An awesomely brave and inspiring student at UBC – Justine Davidson – has bared it all to show her opposition to GAP’s despicable and obscene message that women are just like Nazi mass murderers. But now the UBC administration is charging her with misconduct – not for taking her clothes off, but for “disrupting” the GAP display! Even though all she did was sit there – in total control of her own body – and GAP didn’t even complain.
On Thursday, March 8 — International Women’s Day, it so happened — I took off all my clothes and sat naked in the plaza in front of the UBC students’ union building. I did so as a counter to the large signs erected by the Genocide Awareness Project, an anti-abortion group which comes to the campus once a year to “graphically expose the injustice of abortion” (according to their website). The following is an explanation of why I did it, and also a discussion of how the University of British Columbia responded. I hope it will prompt people to think about free speech, our right to protest against things we find abhorrent, and what role the university plays in restricting or allowing protest.
And this is the kicker – the university has translated the campus security guard’s allegation that I “disrobed in the plaza…” into an allegation that I disrupted the GAP display. In other words, UBC is laying charges on behalf of a “victim” who never even made a complaint. I expected that there would be repercussions to my actions that day, but I never suspected the university would come to the defence of a highly controversial anti-abortion group WHICH DIDN’T EVEN ASK TO BE DEFENDED (I try not to descent into all caps, but seriously, this is too much).
Go read the entire incredible story at the link – it goes to Justine’s blog – and then please write emails of protest to Chad Hyson, executive co-ordinator at the office of the vice-president (email@example.com) and UBC president Stephen Toope (firstname.lastname@example.org).