Pro-life students accused of trespassing - Macleans.ca

Pro-life students accused of trespassing

UCalgary club issued notice after refusing to turn anti-abortion signs inward

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“Kids, we’ve told you once, we’ve told you a thousands (read: three) times before, we don’t want to see those dirty pictures.”

Well, at least they’re consistent.

The University of Calgary has accused 10 students of trespassing and, the students say, has threatened them with sanctions for non-academic misconduct, after they refused to turn their provocative anti-abortion display inward. The club’s Genocide Awareness Project boasts signs comparing abortion to the Holocaust and displays graphic photos of aborted fetuses.

This is the fourth time the university has issued trespassing notices to the group. The latest charges were stayed in November.

Campus Pro-Life treasurer Alana Campbell questioned the university’s decision to defend the right to speak of Ann Coulter, the right-wing pundit who visited the university a few weeks ago, but is trying to stifle their controversial display.

“It is most curious that U of C threatened us with arrest when they spoke so glowingly in defense of an American speaker — she’s not even a student,” Campbell said in a release.

“We’re gonna use that ‘safe campus’ line again. No one really knows what it means, but it works.”

In a statement obtained by the Calgary Herald, the university defended its actions towards the pro-life group.

“The university has advised members of the Campus Pro-Life Group that, given their unwillingness to compromise on their provocative signage, they are not welcome on campus for protests,” the statement read.

“The paramount issues for the university are the needs to uphold its legal right to manage activities on campus, and to ensure the safety and security for the thousands of students, staff, faculty and community members on campus each day.”

“That means turn your signs in so no one can see them, totally defeating the purpose of what you’re doing. Don’t make us tell you again. Because we will. Punks.”

Photo by January152010