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Pro-life stall thrown out of country show

23 July 2018

 
Life's belongings from their dismantled stall left in a "safe" location.

The next phase to shut down the pro-life movement in this country

Life is considering legal action after the charity's exhibits at the Lambeth Country show were removed.

Life had applied in January to have a charity stall at the show, and their exhibits focused on scientific images of life in the womb and promoting their counselling services. They say that "on Saturday we had a successful day with many positive responses. However as the evening progressed, a few people became aggressively vocal about our stall and challenged us on our prolife position."

Against council's "values"

Their press release continues: "On arrival Sunday morning, we found our marquee and all of our possessions taken down and completely removed from Life’s pitch. A member of staff said we had to leave the site as soon as possible. Despite having our contact details we were not consulted prior to the organisers taking this action. The organisers told us the decision had not been made by them but by Lambeth Council. They would not give us an exact reason for the action but did say that Life was against the values of Lambeth Council and was not in line with the causes the council has been funding and supporting. However they were then unable to tell us what those values were."

Life refutes councillor Davie's claims that they were not allowed to exhibit by stating: "This is a complete fabrication as we are able to provide confirmation of our official booking, payment and presence on the exhibitor list."

A Life spokeperson told the Croydon Advertiser that the forced removal was an attack on free speech. "This level of censorship is terrifying in a civilised country, it’s like being in a Big Brother state," said Life director Anne Scanlan.  "Even people who will not share our point of view will recognise that. We can’t live in a society where your views cannot be expressed in public. Here we have a clear demonstration of Lambeth Council not allowing all voices to be heard."

Shutting down the pro-life movement

When the High Court upheld Ealing Council's decision to ban pro-life vigils around the Marie Stopes abortion centre, SPUC's Antonia Tully warned that the decision had grave implications for pro-life activity in the UK. "The Ealing verdict heralds the next phase to shut down the pro-life movement in this country," she said, and indeed, the same Lambeth councillor clearly took inspiration from that decision in his actions to remove Life from the show.

Mrs Tully further said: "The Ealing verdict may be affecting only one small part of the country today. Tomorrow we could see this insidious opposition to the pro-life movement spreading throughout the land."

The expulsion of Life from the Lambeth Country Show would seem to be a confirmation of this. SPUC is currently running a major national petition calling on the Home Secretary to oppose any moves to restrict peaceful pro-life citizen's freedom of expression.

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