Pro-life disruptions start early at McGill campus

  • October 19, 2009
{mosimage}Jose Ruba, from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical reform, says McGill University should be ashamed of students who interrupted a presentation he was invited to give on campus.

Ruba, a defender of the pro-life view, was invited by a university sanctioned club, Choose Life, to present “Echoes of the Holocaust” Oct. 6, only to be interrupted for nearly a full two hours by hecklers who shouted and chanted songs like “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

“We don’t mind if people disagree with the facts in the long run but the problem is when people go out of the way to censor us — because they’re not censoring us, they’re censoring anybody who they think might hurt their feelings,” he said. “The problem is when the university becomes a place where you can only say things that won’t hurt other people’s feelings instead of (saying) what’s true. It’s no longer a university; it’s a day care where you make sure everybody feels good at the end of the day.”

Ruba’s presentation was interrupted in a similar manner by students at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax earlier this year. However, he has successfully presented at several other universities, including Queen’s in Kingston, Ont., and McMaster in Hamilton, Ont.

Ruba said one of his biggest disappointments is that protesters began chanting before hearing any of his talk. He said that he always begins by establishing four similarities that highlight how awful the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and the Cambodian genocide, really were.

“These are the facts that people are valued based on what they can do instead of what they are, they are de-humanized (through rhetoric or actions), there is a system created to kill people and there’s a massive loss of life,” Ruba said. “Then I look at these four points and see if they apply to the abortion debate.”

Because he managed to get across some of his points in between chants, Ruba said one of the hecklers approached him afterwards and said he found himself listening to Ruba’s arguments and wished in retrospect that he had heard the whole presentation. Pro-abortion students who weren’t part of the chanting came up afterwards to say they were disappointed the event was disrupted and some were able to engage in a peaceful discussion with him about the issues, Ruba added.

YouTube videos show campus security trying to get protesters to leave. Two students who refused to sit down after police arrived were arrested and charged with mischief. After police left, the remaining protesters renewed their disruptions without penalty.


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