Demanding free speech, pro-life groups sue D.C. over arrests

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

D.C. pro-lifers arrestedAlliance Defending Freedom has filed a free-speech lawsuit on behalf of pro-life students who are suing Washington, D.C.’s city government.

Last summer, with the city’s approval, far-left demonstrators painted their messages on the newly-named Black Lives Matter Plaza, located near the White House. When pro-life members tried to chalk their pro-life message on a public sidewalk, however, they were arrested (pictured at left).

Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Elissa Graves tells One News Now the city allowed political statements such as “Black Lives Matter” and “Defund the police,” but the pro-life messages from two groups, Students for Life and Frederick Douglass Foundation, were banned.

“And this is unconstitutional,” she insists.

A video of the August incident, which occurred outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, shows a police officer warning two students to stop chalking or face arrest. When they kept chalking, police officers handcuffed them. 

"You know they do this every Saturday, right?" a fellow pro-life activist tells the police.

"This is completely public property," another tells the gathered police officers, who numbered about six in all according to the video. 

J.R Gurley of Frederick Douglass says the group had obtained a permit but was stopped by police when the pro-lifer activists arrived in the morning.

"They did make it abundantly clear that if we so much as used something as simple as chalk that we would be arrested,” he recalls. “Once that was done, of course, they arrested two of our students for trying to write our pro-life messages which is ‘Black Pre-born Lives Matter.’”

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