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Playing favourites with ideology

Carleton student union upholds decision to ban anti-abortion group


 

The Carleton University Students Association (CUSA) has decided to uphold its judgment that Carleton Lifeline, an anti-abortion club on campus, is unworthy of group status.

CUSA threatened to strip the group of its status back in November, alleging that the club violated CUSA’s anti-discrimination policy. The policy states that “any campaign, distribution, solicitation, lobbying, effort, display, event etc. that seeks to limit or remove a woman’s right to choose her options in the case of pregnancy will not be supported.”

When the decision was being weighed, I argued that CUSA’s ban would amount to little more than discrimination based on religious and political belief. Yes, I used the “D” word. Here’s another word: humiliation. CUSA is no stranger to that one; it got plenty of it in 2008 after deciding to discontinue its Shinerama fundraiser for cystic fibrosis. Why? Well, members looked in their belly buttons and somehow landed upon the erroneous conclusion that the disease only affected “white people, and primarily men.” That little blunder cost CUSA some of its pride, and this one should too.

CUSA’s own constitution states its aim to uphold an “environment free from prejudice, exploitation, abuse or violence on the basis of, but not limited to, sex, race, language, religion, age, national or social status, political affiliation or belief, sexual orientation or marital status.” Indeed, on paper CUSA purports to defend a campus environment where prejudice based on political affiliation or belief is not tolerated. However, in practice, CUSA not only yields to such intolerance, but acts as perpetrator by denying club status based on the beliefs of its members. Ironic? (That creaking sound you hear is the collective twinge of CUSA’s decision-makers cocking their heads.)

Carleton Lifeline has been criticized for its methods—particularly its graphic displays and comparisons of abortion to Holocaust. I happen to agree with many of those criticisms. I really don’t see the need to invoke Hitler in the discussion of terminated pregnancies, especially when doing so is a pretty sure-fire way to shoot one’s self in the foot. But CUSA should not be the one to take away the gun. Pro-choice positions were once in the spot pro-life positions find themselves on campuses today; that is, in the minority. Imagine we forced those students silent for fear they would infringe on the rights of the religious majority? (Actually, that was often the case.) While Carleton Lifeline is not being silenced today, it is effectively being sent the same message by being denied club status.

The union needs to stand by its principle of defending the rights of all students, regardless of ideology. Or else, it should stand by none at all. While Carleton Lifeline’s message might make us feel a little uneasy, it does not infringe on a woman’s right to choose. CUSA should be ashamed of its blatant ideological favouritism, and lambasted for its discriminatory action towards its own students on campus.


 

Playing favourites with ideology

  1. It is time for the CARLETON LIFELINE to go directly to the Ontario Human Rights Commission AND the Canada Human Rights Commmission as Carleton University receives funding FROM BOTH GOVERNMENTS…therefore both Human Rights Commissions have the responsibility to STOP THE DISCRIMINATION!

    Let us see how much money the Carleton University Students Association (CUSA) is willing to spend on defending their Discriminatory Action.

    The Members of the CUSA will be up in arms against the Executive of CUSA for spending and wasting their Dues in such a wasteful and Discriminatory manner. Why are they so afraid to hear another opinion? Are they just potential Dictators?

    LET FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION BE THE WINNER!

  2. In view of their opposition to the law, shock tactics, and past abuse of university property, they are no longer welcome to university sponsorship. They are still able to spend their own time and money promoting their views on their own property.

  3. cuz someone only wins when everyone else loses

  4. Sent: Mon, January 17, 2011 4:30:37 AM
    Subject: CSIS involvement in politics

    January 2011

    Dear Senator:

    Would it affect your vote if you learned that the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper was a CSIS operative in the late 1980s and early 1990s?

    This interesting-but-not-scandalous information (as once described by Jeff Sallot, a noted journalist and now teaching media at Carleton University) has been deemed by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) as an item of ‘national security,’ and I, in turn, was deemed as “prejudicial to the safety and interests of the [Canadian] state” under the Security of Information Act (SOIA). My career was ruined as a result.

    So, congratulations… you are now privy to a national-security secret.

    If, after a moment of contemplation, you find something fishy about this ‘secret,’ as if Canada’s security wouldn’t change one iota if it were broadcast around the world, you are privy to what this package is really about: the lack of judgment by CSIS, their dirty tricks, harassment and above all, their denial of basic justice to innocent Canadians.

    The Liberal Party of Canada is aware of this information, but according to a letter from Michael Ignatieff’s office (copied to the Evidence directory), the Liberals are not interested in this issue. The reasons for the Liberal’s lack of interest may include the fact that CSIS may have also protected a Liberal Prime Minister from another ‘national security secret’ – i.e., a brief affair with a Peterborough woman in or around 2005 – by harassing her to an extreme degree. Read the article about her ordeal at the hands of CSIS in the Evidence directory (#23a and b).

    This package is a book proposal seeking a publisher. Four chapters and an introduction tentatively entitled Life Under CSIS Rule are included, as well as a book synopsis and letter to a prospective literary agent. A series of magazine articles are also feasible, as is internet publication. The Gangstalker Directory contains “About Gangstalkers” to explain the role of ‘gangstalkers’ – simply, a network of louts recruited to harass a whistleblower – including some photos of them in action. The phenomenon of gangstalking has been developed very well at the website, gangstalkingworld.com, to which I refer the reader. In my case, CSIS has rented apartments in my neighbourhood to house them, so I enclose some photos of those houses as well.

    My resume and a photograph of my wife and I are included to identify us, as well as a Contact sheet to warn of the difficulties of communication when you are under CSIS investigation. My proposed book isn’t as important as the country. If you don’t want my experiences in Life Under CSIS Rule to be a regular occurrence in Canada, all under the excuse of ‘national security,’ please pass my story along. Please accept my legal permission to do so.

    Sincerely,

    Gareth Llewellyn

  5. A UK Journalist, who is an expert on intelligence matters, first told me about Mr. Llewellyn’s story last July since he knows that I have similar problems with CSIS. I subsequently spoke at some length with Mr. Llewellyn on the telephone. My own story is on this URL:

    http://zerzetsen.wikispaces.com

    Mr. Llewellyn’s allegation that CSIS persecutes innocent citizens with a process that it calls “D and D” (Diffuse and Disrupt) is nothing new. The former East German secret police “ the Stasi” who developed this process of “no touch” torture used to call it Zersetzung, and it is sometimes also called Zersetzen or Cointelpro. According to WikiLeaks, former CSIS Chief, Mr. Judd, calls it “vigorous harassment”. Call it what you like, it is designed to poison every aspect of the target victim’s life. It is much more than gang stalking and involves a combination of character assassination, surveillance, intimidation, harassment and death threats against oneself and family.

    What is new though is Mr. Llewellyn’s allegation that our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, was a CSIS Operative. It could explain much. Our Politicians, Police, Lawyers, Press, and Human Rights Industry are too scared of CSIS to deal with these matters – so they pretend they are not happening and they look the other way, sticking their heads in the sand like ostriches; None of these “D & D” activities could happen were CSIS subjected to proper and honest oversight. Roderick Russell

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