Pro-abort students demand Brock U. drop charges after disrupting pro-life event
ST. CATHARINES, Ontario, November 4, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-abortion students at Brock University who disrupted a speech by a pro-life activist on campus are threatening the university with legal action if it does not drop disciplinary charges it filed against two of the students.
“Brock Security overreacted and the attention on this matter should be directed at the leadership of the security team at Brock, not at the students who only expressed their rights to peacefully protest,” the group, which calls itself the “The Dark Circle Collective,” stated in a press release.
“We demand that the charges be dismissed immediately and without any further action.”
The group threatened Brock University with legal action if it did not dismiss the charges.
Video footage of the event that took place in Isaac's Bar and Grill located on campus shows Stephanie Gray, the Executive Director of Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, being heckled by members of the pro-abortion group.
The event was to have been a debate between Gray and an abortion advocate, but when no abortion advocate could be found to accept the challenge, Gray gave a talk on abortion as a human rights violation.
Moments into her talk, the pro-abortion students interrupted Gray with loud comments and laughter.
In video footage, Gray can be heard calmly asking the pro-abortion students to leave off comments until the question and answer session at the end of her presentation. But the group persisted until two security staff attempted to intervene.
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At that point a woman from the group stood up and began chanting “My body, my choice” while another unrolled a large banner with a coat hanger spray painted on it and the words “Never Again”.
A man wearing a black sweater with a dark hood pulled over his head, who identified himself to media as Gavin MacPherson, then attempted to rush the stage, but was blocked by security personnel.
Footage also shows a pro-abortion woman, who identified herself to media as Rose Davies, using a bullhorn to chant: “Brock Life-line your name means lies, you don’t care if women die.” About seven others joined in the chant.
Gray said that around this time, one woman approached the stage and called her the “f**cking anti-Christ”.
The footage shows Davies being escorted out the door with the rest of the group following her.
MacPherson and Davies ultimately received written notice from the university on Oct. 24 that they were to appear before a disciplinary panel for allegations of assault, harassment, failure to comply, and disruptive behavior.
The Dark Circle Collective called its actions “peaceful” in a statement last week, accusing security personnel of “inflict[ing] physical abuse on demonstrators without reasonable cause or necessity”.
It accused the university of “suppress[ing] the right of free speech and assembly” and of giving “greater legitimacy” to a pro-life group over a pro-abortion group by disciplining the protesters.
About two dozen pro-abortion students gathered at the campus last week to protest the university’s decision to discipline the two disruptive students.
Brock University did not respond to LifeSiteNews by press time.
Gray said that the pro-abortion group is misguided in portraying its disruptive actions as free speech.
“This isn’t a matter of them expressing themselves, it’s a matter of them suppressing someone else.”
“They’re free to organize their own events, they’re also free to put forward someone who is willing to engage in a formal debate.”
Gray hopes the university will not back down in disciplining the disruptive students.
“This isn’t a matter of suppressing free speech rights, but a matter of stopping mobs from suppressing other people’s free speech rights,” she said.
Jack Lightstone, President and Vice-Chancellor of Brock University
Phone: 905-688-5550 ext 3333
Email: [email protected]