An example of the evil pro-life clothing
banned by the National Archives
They’re coming for you next: Students and parents and others who had just attended the January 20, 2023 March for Life event in Washington were told by numerous National Archives security officials that day that they must remove or cover any pro-life shirts, jackets, hats, or buttons or they would be ejected from the museum.
From the lawsuit [pdf] filed by three of those pro-life individuals:
Plaintiff L.R., her mother, and her fellow classmates [about 35 people] were ushered through security and into the first group of visitors to enter the Rotunda where the Constitution and Bill of Rights are on exhibit.
…Approximately five minutes later, Plaintiff L.R. and her fellow classmates were suddenly approached by Defendant John Doe 1 who instructed Plaintiff L.R. and her classmates to remove all pro-life attire. John Doe 1 specifically instructed Plaintiff L.R. that she could not be wearing anything pro-life and that she must cover her shirt and not unzip it until she had left the National Archives. John Doe 1 also instructed Plaintiff L.R. and her other classmates to remove their pro-life buttons. John Doe 1 made other classmates standing near Plaintiff L.R. remove their pro-life hats. One such hat contained the inscription, “LIFE always WINS.” Another hat contained the inscription, “ProLife.” Plaintiff L.R. witnessed another guard participate in these instructions to her classmates and at no time did any of the other guards in the Rotunda intercede and provide contrary instruction.
Plaintiff L.R., astonished by John Doe 1’s instructions – given her close proximity to the very documents that prohibit the government’s interference with her First Amendment right to free speech and expression and her free exercise of religion – nonetheless zipped up her jacket and removed her button for fear that she would be thrown out of the National Archives if she did not comply. [emphasis mine]
Another example of evil speech
banned by the National Archives
This same intolerance was also done to other pro-life individuals attempting to view the Bill of Rights, by numerous different security guards in different locations at the museum. All were threatened with eviction if they did not cover or remove the shirts, jackets, or hats that had pro-life statements on them. In one case a group of 30-40 students were ordered by several guards to remove their pro-life shirts, an example of which is shown to the right.
Plaintiff Kallal heard some of the students respond to the order by stating: “We don’t have any other clothing. Just our shirts.” Many of the students were young women who were unable to comply with the order owing to modesty concerns. Plaintiff Kallal heard other students respond that they would rather leave than give up their right to free speech. Plaintiff Kallal observed the whole group of students leave the building.
This story is not the same one I reported on February 2nd, where a group of pro-life students were kicked out of the Air & Space Museum on this same day for wearing pro-life hats. It is just another, almost identical incident that occurred on the same day at a different DC museum, and illustrates the deep intolerant culture that now permeates our government institutions. Though the National Archives immediately apologized for the behavior of its security guards, it also apparently has done nothing to discipline them for their inappropriate behavior. Instead, it has simply “reminded all of our security officers at our facilities across the country of the rights of visitors in this regard.” My heart be still.
In the lawsuit Plainiff L.R. states she intends to attend next year’s March for Life, and fears if she once again tries to view the original documents that enshrined free speech in America, she and her companions fear that the National Archives “will again, even more harshly, single her out, threaten to remove her from the National Archives and/or force her to cover up or remove her religious, pro-life clothing and attire.”
I say, come in mass, hundreds of people, all wearing tons of pro-life clothing, and dare them to throw you all out again. The National Archives has apologized and said this action violated its policies. Let’s find out if that statement is true, or if they were simply lying to get by until the heat dies down and they could then resume their real policy of censorship and intolerance.