Friday, 13 February 2009

What Happens if You Hand Out Pro-Life Leaflets?

The following is the highly disturbing and official press release from Survivors Campus Life Tours courtesy of Catholic Online.

Nine college-age members of the Survivors Campus Life Tour were arrested on a public sidewalk at Parker High School in Birmingham, Alabama, while distributing literature to students at the campus today.

This afternoon, the group of pro-life youth activists quietly held signs, distributed literature and peacefully dialogued with students on the public sidewalk. After being threatened with arrest if they did not leave the area, the group contacted their attorney, who then assured them that their location on the public sidewalk and their free speech activity was legal according to local and state laws. After the Campus Life Tour team members finished handing out literature to passing students and were in the process of loading their van to leave the school area, the police then handcuffed and arrested all nine Survivors without warning. One of the team members who did not assist in the distribution of literature was also arrested and handcuffed so tightly that it caused her to cry in pain.

Kortney Blythe, Director of Survivors Campus Life Tours, repeatedly asked Officer Cooley, one of the arresting officers, the reason for the arrests. He kept assuring the team that they were not arrested, they were only being detained, and he did not know what the charges were. The entire group was never informed of the reason for their arrest as they were being handcuffed, and one of the officers was heard to question his superiors, "What are we arresting them for again?" The police confiscated the team's video cameras and personal belongings, and impounded and searched the Campus Life Tour van. The police also asked the team members where they were staying so they could conduct a search in their hotel as well.

They are now being held in Birmingham City Jail, the jail from which Martin Luther King, Jr. issued his famous letter condemning apathy and injustice. All nine members of the Campus Life Tour team have "willingly [gone] to jail for their conscience' sake" in the same city where Dr. King was jailed for his convictions. In January, the Campus Life Tour participated in the Birmingham Letter Project in Washington, DC, a series of events dedicated to speaking against the injustice of abortion in the spirit of Dr. King. They now find themselves jailed for First Amendment activity in Birmingham, demonstrating that prejudice is alive and well in America, particularly when advocating for the civil rights of the pre-born.

The group is scheduled for an early Friday morning hearing, and have been informed the pending charge is "criminal trespass".

Arrest and detainment for Pro-Life protest is a new development in the US. Looks like the pro-death agenda of the new 'regime' is filtering down to state level. This is a very worrying development. These students were not even camped outside an abortion clinic. I don't think it is too early to say that the assault on democracy and the Church in the US has begun.


Anonymous said...

Begun? Well, it's true they have been pretty much ignoring us until recently, so maybe this is a good thing. We say the rosary in front of the local abortion clinic every 1st Friday and are careful not to block the sidewalk or trespass.That means we stand on city property - it will be interesting to see if the fact that we have Mr. Abortion as our new prez changes things.

The Bones said...

I pray St Michael and Our Lady protect you and your brothers and sisters.

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