Bold YAF activists at the George Washington University established their “Cemetery of the Innocents” display again this year in memory of the millions of lives lost to abortion. The simple display of small white crosses in a section of the lawn on the GW quad is a quiet memorial to more than 50 million lives lost in the United States since Roe v. Wade.
As happens all too often on campuses across the country, leftist students almost immediately began vandalizing the conservative students’ display.
Two leftist students approached the YAF activists and said that “the fact that it’s [the memorial] here” means the conservative students “don’t care about people.” The leftists continued to lay into GW YAF co-chair Shannon Bell saying it’s wrong for her to “value the hypothetical lives of the unborn over people who are alive and experiencing suffering.” Bell provided a calm response saying that as someone who “believes life starts at conception” she wants to “defend those lives because they have a right to live and exist.”
The leftists claimed GW YAF’s memorial violated other students’ “right to be comfortable.”
Bell explained that “It doesn’t matter if it makes anyone uncomfortable, we have the right to say it because we have these beliefs.”
Out of worn-out talking points, the exasperated and unsuccessful leftists turned to ad hominem attacks saying pro-life opinions are “sh***y” and “harmful,” and called the YAF activists “the worst.”
Other campus leftists attempted to stifle the YAF chapter’s right to free expression by removing a sign from the display that read “IN MEMORY OF THE LIVES LOST TO ABORTION,” and tearing it up. Shannon Bell again caught them in the act and confronted the vandals.
“Why did you rip up our sign?” asked Bell.
“Because, not letting people have the choice over their own bodies, like, do you really think that’s going to solve anything?” retorted a tearful GW leftist.
“What gave you the choice to come onto my display and rip up the things that I have?” asked Bell. “What makes you think you could just go up and rip up something that you don’t agree with? Why can’t I have the free speech to give my opinion?” she questioned, noting both her YAF chapter and the pro-life display were sanctioned by the university’s leadership.
After being caught red-handed in an act that could have been reported to the campus police department, the vandals’ only reasoning was that “we didn’t see that someone was here to defend it.”
Later in the day The Daily Signal took notice of GW YAF’s conservative and pro-life display in the midst of a liberal campus and sent a correspondent to interview the student organizers and share their story via Facebook live.
“It’s about human life,” said Brandon Whitehill of GW YAF. “We want to remind people and show people that there is a pro-life movement here on campus, that our generation is the most pro-life generation since Roe v. Wade was decided.”
During the 10 minute broadcast, more than 1,000 people voiced their support and appreciation for the YAF students’ defense of life, and within a few hours more than 40,000 people had seen the Cemetery of the Innocents, heard from the club’s leaders, and saw that GW YAF is a conservative force to be reckoned with on a notoriously liberal campus.
The actions of GW YAF’s bold activists prove that when the pressure’s on or when leftists rip up signs and attempt to stop your activism, your persistence can reach farther than you know