By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, March 2, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The acting president of the St. Mary’s Students for Life, Joseph Westin, has asked that the university apologize for allowing a group of pro-abortion protesters to disrupt and finally stop a university-approved pro-life presentation last month. The presentation was given by Jose Ruba, a founding member of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.
In February LifeSiteNews reported on the disruption of Ruba’s presentation by a group of abortion supporters who, less than a minute into his talk, entered the room and began shouting down the presentation.
Campus security did not stop or remove the protesters and when Halifax Regional Police arrived, a university official shut down the presentation.
Joseph Westin is demanding an apology from the school for violating freedom of speech rights and for giving a misleading account of the university official’s actions in a press release posted on the University’s website.
Westin said the press release gave the impression that university officials merely moved the presentation “on campus somewhere else.” However that account is false, he stated in an Atlantic Catholic report.
The university statement reads that, “protesters were asked to stop disrupting the event, but after more than an hour and a half, the presentation was relocated to a nearby location … Relocating the event, though regrettable, allowed the speaker to complete his presentation.”
Westin explained that, “Really, they stopped the presentation, and we decided to leave and go to the church; if the church was not there we wouldn’t have been able to continue.”
“They made no effort to provide another building or venue for us,” he added. “They’re claiming that they moved us to another building. But they didn’t. They stopped our presentation.”
Mr. Westin said that St. Mary’s Students for Life pro-life group is looking for a retraction of the press release as well as a public apology from the school for the way they gave in to the group of protesters.
“They’re not dealing with it at all,” Westin said. “They’re pretty much sweeping it under the rug. They’re trying to get rid of it. The people who were breaking the law should have been dealt with and stopped, not us.”
The pro-life group is also calling for an investigation into the St. Mary’s Women’s Centre, which Westin claims organized the protest.
See previous LSN coverage:
Pro-Life Event at St. Mary’s U Told to Disband after Protesters Disrupt
Saint Mary’s University Professor Says Administration Was Wrong to Give in to Mob Rule