Less than a mile from Franciscan University of Steubenville’s campus, a group of students gathered at Harding Middle School in Steubenville to peacefully and silently protest Hillary Clinton’s campaign’s abortion on-demand policy.
Former President Bill Clinton was scheduled to speak in the gym of the middle school on Tuesday in support of his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Several students stood quietly with red tape over their mouths with the word “Life” written in black capitalized letters.
“Everything went relatively smoothly until the very end of the event,” said junior theology major Patrick Knight. “We had strategically placed ourselves in the back to be in direct view of the five or six news cameras positioned right behind us. As we turned around to face the still-rolling cameras after Clinton had left the podium, we were greeted by several campaign volunteers blocking our view with Hillary 2016 signs….The strange thing is that there was hardly any dialogue.”
A video uploaded to YouTube by Charlie Spiering, a reporter for Breitbart News Network, shows Clinton supporters raising a large Clinton campaign flag in front of the protestors chanting “Hillary! Hillary!” while other supports shielded the protestors from media cameras with cardboard signs.
The protestors didn’t flinch, remaining silent and standing. David Johnson, a junior communications arts major, said that he wished that there was more openness to discussion between the group and the Clinton supporters.
“I do believe people should have the right to oppose me,” he said. “But that’s just not what was going on here. These people weren’t offering opposing viewpoints. They were just doing everything in their power to silence our voice, or lack thereof.”
The evening before the event, Franciscan University’s Young Americans for Freedom club sent a mass email to students on its email list in order to organize the pro-life protest.
“There are no plans to disrupt the event in any way,” the email said, “just to be witnesses for life.”
Knight said he participated “to be a silent reminder that there is absolutely no excuse for the disvalue of human life that the Clinton campaign is in support of…The value of human life does not begin at birth.”
According to an article published by the Herald-Star, former president Clinton was the headline in a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as part of the “Stronger Together” two-day bus tour through Eastern Ohio, a tour set to reach out to voters in Ohio, a swing state, one week before the deadline of the Ohio voter registration and the beginning of early voting.