CALGARY, Alberta, November 27, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite opposition from the University of Calgary, Campus Pro-Life has continued its second day of displaying signs for the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) on the campus, in defiance of threats of arrest, fines and civil action by university officials.U of C administration yesterday issued a statement that said, “Earlier today University of Calgary Campus Security formally advised seven members of the Campus Pro-Life (CPL) group that they were trespassing on university property. The CPL members were asked to leave campus,” and “This afternoon, the University asked the Calgary Police Service to issue the appropriate summonses to the individuals ignoring the notice of trespass or to take other appropriate steps to enforce the directive.”
Campus Pro-Life held a press conference this morning in which they asked university officials to clarify the grounds on which they threatened the students with trespassing on their own campus: “On several occasions, CPL has specifically asked the University to indicate which by-laws, policies, regulations or statutory provisions it relies on as authority for being able to censor the peaceful expression of an opinion on campus.
“CPL has not received a response from the university to these queries, which again confirms that the university’s censorship demands have no basis in law, and should therefore not be enforced by Calgary Police.
“In short, the university’s attempted censorship is illegal, which is why Campus Pro-Life students have refused to comply with this censorship.”
A CPL press release today pointed out that other “graphic” displays currently on campus were not being prohibited by the university administration: “Other protesters were on campus yesterday, most notably activists displaying large, graphic photographs of torture perpetrated by the Chinese government on adherents of Falun Gong.
“Campus Security did not serve these protesters the ‘Notice’ indicating they would have to turn their images inwards or also risk arrest.”
Leah Hallman, president of Campus Pro-Life, called this a double standard, stating, “Those protesting the mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners are correctly allowed their right to free expression, but why aren’t we? It seems U of C is threatening to arrest pro-lifers based on our philosophical position. That’s discrimination.”
A poll conducted by CBC Calgary which asked, “Is the Pro-Life Club’s anti-abortion display appropriate for the University of Calgary campus?” found that a majority – 54% to 46% – were in favor of the GAP display being allowed on campus without harassment from the administration.
To contact the University of Calgary with your opinion:
Dr. Harvey P. Weingarten, President
Administration Building, Room 100
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
Phone: (403) 220-5460
Fax: (403) 289-6800
Sent by E-Mail
November 28, 2008
Dear Mr. Weingarten,
I read a news report of the decision by the University of Calgary to attempt to stifle free speech on the university’s grounds. I’m not sure how you would be able to explain fining or even arresting your own university students for exercising what is guaranteed to them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I’m sure it will make for amusing news and publicity, although I do not believe it would be a positive impression for Canadians to regard your university as an institution which is at the forefront – not of free and rigorous debate – but of jackboot censorship.
Have you no shame in your university’s conduct? Is your administration’s position on the issue of abortion so weak, so absurd, so lame that you must resort to the tactics employed by a fascist state rather than a western university?
Social Conservatives United