News from Europe

Pro-life students terrified after being targeted by protestors in Manchester

Pro-life students attempted to have a talk on abortion and life at Manchester University, when a group of pro-choice demonstrators lashed out at them.

Some of the demonstrators spat on the students, a female committee member was threatened with rape, and Maisie, a pregnant 22 year-old pro-lifer had to be escorted home by the police because she seemed to be in danger. Later, she commented: “We could be in real danger. I felt especially vulnerable, being seven months pregnant I was terrified they would hurt me and my baby girl. Leaving the building was the most terrifying part, we were surrounded and people were screaming in our faces. I knew that it would only take one person to push into me for me to fall and be crushed. It was traumatic; I was shaking the whole time, and I’m still really shaken up. I really thought our lives were in danger. The crowd was extremely violent – spitting, throwing eggs, screaming and swearing. There were around 30 of us and 300 of them. Most of them had their faces covered.”

Even though the police tried to hold back the angry crowd, some of them chased the pro-life students, shouting and swearing at them as they were leaving.

According to Jacob, Treasurer of Manchester Pro-Life Society: “If it wasn’t for the police and security, people would have definitely been physically hurt. It made me feel intimidated and threatened. I was genuinely afraid that we would get hurt physically”.

Madeline Page, director of the Alliance of Prolife Students, stated: “What was so shocking is that this protest was planned in advance and was known to the university and the Students Union (SU). The pro-life students requested security and asked multiple times, but it was dismissed. This meant that by the time the students arrived for their event, they were met by hundreds of protesters outside the door. There were hundreds of people booing and shouting at them, which was just so scary. I think it’s really awful that the SU didn’t provide the security they should have done. I think the pro-lifers’ reaction on the night was brilliant. They showed so much courage, and had to be escorted out by police and they all walked out heads held high. They didn’t react with anger or anything. I’m really proud of them for that because I think that really shows you what pro-lifers are like, that we are calm, cool collected individuals who know that we’re on the side of truth. Obviously afterwards, as they’ve had time to reflect they are of course concerned. Several of them are concerned about even just being on university campus because they’re recognised as people who have shared their photos all over social media. I was speaking to one student who said he couldn’t even go to the library without people approaching him, asking him about his views and harassing him. They are obviously quite concerned for their safety and concerned about how they can continue to have events and continue to share the pro-life message in a way that is peaceful, that is listened to and that they’re not just shut down with lots of abuse and violence.”



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