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Goldsmiths student newspaper smears pro-lifers

Posted by Daniel Blackman on 1 October 2013

The Leopard, Goldsmiths University’s student newspaper, has published an article smearing and misrepresenting a group of young SPUC supporters who went to leaflet students around Freshers’ Week.

This was part of a wider campaign of leafleting at several universities in London. Below is a reply to many of the points made in the article.

"campus"  - We were not leafleting on the university campus at any point. We stood on public footpaths the whole time. The security guard made this clear, and a member of the union later admitted this after having first told me it was university property. We were harassed on public footpaths and followed down public footpaths the whole time.

"This was noticed by members of the Students’ Union including Bahar Mustafa and Karis Hanson, the Union’s Women’s officers. With the help of Howard Littler and Joe Killin, the full time Campaigns and Welfare & Diversity officer respectively" - It was noticed first and foremost by members of the student union’s Feminist Society, the same ones who swore at us, shouted at us, harassed us on a public footpaths, and followed us several hundred metres down the road. You can seem them in the photos. It's interesting how The Leopard makes no mention of this at all, nor the need for security to call a student to order as his behaviour was so bad.

"effective counter demonstration" - By “effective” does the report mean harassing, swearing, intimidating, and forming a barrier using placards? Following members of the public down the street? It was not an effective counter-demonstration.

"engaging with people who had taken the anti-choice flyers to explain that they were not affiliated with Goldsmiths." - What actually happened was that SPUC’s leaflets were taken out of people’s hands and torn up and thrown on the floor. Passers-by were shouted at with: "Don't take their leaflet, it's anti-choice" and "They want to control women’s bodies, throw their leaflet away". We gave our leaflets to all passers-by, including non-students, so being affiliated or not was irrelevant, and showed just how controlling and intolerant these pro-abortion students were.

"The counter demonstration followed the group down New Cross Road to ensure that their attempts to flyer didn’t go unchallenged" - That's correct, we were followed at close range for over 300 metres along a public street, well away from campus. We had actually made it clear that we had finished for the day and leaving for lunch. How insecure must some abortion supporters be that they didn't want any leafleting, not just no leafleting of students near campus! They are trying to rationalize evil and silence consciences.

"which resulted in the group filming the students chanting pro-life slogans and threatening to call the police" - We filmed it as evidence to show exactly what happened. We said we would have to call the police as their actions could have been criminal offences.

"The students outnumbered the Anti-Abortioners and remained peaceful throughout" – Yes, we were outnumbered. However, we were representing the 200,000+ unborn children who were killed last year by the likes of BPAS and Marie Stopes International in Britain. The pro-abortion protesters were not peaceful. How could they know the meaning and practice of peace whilst they defend and promote the killing of innocent unborn children?

"Goldsmiths is a pro-choice union and must maintain this stance in line with NUS policy"  - There is no requirement on student unions to have a "pro-choice" policy, which is why only a handful of student unions actually have a pro-abortion policy. However, in line with their insecurity and intolerance, I'm sure the Goldsmiths protesters would be more comfortable with a dictatorial order that all student unions must be pro-abortion.

"She said: “their material was offensive and potentially distressing to students due to its moralistic and sensationalist language and judgemental framing of women who have chosen to have abortions."" - SPUC leaflets are based on facts and real-life examples. Calling our leaflets "offensive" "distressing" "moralistic" "sensationalist" and "judgemental" is a desperate attempt to take the moral high ground.

"their attempts to distribute ... flyers to students of Goldsmiths unnoticed quashed" - Not so. We gave out several hundred flyers, and all those students saw what were we doing. It was an act of witness as much as it was leafleting. The shouting of the pro-abortion students and union staff helped to draw attention to our leafleting. It is also a sign that the pro-life message will not be silenced or confined to evening talks in a room for a handful of students. The grassroots pro-life movement is pro-active. Unborn children can't speak up for themselves, so we will do it for them.

"the group had created a blog-post in attempt to name-and-shame the Union protesters" – Our blog-post was published in order to draw attention to the unacceptable behaviour of some of the students and union staff. It highlights the insecurity and intolerance of some who want to silence the pro-life message. The intention is not to shame. Everything in the blog is factual and accurate, from the people who were actually there. It is surprising that the writer of The Leopard’s smear piece presumes to know the intentions of those who wrote the blog-post. In fact, we asked one of the female students if we could take a photo of her, so it was clear to her we weren't trying to use cameras to intimidate.

"Anti-Choice"  - Supporting abortion is not pro-choice, it is pro-killing unborn children. That should be obvious, considering that the article itself mentions that the pro-abortion protesters distributed literature by the Abortion Rights organisation. Numerous comments by the protesters also made it clear that they were pro-abortion and saw abortion as a right. One said: "This is a pro-choice uni, which means a student can have an abortion whenever she wants one". Choice in and of itself is morally neutral; it's a human capacity that can be used for good or evil. To use the cloak of 'choice' is to cover up and silence honest language about the reality of abortion.

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