by Steven Ertelt
April 1, 2008
Calgary, Canada (LifeNews.com) — Canadian pro-life student groups can’t seem to catch a break as colleges and universities across Canada have targeted them in a relentless campaign of censorship. Groups have been told to disband, debates have been canceled and, now, students at the University of Calgary have been told to take down a pro-life display.
University of Calgary security officials gave members of Campus Pro-Life a "notice to vacate" — to take down a display that memorializes the babies who have been victims of abortion.
The notice did not give any reason for removing the pro-life display but indicated the pro-life students would be "trespassing" on their own campus if they didn’t comply.
Campus Pro-Life provided LifeNews.com with a press release about the notice and said university officials claimed authority under the Alberta Petty Trespass Act to order removal of the pro-life display.
Matthew Wilson, president of the group, said college officials told the group earlier this month to turn its signs inwards so students passing by would not have to see them as they traversed the campus grounds.
Charlene Anderson, the universitys legal counsel, wrote a letter to the group saying "We have received numerous complaints in the past about the graphic and often disturbing nature of the display."
Wilson asked, "If a Muslim club were to set up a controversial exhibit on campus and a Christian club objected, would the university require the Muslim club to turn its display inward?"
Then, "on the morning of Monday March 31, the Campus Pro-Life club refused to comply with this request," Wilson said — adding that the group went ahead with its plans for the display.
Wilson indicated the college "backed down from its censorship demand and
provided security as well as ‘caution’ signs warning students," about the display.
By Monday afternoon, campus security ordered the pro-life display taken down.
Wilson said the display is down for now as the group decides its next step.
Leah Hallman, a UC student who is the treasurer of the pro-life group, told the Calgary Herald the action by university officials amounts to censorship.
"We believe the university is a marketplace for ideas. If we can’t have free speech at the university, where can we?" she asked.
The display has been erected on campus four times since 2006 without incident and Campus Pro-Life plans a press conference and march later today to protest.
Related web sites:
Campus Pro-Life – https://www.myasoftware.com/~cpl