Police: Arsonist Set Pro-Life Poster on Fire at Western Washington University

Pro-Life Movement
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images
ALANA MASTRANGELO

An arsonist at Western Washington University set fire to a pro-life poster on Saturday that had been promoting an upcoming speaking event featuring Kristan Hawkins, the president of the pro-life student group, Students for Life of America.

A poster promoting an upcoming speaking event featuring the president of Students for Life of America was set on fire at Western Washington University (WWU), according to a statement by the national organization, adding that campus police are investigating the incident as an act of arson, stating that the fire was “intentionally set.”

“Threats and intimidation of violence should not be tolerated at a university that values free speech,” said Karlie Lodjic, the president of the Students for Life chapter at Western Washington University, “Hawkins’ speech is open to the public and everyone is invited to come and debate and share their beliefs during the Q&A.”

“Yet, these vandals chose to take out their frustration at the mere presence of dissenting points of views by committing an act of arson,” added the student, who also noted that the promotional poster had been put up on the Environmental Sciences building on April 25.

By May 4, just a little over one week after the poster was initially put up, the university’s “Campus Advisory” sent an email informing the campus community that a poster had been set on fire, which had also damaged the wall of the building, and that campus police are investigating the incident as arson.

“University Police were notified of a fire on the outside of the Environmental Studies Building,” read the email obtained by Students for Life of America, “Officers arrived to find that the fire, which had been put out, appeared to be intentionally set by lighting a poster attached to the outside wall on the southeast corner of the building.”

“Someone finally lit that stupid poster on fire,” said one user on Twitter, sharing an image of what appeared to be the arson’s aftermath, in which flames could still be seen on the wall of the building, as well as on a nearby trash can, and one individual hovering over what appears to be a poster on the ground, with the corners of it in flames.

“We strongly condemn this act of violence and intimidation,” said Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins, “We challenge anyone who disagrees with us to come hear the presentation on Thursday instead of resorting to cowardly acts of violence.”

Hawkins is set to speak at WWU on Thursday, May 9, as the final stop for her spring 2019 semester speaking tour, entitled, “Lies Feminists Tell.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.