CALGARY, AB, April 1, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Student members of the University of Calgary’s pro-life club, Campus Pro-Life (CPL), disregarded the “Notice to Vacate” with which they were served on March 31, after having displayed their Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) on campus without incident all day Monday.
The university is claiming it can use the Alberta Petty Trespass Act to order its own students to remove the controversial GAP, which shows photos of abortion compared with the Holocaust.
But the students refused to be deterred. CPL students held a press conference in the parking lot of the Volleydome at 10:15 a.m. From there, media followed them as they carried 4×8-foot GAP signs onto campus, and set up their exhibit at the same location which has been used on five previous occasions and which has not been booked by any other campus group. They did not turn their signs inwards and away from students passing by as demanded by the University.
“Censorship is not a reasonable compromise,” stated Matthew Wilson, campus pro-life president prior to the campus action. “We intend to exercise our constitutional right to freedom of expression, protected by the Charter. We call on those who disagree with our message to enter into debate, not to censor our opinion,” continued Wilson.
CTV news reported at noon today that a pro-abortion group also put up their signs. The university also put up signs warning about signs that may be considered offensive to look at. Campus security was reported to not have asked anyone to leave and were just watching the activities.
Last month, CPL received correspondence from the U of C demanding that CPL display the GAP signs inwards, such that students passing by could not see the imagery. Yesterday, CPL refused to comply with this attempt at censorship, and set up its GAP as it had done on four previous occasions since 2006. The U of C backed down from this censorship demand and erected some “caution” signs warning students that the GAP display is graphic. The GAP was exhibited on campus without incident all day Monday.
However, at approximately 3:30pm, Campus security served the students with a “Notice to Vacate” (attached as a separate document, to be sent by separate e-mail) ordering the removal of all the materials belonging to the student club.
“No other group on campus has ever been subjected to these forms of censorship,” stated Leah Hallman, the club’s treasurer.