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McMaster Students Shout Down Anti-Abortion Speaker

McMaster Lifeline held an event on campus: “Abortion: Reproductive or Human Rights?” presented by Maaike Rosendal of The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Though it was protested and interrupted with yelling and chants, we want to give a big congratulations and thank you to McMaster Lifeline, Maaike, and those who respectfully attended and engaged in the discussion, for being willing to bring such an important message to campus.

What is a university, unless a place to respectfully share and discuss ideas and opinions? Needless to say, the pro-choice position embarrassed themselves that night.

See below for CCBR‘s official press release regarding the incident:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: McMaster Students Shout Down Anti-Abortion Speaker

Between 20 and 25 students shouted down an anti-abortion speaker Thursday night at McMaster University, disrupting the presentation, stealing a box of books and DVDs, and chanting until the police arrived.

The lecture was organized by McMaster Lifeline, a student organization dedicated to raising awareness about the abortion issue, and featured Maaike Rosendal, a speaker with the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (www.endthekilling.ca). Pro-choice students apparently took issue with the fact that a speaker with anti-abortion views would be allowed to speak, and responded w10525987_303306069874813_8279273968683516785_nith various chants and signs featuring slogans like, “Pro-sex. Pro-child. Pro-woman. Pro-abortion.”

Audience members expressed irritation that the presentation was disrupted. The popular Facebook Page “Stuff McMaster Professors Say” posted the following statement: “Professors, TAs, and students alike attended this meeting simply wanting to learn more about the prolife view yet people got into unnecessary fights, violating their right to the freedom of speech. The presenters still went on but what they did gave a bad name for prochoicers and the University of McMaster… People in university hold different views from you. That doesn’t mean you should attack people. That doesn’t mean you should silence people. Grow up.”

“It’s a shame that pro-choice students think the only way they can win this debate is by silencing it,” Maaike Rosendal of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform noted, “We are more than happy to engage in dialogue, but at too many universities abortion supporters simply want to shout us down and shut us down.”

The McMaster incident follows on the heels of similar incidents at McGill University, the University of Waterloo, and Brock University. After the police arrived, they ensured the rights of all were respected and the presentation was able to proceed.

Find video footage of the incident here.

For more information, contact Maaike Rosendal at 1-403-360-2376.

Source: http://www.unmaskingchoice.ca/blog/2014/11/10/immediate-release-mcmaster-students-shout-down-anti-abortion-speaker

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400 Protestors Expected at UBC’s Abortion Display

Press Release: Controversy Erupts at UBC

Bloody Abortion Signs Confront Students and Mob Responds
 
Vancouver, BC. On Thursday, March 10, a UBC student pro-life club, Lifeline, will re-open the abortion debate—-and it will be hard to ignore them.  The students will display eight 4×8-foot bloody images from the controversial Genocide Awareness Project (GAP: www.unmaskingchoice.ca/gap.html). The GAP graphically compares abortion to historical atrocities, such as the Holocaust, and his been met with resistance across North America.  In fact, a Facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=167649023284651&index=1) opposing Lifeline’s display at UBC reports over 400 people plan to protest the event.

GAP will be displayed from 10am to 2pm at the SUB Lower Plaza, by East Mall Road (close to University Boulevard).  Lifeline president Ania Kasprzak says she hopes UBC won’t allow protesters to censor her group’s display:
“UBC’s own policy on academic freedom supports our right to express ourselves through GAP,” stated Kasprzak.  She quoted their policy which states, “Behaviour that obstructs free and full discussion, not only of ideas that
are safe and accepted, but of those which may be unpopular or even
abhorrent, vitally threatens the integrity of the University’s forum. Such behaviour cannot be tolerated.” 

Kasprzak continued, “A university is the marketplace of ideas and we want to use that platform to show that abortion is an act of violence that kills a baby.  We know this exhibit is effective at changing peoples’ minds because they’ve told us that.” 

In a 2008 Globe and Mail interview, UBC President Dr. Stephen Toope lamented that “in Canada we have seen many examples of students trying to
shut down speakers with whom they disagree.” Dr. Toope asserted that “the
role of the university is to encourage tough questioning, and clear expressions of disagreement, but not the ‘silencing’ of alternative views.”

 But one of the opponent’s to GAP, Anna Wärje, doesn’t want Lifeline’s message to be seen.  She posted the following on the growing “Protest GAP” Facebook group: “UBC is requiring us [Students for Reproductive Rights (SRR)] to stay 30 feet from the display and not block or impede the display in any way. Last year, UBC tried to make SRR admin responsible for outside parties blocking the display, but I am not taking that sh** this year. There is nothing illegal about blocking that display, and only UBC students are susceptible to ‘university discipline.’ So…if you’re not a UBC student, don’t even pay attention to this bullsh**. Or if you’re a UBC student who doesn’t care about the university’s disapproval of your conduct.” 

It remains to be seen whether UBC will intervene to stop the planned censorship-through-physical-obstruction of Lifeline’s display.  In March of last year when abortion advocates blocked Lifeline’s display, UBC security did not directly remove the censures; instead, they called in the RCMP.  But a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89QICRBJ65o&feature=channel_video_title) shows police informing Lifeline’s opponents that they could continue to engage in this physical obstruction and suppress Lifeline’s speech. 

The GAP has been exhibited on or near campuses in BC, Alberta, Manitoba,
and Ontario.  Last October, Carleton Lifeline students were arrested when
they attempted to set the display up.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeJkBQn1-r8&feature=channel_video_title).

GAP first appeared in Canada at UBC in November 1999 and it was violently
attacked by 3 UBC student leaders of the Alma Mater Society. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dv7OCW1G0-M&feature=channel_video_title).

For further information contact Ania Kasprzak, Lifeline president, 778-982-1117 (cell). 

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