University of Calgary Students Charged With Trespassing for Pro-Life Display
by Steven Ertelt
February 2, 2009
Calgary, Canada (LifeNews.com) — Three students who attend the University of Calgary in Canada were charged with trespassing on their own college campus by setting up a pro-life display. When UC officials warned members of Campus Pro-Life that they had to restrict their own pro-life display, the students refused to comply.
Pro-life advocates at the school have feuded with UC officials for some time about a display that includes graphic pictures.
UC authorities don’t want students, faculty and others exposed to the abortion pictures, so it has instructed members of Campus Pro-Life to turn the pictures inward, which makes them not visible to people walking along the college grounds.
When three students wouldn’t comply on Monday, they were served with legal papers charges them with trespassing.
"We had kind of expected it, but it was still a bit of a shock," Campus Pro-Life president Leah Hallman told the Canadian Press.
"We had been warned beforehand that if we put up the protest we could be subject to fines, to arrest, to suspension or expulsion under non-academic misconduct," she said. "We had been warned beforehand that if we put up the protest we could be subject to fines, to arrest, to suspension or expulsion under non-academic misconduct."
The students will make a court appearance in late February and they intend to plead not guilty to the charges.
The University of Calgary released a statement saying is "has attempted for several years to find a reasonable compromise with Campus Pro-Life that would give members of the university community the choice to view or not view" the pro-life display.
But Hallman tells Canadian Press that the university is changing its position.
"The university had previously displayed signs saying that our right to be there and to put up the display was protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And then we watched them cover that sign up," she said.
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