Monday, October 04, 2010

Carleton Lifeline: University has arrested peaceful students

October 4. OTTAWA.  This morning, a group of students from Carleton Lifeline were attempting to set up their pro-life exhibit, the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP), when university authorities had Ottawa police arrest them.  Video footage of this can be viewed online here:

The university said that while the students could not display their signs in The Tory Quad, a busy outdoor location on campus, it welcomed them to erect their signs in Porter Hall, an indoor room.

Ruth Lobo, president of Carleton Lifeline responded: “They are trying to sound reasonable by providing an alternate location, but what they aren’t saying is that Porter Hall is a closed room that few students pass by or even know where it is,” she said.

Club vice-president James Shaw added, “Telling us we can protest but in a back room no one goes to, is like telling black people they are welcome to ride the bus as long as they sit at the back.”

The university has reportedly been saying that student groups aren’t typically allowed to have displays in the Quad.  Lobo asked, “If the Quad isn’t bookable, why advertise it as bookable space for student groups?

More importantly, the university has never communicated to us that this is its reason for denying us the space.  We’re only hearing about it through media who call us for a response.”

Refusing to tolerate censorship, the students proceeded to walk to Tory Quad this morning with their signs.  Part-way to their destination, they were stopped by authorities, eventually amounting to at least 3 campus security personnel and at least 9 police officers.  Four Carleton students were eventually handcuffed and arrested by Ottawa police and charged with trespass.

Shaw commented, “I find it disgusting that Ottawa police allowed themselves to be hired as thugs to do the university’s dirty work.  Shame on them for participating in Carleton’s censorship of its tuition-paying students.”

Footage of the arrest:

For more information contact Ruth Lobo or James Shaw at 613-600-4791 (cell).