A “Free Speech Zone” Couldn’t Stop Us from Changing Minds at Kamala Harris’ Speaking Tour Stop in Florida 

Caroline Wharton - 02 Oct 2023
Guest post by Southeast Campus Formation Coordinator Mary-Logan Miske

GUEST POST: When Vice President Kamala Harris geared up for her third “Fight for Our Freedoms” tour stop at Florida International University, Students for Life of America (SFLA) rallied to peacefully protest her abortion extremism outside the event.  We gathered with signs that read “Fight for Our Freedom” that had an image of a preborn baby, reminding on-lookers that babies in the womb have the right to life and challenging them to question Harris’ support of abortion. As we gathered outside of the event, there were more than a hundred students waiting in line.  

After about an hour, two policemen approached us while we were talking with students and told us our pro-life signs were a problem. If we wanted to hold them, we needed to be in the designated “free speech zone” across the street. This wouldn’t have been such an issue if it weren’t for the fact that this spot was blocked by their large vehicles and next to caution tape. With that being the case, however, it would be harder for us to speak to eventgoers. 

Letting the policemen know our priority was conversations, we gave all our signs to another student, and he went across the street so we could continue conversing. About 20 minutes later, one of our students created a poll on a poster that read, “Do you agree with Kamala Harris that abortion should be legal up until birth?” This followed the instructions we were given as it was not a pro-life sign or display. Additionally, there were abortion supporters present who were having students register to vote and asking them to sign their pro-abortion petition to ensure the university does not interfere with so-called “abortion rights.” 

However, when the policeman came back, they had an issue with our polling question, telling us, “You cannot have signs in this area.” 

I said, “We understand, but we thought we could have a poll like the other students.” The policeman responded, “Because they are with a delegated and official voting group, they are allowed to ask students to participate.” 

When I told them that we understood and wouldn’t work with any signs so we could continue to speak with peers peacefully, I was informed that even my shirt was a problem as it was considered a sign. I explained that the clothes we wear are a part of our freedom of speech and can be worn in any area. We compromised to keep the peace, though, by standing across the street but near the pathway to be able to speak to students and hold our signs. 

And it was so worth it! We spoke to 83 students on campus and changed nearly 10 people’s minds, including some who were attending the Kamala Harris event. At the end of our event, we also tallied up our poll on late-term abortions, and the majority of the students voted that they didn’t support Kamala Harris’ stance.  

It’s important to speak up boldly in our convictions even when we fear the outcome. We had a conversation with a fellow student who first identified as “pro-choice” but then quietly told us he is pro-life. He didn’t want to say it loudly out of fear people would hear him. By the end of our encouraging conversation, however, he voted no on our poll and felt called to speak up. 

These are the stories that should motivate us and help us understand that there is power in our voice, and our courage can be contagious. If not us, who will speak for the freedom preborn children deserve — the right to live? Sadly, not our own Vice President so we need to be their voice even when ours shakes. 

READ NEXT: Abortion Supporters Mobbed Me, Ate a Preborn Baby Model, & Jumped on the Police Car I Escaped In  

Share this post