Archive for Occupy Dartmouth

Occupy protester squashes free speech in attack on pro-life display

Posted in Occupy Wall Street, pro-choice, Pro-choice law breakers, pro-choice violence with tags , , , , , on June 14, 2012 by saynsumthn

The Daily Caller reports: American college campuses are supposed to be bastions of free speech that encourage the collision of ideas and tolerate peaceful protests about the issue du jour.

However, all that was literally run over a couple weeks ago when an “Occupy Dartmouth” supporter ran over a stream of American flags with his Toyota Camry. The flags were part of a pro-life memoriam, “Cemetery of the Innocents.”

Vita Clamantis, Dartmouth’s pro-life student group, had assembled the memoriam on a campus lawn after obtaining permission from administrators. Members of the group were stunned to watch the Camry, which was sporting a “coexist” bumper sticker, careen through their protest and continue down the street.

Shortly after, campus security and the Hanover police arrived to investigate the scene and ensure that everyone was safe. (The Dartmouth Review has a slideshow with pictures of the protest and its aftermath here.)

According to OneNewsNow: Other protesters stole some of the flags and posters, and another put up a sign that read: “May the child you save be GAY.” Hanover police arrested the protester after he ran over the display of 546 American flags, representing the 54.6 million abortions that have taken place in America.

Robert Shibley with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Educationoffers his insight on the situation.

“It is commendable that the Hanover police department up in New Hampshire did decide to prosecute this,” he says. “And, frankly, the right tactic to take when it comes to this kind of frankly dangerous vandalism is to have the actual police investigate the case.”

According to the Foundation for Individual Rights In Education (FIRE), the man, Emery S. Coxe, has been charged with disorderly conduct. Coxe allegedly drove his car through the display and knocked over a number of the flags, as photos from the Review show. At one point, there were three security vehicles and a Hanover Police Department cruiser at the scene of the display.

Christian Post reports that

“The purpose of this display was not to condemn but to ask for forgiveness and to promise hope, to promise ourselves and each other that we will do better, we will care better, we will be better,” Vita Clamantis President Robert M. Smith wrote in the blog.

“We put these flags out to ask every Dartmouth student a simple question: when your friend, your sister, your cousin, your neighbor, finds herself in this crisis, afraid and uncertain, feeling like the decision of her life weighs upon her, what will you do?”

The group also used the display as a way to advertise a moderated discussion that was held on campus.

Shibley says dissenting opinions are not being well-received on most campuses, neither from individuals nor from the schools themselves. FIRE researches the speech codes of about 400 schools annually, and last year the organization found that about 65 percent of schools have speech codes that are either unconstitutional or would be considered so if they weren’t private.

“That’s two-thirds of schools specifically telling students in the rules what they can or can’t say. When you have a culture like that it’s not surprising that students, when they’re faced with expression they don’t like, think it’s okay to destroy it, trash it, get rid of it or, in this case, run over it,” said Shibley.