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Young Pro-Life Activists Arrested at George Mason University Virginia for Free Speech Activity

Contact: Kortney Blythe, Director of Campus Life Tours (CLT), Survivors, 704-778-2702, campus@survivors.la

FAIRFAX, Virginia, Jan. 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- On January 26, 2009, two college-age members of the Survivors Campus Life Tour were arrested at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, while distributing literature on the public campus.

From the time of their arrival on campus the group quietly held signs, distributed literature and peacefully dialogued with students. When a student complained about the pro-life presence on school, an officer asked the Survivors to leave the campus. When members of the Campus Life Tour refused to stop their free speech activity and leave the public school property, the two team members handing out literature to students were handcuffed and arrested. They were charged with causing a disturbance, although the police later described the group as polite, well behaved, courteous, and respectful.

Kortney Blythe, director of Campus Life Tours for Survivors states, "My team members were peacefully exercising their free speech rights. To deny them that right is unconstitutional and is nothing more than content-based viewpoint discrimination. I find it unethical for the college and the police to arrest people for simply exercising their rights to free speech. No matter what the subject, the Constitution guarantees the right to free speech and no school administrators should ever be allowed to take that right away simply because they don't like the message."

Cristianna Cherf, 21, one of the team members who had been arrested commented, "I feel like these arrests are unfortunate because my mission is to reveal the truth of abortion, not to fight for my First Amendment rights. The right to free speech is a rudimentary right that every American should be able to exercise with confidence. It saddens me that so much of my time was consumed with my most basic rights being violated and infringed upon, when I was there to peacefully and respectfully educate students on the abortion debate."

Campus Life Tour is a pro-life campus outreach project of Survivors. The team of young people travel throughout the United States with educational displays designed to introduce the abortion debate to high school and college campuses. For more information about Survivors, visit www.survivors.la.