LIFE LEGAL DEFENSE FOUNDATION
P.O. Box 2105, Napa, California 94558 — (707) 224-6675
|NEWS RELEASE||October 29, 2008|
|Contact:||Allison K. Aranda, Esq.|
ALAMEDA, Calif.—After spending nearly twelve hours in jail, three college-age members of Campus Life Tour were released at midnight tired, hungry, and glad to have their freedom back. The group was unlawfully arrested yesterday at the College of Alameda, California, while handing out literature on the public campus. Campus Life Tour is a pro-life campus outreach project of Survivors, a Christian, pro-life activism organization dedicated to educating and activating high school and college age individuals. (www.survivors.la)
Upon arriving on campus the group quietly held signs, distributed literature and peacefully dialogued with students. Within moments of their arrival, a campus security guard attempted to dispel a group of curious onlookers ushering them away from the displays. The Alameda Sheriff’s Department was called and instructed the group to leave, threatening them with arrest.
When the members of Campus Life Tour refused to stop their lawful free speech activity and leave the public school property, the three activists handing out literature to students were handcuffed and arrested.
Kortney Blythe, director of Campus Life Tours for Survivors states, “It is now 3:15. My team members have been in jail for three hours for peacefully exercising their free speech rights. It is a travesty that the Alameda sheriff deputies put these heroes in handcuffs claiming they were just ‘following orders.’ Don’t we live in America?”
When the individuals being arrested repeatedly asked why they were being taken into custody the arresting deputy responded that he was just doing what the school president asked him to do.
Allison Aranda, who represents the Survivors in this action, stated “I am appalled that a public college would go to such great lengths to suppress free speech on their public campus. To give one person the sole discretion and authority to deem certain speech too controversial to be spoken in a public forum is unconstitutional.”
Dana Cody, Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, commented “College campuses, traditionally strongholds of free speech and thought, have turned into strongholds of censorship. Whether you agree with Ms. Aranda’s clients’ viewpoint on abortion or not, unless we fight this trend, who will be next? We at LLDF are 100% behind Ms. Aranda’s efforts on behalf of the Survivors.”
Ms. Aranda stated further, “I’m shocked! It is our practice to send a letter to the college at least 24 hours before the planned activity to notify them of the Survivors’ visit to their campus. In this case, the College of Alameda made no effort to contact the Survivors or myself to discuss their opposition to the group’s message. Rather, they simply waited for the group to appear on campus, then had them forcibly removed and placed under arrest. These sorts of blatant civil rights violations by public college officials, who should know better, will not be tolerated. We will not sit idly by and watch our public institutions disregard the constitution.”
Life Legal Defense Foundation, one of the organizations partnering to defend the Survivors in this litigation, is a non-profit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens, committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information call Allison K. Aranda at 951-541-9327.