WATCH: Student arrested for chalking 'Black Pre-born Lives Matter' outside DC Planned Parenthood
Two people were arrested early Saturday morning after writing “Black Pre-Born Lives Matter” with chalk on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood.
The pro-life group behind the event argues that recent BLM street paintings have "opened up the streets of Washington, D.C. for public expression.”
A pro-life college student was arrested Saturday while chalking “Black Pre-Born LivesMatter” on the sidewalk outside of a Washington, D.C. Planned Parenthood clinic.
Erica Caporaletti, a 22-year-old student at Townson University in nearby Maryland, was arrested along with 29-year old D.C. resident Warner DePriest. They were arrested while writing the phrase, and charged with defacing public or private property. They were detained and cited, but reportedly returned to the scene about an hour later.
The pair were participating in a protest organized by Students for Life of America. The group claims it was originally told it could paint in the street, and was even issued a permit.
"After applying and receiving our permit and after being told by the Metropolitan police that the Mayor has 'opened a Pandora’s box' by painting public streets, Students for Life arrived at the D.C. Planned Parenthood on Saturday, August 1st to six police cars threatening to arrest our team and student leaders if we painted 'BLACK PREBORN LIVES MATTER,' even using the temporary paint we bought that the Police Department specifically requested," the group recounted. "When we asked if we could at least use sidewalk chalk to chalk our anti-violence message on the streets, the police threatened to arrest us."
Video footage of the arrest shows Caporaletti rushing to finish as much of the writing as possible before being handcuffed.
“Just weeks ago D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser painted the streets of the city with a powerful slogan, “BLACK LIVES MATTER," explained Students For life in its petition to demand permission from Mayor Muriel Bower to continue painting demonstrations.
“In doing this, she proclaimed not only what those of us in the pro-life genuinely believe and fight for every day in-front of Planned Parenthoods and other abortion facilities across America. But she also opened up the streets of Washington, D.C. for public expression.”
“It’s a scary thing to [be] arrested for something that I’ve done so often, simply share my conviction that abortion is a human rights issue of our day costing the loss of black lives and harming women in this-and every-community,” DePriest told Campus Reform.
“The violence of abortion costs millions of lives across this country every day, and we can’t be silent,” he added.
Our free speech rights are meaningless if we can’t use them, and women need to know that we are here to support and help them, said DePriest
“The fact that two Students for Life of America students were arrested for chalking ‘Black Preborn Lives Matter’ shows that government officials are practicing viewpoint discrimination to unconstitutionally block pro-life American’s Free Speech rights. If you open the door to free speech on the city streets to one group, you can’t shut it to the others,” President of Students for Life of America Kristin Hawkins told Campus Reform.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @SavannahDudzik