly thing to do. Since science can prove that although the life is not yet viable and must be nurtured in the womb of its mother it still is a unique creation according to its DNA and it will have the same DNA at the time of natural birth. If people don’t see what happens to these little preborns via photographs of the actual thing please suggest another way that the message can be expressed. People are bombarded with multiple images of violence, death and carnage on the news and TV shows, movies and video games. Some of the images are real and some of the images are orchestrated. The photos of the destruction of little babies are real. Is that why it is so offensive? I ask why are some so offended especially if they support the choice of a person to have such a thing done to a life growing inside of them? Why shouldn’t they see what actually happens? If people have the stomach to watch the news etc then get the stomach to march right past these kinds of ‘protests’ or displays whatever you want to call them and have a good day anyway.

  41. Well, it’s debatable at least whether such photos are obtained legitimately with informed consent. I have my doubts. Your comment about “science” (what’s that?) “proving” that life is a “unique creation” is the kind of circular non-logic that plagues these discussions. Why exactly does Maclean’s need to host an abortion debate on this site?

  42. Human life has no intrinsic value and it is emotional attachment which creates value to human life.

    Nobody but the mother, and sometimes the father, is emotionally attached to the fetus inside her. So, if the mother doesn’t value that baby, that baby has no value.

  43. Abortion is not really a debate I want to bother with, but cripes Alex do you really believe that? The human mind is a pretty amazing thing.

    A favorite quote of mine from Victor Hugo (paraphrased… from a translation): “There is a prospect greater than the sea, and it is the sky. There is a prospect greater than the sky, it is the human soul.”

    Consider, where does this emotional attachment that gives value come from?

  44. Shame on you Carlton University. I am not a a pro-life supporter, but I oppose what has been done to these brave students.

  45. Since when has it been a crime to offend anyone? “That offends me and I want them arrested.” I get offended pretty much everyday. People offend me with their disrespect of my religion, they offend my sense of good taste, they offend me in their use of swear words, but can I get them arrested for it!? Of course not. Where, please tell me where, in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms does it say that it is illegal to offend someone?

    The students were protesting on a public space at the University, at which they were tutition paying students. They pay for the right to be there. And in the University rules and regulations, it says they have the right to protest, etc. If the University didn’t want them there, then they should have specified it in the rule book. As the University has no legal right to remove them, it stands to reason then that they removed them because they disaproved of the message.

    The issue of Abortion is a very, very important one, but it only factors in this issue in that it is an issue that the University authority does not like to discuss. I can only hope that being arrested gave the students way more publicity than they ever could have hoped for.

  46. Alynn, I find it interesting that you chose to use the work “genocide”. Don’t you think it’s a bit strange that you’re offended by people trying to highlight an issue, but not by the “genocide” that is taking place?

  47. What is this Nazi Germany?

    Good-bye freedom.

    Universities are supposed to be the nurturing place for diverse ideas and tolerance. Not here! Think like me about everything or you go to jail. Pay your tuition for next year before they book you.

    Shameful. Those police are a disgrace to the law. That young lady knew more about the law than those overweight buffoons that are supposed to be enforcing the law, not ignorant of it.

    I think the flag for the university should be a swastika.

    Welcome to Canada. Leave your brain at home or we’ll put you in jail.

  48. The university denied the anti-abortion group’s application to demonstrate in the quadrangle but generously offered them space in the university centre for their display. The anti-abortion group was trespassing plain and simple. They deserved to be arrested.

  49. If the protesters couldn’t follow the rules about where they were allowed to have their demonstration, then they deserved to be arrested. Plain and simple. Consequences for every action. It doesn’t matter whether they were protesting about abortion, genocide, pro-life, pro-choice or the price of a coffee. They were given a space by the university and they chose not to take it. Their mistake.

  50. It clearly stated in the rights and responsibilities handbook that the girl read in the video, that as students they had the right to protest on the campus regardless of their content, regardless of whether they were criticizing society or the university itself.

    I didn’t hear anything in the rights and responsibilities that said “you may only protest where you are given permission to do so.” It said on the campus, which is where they were doing it. If the university wanted to be able to approve every protest and assign it a location, they should have specified in the rights and responsibility handbook.

    Everyone knows why these people were arrested because of what they were saying, it goes against the status quo, plain and simple.

    What if someone had signs up of something like advocating for gay marriage, and people said they were ‘offended by it’, do you think they would have been forced to take their signs down? Definitely not, and why? because the university would say that people have the right to express their views peacefully. Same should go for these people.

    Why are these pictures so offensive to people? Why are they so bad that we can’t bare to look at? The fact of the situation is that abortion is totally legal for all nine months of pregnancy in Canada. Why do we condone something that we don’t want to talk about, debate about, or look at?

    I think that if we can believe in abortion enough to make it legalized in this country, we should be able to look at the effects of it, and not be so god damn ignorant about them. This is what it is, and whether or not people may find it ‘offensive’ is their own problem. Showing these pictures is not violating other peoples rights, or physically harming other people. So those that don’t want to look at it, grow up and suck it up.

    I look at stuff every day that I don’t want to see, and I deal with it because thats the way the world is and its not going to change to accommodate me.

    I support people being able to support the cause they believe in, and express it, regardless of whether or not I believe in it or want to look at it.

  51. These students are heroes. When the history of the pro-life movement is written, these men and women will be hailed as proclaimers of truth when the establishment was afraid to face the truth. If they had posted photos of dogs, horses or cats being tortured and killed like the babies, the pc police would help hang the signs.
    Shame on the university. What cowardice!

  52. Ok then, let’s open the doors and let people hold signs with pictures of rape. Just because it’s offensive to you doesn’t mean it’s not the TRUTH. It needs to be stopped, just like these giant glossy photos of genocide, with rotting and dismembered bodies piled on top of each other.

    Oh, an elementary group is having a field trip to the school? Good! Children need to know about the atrocities of genocide and rape, and I’m going to make sure they know about it by forcing horrific images into their minds!

  53. Not sure if these police or campus “whoevers” have ever watched a mother cry because they lost their daughter after she had an abortion go wrong. Maybe they should…I don’t think they would have arrested them. Also, as a mother who couldn’t have kids…I’ll take them, stop aborting them. Morals? Do we live in Canada a free country? Home of the free? Dream on!