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So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.—2 Thessalonians 2:15

Saturday, September 13, 2014

University of Victoria Pro-Life students attacked by two females. Theft of property; acts of vandalism.

Every September there is at the University of Victoria a week known as Clubs Days when campus student clubs gather at he Student Union Building and set up tables and displays to promote their groups. In 2012, the Catholic Students' Association (CSA) was censured for offering brochures on its table presenting Church teaching on sexuality (Catholic Sacristan article: Click Here). The brochures were placed on the club's table, not handed out. A representative from the UVic Pride club, the LGBTQ lobby on campus, took the pamphlets and initiated a highly biased process which sought to ban all CSA activities on campus. After having CSA privileges removed and after several futile and frustrating attempts over the better part of a year by the CSA to meet with University of Victoria Students' Society (UVSS) board members to address the issues, Catholic students initiated legal action to compel the UVSS to retract its actions to curb CSA speech and activities. The CSA legal action, supported (pro bono) by a prominent Vancouver law firm has been launched to ensure that the UVSS does not take similar actions in the future which impinge upon all students' Charter protected rights to freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and religion. The BC Civil Liberties Association also joined the CSA against the UVSS. That legal action is still in progress.

This past week, two female students attacked the pro-life club at the Clubs Days event. Many Catholic students typically form the core and larger percentage of the membership of the pro-life club. This latest attack and the previous attacks by the UVSS Board, then, are surely a double whammy against Catholic students.

YPY image/Clubs Days/UVic Youth Protecting Youth Pro-Life Club


The following media release was published September 11th.
THEFT AND VANDALISM AGAINST PRO-LIFERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA

Victoria, B.C. (September 11, 2014): On September 10th, two women rushed a pro-life club table at the University of Victoria, snatching the fetal models on display and dumping used cat litter all over the table. Youth Protecting Youth (YPY) was participating in the university's Clubs Days event and had a recruitment table to sign up new members and engage with other students on the pro-life issues.

Although the fetal models were recovered, club members arrived back this morning to find that the vandals had broken into the closed clubs room and that more filthy litter had been dumped on the table and the fetal models - valued at several hundred dollars - had been stolen.

"This kind of behaviour calls into question whether UVic is an environment where people can express their opinions and beliefs without such disrespectful opposition," stated Adrian Canagasuriam, co-president of the club. "Other clubs and the student body need to be reminded that this kind of criminal behaviour has no place on a Canadian university campus."

After speaking with campus security, club members made a police report with local authorities.

The club demanded that the University of Victoria Student Society (UVSS) formally condemn the actions of the vandals, and the UVSS has agreed to issue a statement doing so.

"In previous years the UVSS has attempted to ban and censure the club and was sued by the club in 2010," stated Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator for National Campus Life Network, a national organization that supports pro-life students. "It's reassuring to see that student society representatives were helpful and apologetic in the wake of this incident and we look forward to a strong statement from the UVSS condemning this theft and vandalism."

"This incident has not prevented us from continuing our outreach," commented Kimberley Van Der Pijl, who witnessed yesterday's attack and serves as co-president of the club. “We’ve had very positive conversations with so many students and many have signed up for the club."

The members of YPY hope that the fetal models will be recovered, and that students who disagree with their message will learn to voice their disagreement in a mature, respectful manner.
YPY has ongoing legal action against the UVSS. Read that story HERE.

One might hope that, in this day and age of smart phones, the perpetrators of the attack on the YPY students at their clubs days table and theft of property were caught on camera and/or witnesses at the crowded event might identify the two females responsible.

Given the many prior examples of abuse of authority by the UVSS Board, its manipulation of the complaints process by repeatedly failing to act in a timely manner and its failure to address complaints in a fair and balanced way, its demonstrated bias against the YPY and CSA students clearly indicates that there is a serious problem at the University of Victoria with regards to the protection (or lack thereof) of Charter rights and the safety and well being of pro-life and Catholic students. If universities are forums for the free exchange of ideas, then the UVSS Board has failed to uphold the rights of its own members to enjoy freedom of speech and freedom of conscience and religion and the free exercise thereof at the University of Victoria.

Two serious legal actions pending against the UVSS should be unnecessary reminders to the UVSS and University that to do little or nothing to oppose harassment and bullying is to collude with those who promote the violent suppression of students' Charter protected rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religious association and expression.

That some students who identify as pro-abortion would resort to theft and violence to suppress others' speech is an indication that their position is weak and that they are threatened by the truth of the pro-life message. They are so threatened, in fact, that they are willing to commit desperate acts to promote their cause at the expense of a loss of civility. The pro-abortion lobby is failing to convince others that abortion is permissible in a society that is reclaiming its value of life from conception to natural death. We can be reasonably certain that more such attacks will occur in our society as the pro-abortion lobby's tenuous grip on power becomes even more tenuous as people wake up to the reality that each and every pregnancy results in a new and distinct human life with his or her own distinct genetic identity, an identity that cannot be dismissed by those whose hedonism and desire to relieve themselves from the responsibility to protect the weak and innocent is hidden behind a masque of concern for a woman's "reproductive health". More and more people simply aren't buying the destruction of a baby by people who cannot behave in a mature and responsible manner, people who impose a death sentence on the weakest members of our society in order to eliminate taking responsibility for their actions. The cost to society is the loss of countless children who, had they been born, could have contributed to the advance of the health sciences or the arts, for starters. Those missing children's contributions we will never known because powerful irresponsible adults took away or failed to protect the possibility of their role in society.

This latest attempt by pro-abortion students to bully pro-life students into submitting to the culture of death should be yet another unnecessary wakeup call to the University Administration that the UVSS needs to do much more to address the issue of respect and civility toward people who hold reasoned opinions different from those who represent the status quo. Unless action is taken to address the issue of the violent suppression of speech and religious expression on campus, any UVSS and Administration inaction or indifference will be seen as contributing to a culture of fear and intimidation. To state that the University Administration has a vested interest in pursuing justice, even for the sake of merely maintaining the appearance of concern that justice is served, is to state the obvious. Failing the obvious, UVic, then, will hardly be the kind of place where students interested in law and justice and civil society might pursue an education.

University Administration has an arm's-length association with the UVic Students Society. Given the attendance of the University's lawyer in court on July 18, 2014 regarding various legal actions against the UVSS, the University Adinistration's attitude appears to be slowly changing toward UVSS organizational structures that frequently permit some students to harass and intimidate other student groups and individuals. Students can only hope at this point that the University will exercise increased oversight of the UVSS to ensure the protection and well being of all students on campus.

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