University of Calgary Charges Pro-Life Students with Trespassing
By John Jalsevac
CALGARY, AB, February 2, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The University of Calgary has charged a number of its own students with "trespassing" for having set up a controversial pro-life display on campus this past November.
Two months after exhibiting the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) the pro-life students received, privately in their homes, summons to court. They must enter a plea by the end of this month, with a trial to be set for later in the year.
The students, who are members of the Campus Pro-Life (CPL) club, set up the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) on November 26th and 27th of 2008.
Leah Hallman, president of CPL, stated today in an interview with LifeSiteNews that the students were "shocked" when they received the court summons, but added that "we did have an idea that it was coming."
"We’re disappointed in the university," she said. Hallman said that CPS expects that six students in total will receive the summons, but that the summons have only been gradually coming in over the past week and a half.
Since 2006, the GAP, which includes large color photographs of abortion and compares abortion to other past genocides, has been set up on campus six times without incident. In 2006 and 2007, the University had protected the club’s right to put up the display under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This year, however, the University threatened the pro-life students with arrest and academic sanctions, including possible expulsion, if they set up the display. The University justified it demands saying that it had received anonymous complaints about the graphic display, and said that the display could provoke violent reactions.
In a speech to be delivered at a press conference later today, which LifeSiteNews.com has obtained a copy of, CPL accuses the University of employing a "double standard" in charging the pro-life students.
"By acting on their threats to bring legal action against their own students, who sought to engage their campus with meaningful dialog on an important issue, the University has revealed a disturbing double standard," reads the speech.
"It is a double standard when the signs of Campus Pro-Life are censored for being too graphic when less than thirty meters away the university celebrates a graphic protest of the horrible atrocities committed against the Falun Gong. ... It is a double standard when an institution dedicated to unfettered thought ruthlessly silences those who disagree with them."
The speech concludes, "We of Campus Pro Life are now preparing to face the judicial system because we dared to believe. We dared to believe in a world which personified the famous slogan of the French Revolution; ‘Liberty, equality, fraternity.’ We dared to believe in a world which does not brutally dismember a quarter of its population. We dared to believe in a world free from the scourge of abortion."
"We await with indifference the outcome of this trial, for we but did what our consciences bid us do. To have done otherwise would not be worthy of the legacy of Canada and of freedom."
University of Calgary contact info:
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
Email: [email protected]
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
University of Calgary Pro-Life Students Victorious - Administration Backs Down from Arrest Threats
Calgary University Threatens Students with Arrest for Pro-life Display
University of Calgary Pro-Life Students Defy Threats of Arrest over Pro-Life Display
University of Calgary Once Again Attempting to Censor Campus Pro-Life Club