Thursday, February 12, 2009

Saint Mary's University Journal on the Suppression of Jojo Ruba's lecture

Read it here

Security at the event was minimal. One security guard present intervened after several minutes had passed, asking that the group leave, but they refused and continued to chant. The protesters also claimed that they had a legal right to be there and to protest, and that it would be illegal to remove them. They were later informed by a police officer who arrived at the scene that they did not have the right to protest if it caused a disruption, and that their actions could be construed as harassment. The group continued to protest until the police officer made an announcement that any further action by the protest group would result in their arrest. The group left shortly after this announcement, by which time there were three police officers present on the scene. Mr. Ruba was also forced by the university to move the event to the Canadian Martyrs Catholic Church next door, although the event itself was not religious in nature


Chuck Bridges, V.P. External Affairs, spoke exclusively to The Journal. He stressed that the decision to move the presentation was based on an assessment of how risky the situation was. Although the protesters stressed that they were peaceful, the threat that they would become violent appeared to be a large concern of the university. He said that the event served as a wake-up call and that the institution would have to evaluate future events more carefully. When asked by The Journal whether they would allow future controversial events to take place, he said that Saint Mary’s was an institution for learning and a place where ideas should be challenged, but that safety concerns did have to be taken into account. Managing the risk of violence was also why there was not greater intervention by Saint Mary’s security.

Reminds me of this headline:

Abortion Supporters Pelt Pro-Lifers with Stones in France

I guess that's how they get their way.