In response, throughout the day, groups of students and faculty engaged the pro-life picketers. One graduate student and adjunct instructor, Laura Curry, expressed her strong emotional response to the images and rhetoric of the pro-life group. When interrupted by campus police, she was arrested after demanding to know why her raised voice and expletives were more offensive than the hate speech displayed by the pro-life group. She is being charged with disorderly conduct and has an appearance ticket for the Amherst Town Court on May 9.
We are angry that the university should allow such racist, misogynistic content to be displayed on campus without any consequences or care for the safety and well-being of members of our community. We are ashamed that a strong emotional response to hate on campus is considered disorderly, while the hate itself is sanctioned. We are alarmed that the University Police used unilateral power in deciding which types of speech are and are not acceptable.
We call for UB to take seriously its job of creating a safe and healthy space for learning, work, and play for all members of the community. We stand in solidarity with Laura Curry, and call for a dismissal of the disorderly conduct charge. Finally, we hope this incident will illuminate the hateful nature of this rhetoric and be a starting point in a dialogue about what a safe campus truly means.
TRIGGER WARNINGS on these links! Misogyny, racism, racist violence, abortion, blood.
For photos of the pro-life demonstration, head over here: http://bit.ly/plpix
To see video of Laura's arrest, head over here: http://youtu.be/ccUVsSdEMPE
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