A sign on all the entrance of all four crosswalks of Kuhlman Court read, “Warning: Genocide Photos Ahead.” From Dec. 7 to Dec. 9, large billboards depicting aborted babies, the Holocaust, a Confederate flag and police brutality, among others, filled the center of the green space.
The group called the Genocide Awareness Project creates a “mobile display that has reached millions of students on college and university campuses in the U.S. and Canada,” according to their website. They are unaffiliated with MU.
Several campus organizations released statements speaking out against the Genocide Awareness Project. Mizzou Students for Life, which in 2012 facilitated the arrival of GAP on MU’s campus, spoke out against the group on Monday.
“The underlying ideas of the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) align with those of our organization- Abortion is never the right option for pregnant women; however, we do not support their decision to come to the University at this time,” said the Mizzou Students for Life in a statement on Facebook. “The images presented by this organization can be offensive, thus, we do not believe their methods of getting the pro-life perspective across are helpful or conducive to rational dialogue.”
Student Amina Zuna decided to join the counter protest because of how upset she was in regards to how the group is using the term “genocide”.
“My family was affected by the genocide 20 years ago in Bosnia, and it really sucks to see abortion being compared to an ethnic cleansing of a group people,” Zuna said. “It’s incomparable and I personally think that every woman should do what she pleases with her body.”
The Feminist Student Union also released a statement and created the hashtag #Mizzouisnt in order to show MU’s values, they said in their statement released on Facebook.
“It would be remiss of us here at the Feminist Student Union if we did not only speak out against not allowing anyone what is best for themself, but also if we stayed silent on these racist, anti-Semitic, and white supremacist images that this group is using,” the Feminist Student Union said in their statement.
The Jewish Student Organization agreed with FSU in that the pictures shown are considered to them as anti-Semitism and that it is inappropriate to be on campus in a letter posted on Facebook.
“The display is large and in a prominent position on the University of Missouri campus, so that many students are forced to view this display,” said the Jewish Student Organization in a statement online. “The images and comparisons made are not only inaccurate; they are offensive, and triggering to students … This organization hijacks the tragedies that groups have faced in order to progress their political, anti-abortion agenda.”
Jessica Ellis decided to stand outside to protest the Genocide Awareness Project after seeing more people come and share the discontent.
“Counter protests are important because it’s important to let people know that it’s okay to think that this is wrong and that this doesn’t have a [place] on our campus,” Ellis said.
The student organizations could not be reached for comment.