The Inquirer

Pro-life advocacy leads to conflict in the commons

Rhianna Taylor refuses to move from in front of pro-life banners in the DVC commons, April 10.

Rhianna Taylor refuses to move from in front of pro-life banners in the DVC commons, April 10.

Jessica Gillis

Jessica Gillis

Rhianna Taylor refuses to move from in front of pro-life banners in the DVC commons, April 10.

Lauren Thomas, Staff member

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Presence of the pro-life advocacy organization, Project Truth, sparked conflict in the commons of Diablo Valley College on April 9 and 10. Project Truth’s visits from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. were occupied with fervent dialogue and protest.

Project Truth is an affiliate of  the Sanctity of Human Life Network,  a Christian pro-life non-profit organization. Teams visit high schools and colleges to “educate students about the humanity of the unborn child,” said John Edgar, an organizing member of Project Truth. Edgar described their goal as “trying to make abortion unthinkable.”

To aid in their efforts, Project Truth distributed brochures and displayed a series of banners featuring graphic imagery of aborted fetuses. Banner headings read, “Am I Human?,”Is this Humane?,” “Window into the Abortion Clinic,” and “Window into the Womb.”

“No church, no state, women must decide their fate,” equipped with a megaphone, chants such as this would rise and fall among the assembly of students. Near a dozen students were at the heart of the demonstration. Frankey Hernandez, a public health major at Mills College, has followed the group’s tour schedules since first encountering them last year. Hernandez provided much of the protesting materials, including poster paper, pens and giveaway condoms and tampons.

DVC, in comparison to the other schools Project Truth has visited “it’s on the top of where students are rude, but that’s just a handful,”  said Project Truth’s John Edgar, “They’re very intolerant of other views.” According to Edgar, his group typically visits 20-30 colleges per year.

“They make appeals to fear and pity… giving emotionally charged reasoning,” said Rhianna Taylor, a theater major.

Debate was often high in intensity. Tempers flared. Crowds fluctuated as students passed between classes.

Monday’s events were coming to a close when a reported vandalism occurred. According to Lt. Huddleston of campus police, student Catherine Mason was arrested for vandalism. The case is still under investigation at this time.

Witness to the act, student Dominic Mejia reported seeing a girl approach one one of the pro-life banners, pull out what appeared to be a pocket knife and slice the sign in half. Mejia described her then trying to turn around and walk away, however, police were in close in proximity to the event and made a seamless arrest.

Due to the incident, “eyes are more open,” said Edgar the following day.

Tuesday’s culmination of events was of less intensity than Monday’s. Flare ups were met with police intervention and most discussions, though again fervent, remained civil.

A Facebook post Project Truth made about DVC was a hot discussion topic on Tuesday.

“‘Diablo’ a Spanish word meaning devil. Today an estimated 30 of the students, apparently influenced by their mentor Diablo, were in place on campus on our arrival at 0900,” led Project Truth’s post.

Project Truth’s Facebook post Monday night, April 9.

“It’s insulting… because there are faithful people in our group and they’re calling us devil worshipers and spreading lies,” said Laura Ramirez, a history major.

Many students cried comments that Project Truth was deceptive, insulting and unwelcome.

“They’re spreading false information and making women feel shameful for controlling their own fate,” said student Cassidy Schmidt.

“I feel like our campus is being disrespected,” said Harrison Hollidge, an art major.

Amid student outcry, Project Truth persisted with their message.

“It is wrong to intentionally kill a human life… I believe most people on this campus, if they knew the full humanity of an unborn child they would not go through with an abortion,” said Edgar.

“We want to protect women from the trauma of abortion, from having to make that decision,” said a woman from Project Truth who asked not to be identified.


Editor’s Note: Due to technical issues the first paragraph was omitted by mistake. This issue has been fixed and the omitted paragraph has been added.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Writer
Lauren Thomas, Staff member
Staff member, spring 2018.

9 Responses to “Pro-life advocacy leads to conflict in the commons”

  1. Rhianna Taylor on April 11th, 2018 5:27 pm

    I would like to see the Inquirer address the fact that DVC administration and campus police threatened me with physical violence (“we’re gonna put hands on you”) and with forcible removal from campus for “violating Project Truth’s 1st ammendment right to freedom of speech” by standing where and how I was in the photo accompanying this article.

  2. John Edgar on April 15th, 2018 10:26 am

    Rhianna! It seems ironic to me that as you are attempting to coverup our evidence of violence against innocent humans, you would decry that an attempt by the administration to threaten arrest if you continue to block our free speech, as a threat of physical violence.
    I would hope that you would see clearly that abortion is truly a crime against humanity. Abortion of a human fetus is the intentional killing of an innocent human being. Your sign with the picture in the background speaks volumes to people of conscience and reason. Yes abortion is normal in our culture as have been other crimes against innocent humans in our history. Our goal in bringing our educational display is to make it unthinkable.
    Why are you opposing the free exchange of ideas on your Campus?
    I wish you could have observed all the excellent dialogue that went on during your confrontation with the school administrators.
    No one on our team attempted to shout you down or coverup your sign .
    Rhianna do yo oppose free speech?

  3. Jessica on April 15th, 2018 2:15 pm

    That’s because you are preventing them from exercising free speech. You are allowed to stand next to them with your sign, but you aren’t allowed to cover theirs up. They aren’t allowed to cover your sign, either. You might not like their message, but they have the right to share it.

  4. Sarah on April 12th, 2018 5:06 am

    Why would you release the student’s name when no charges have been filed and a case is under investigation? That’s a violation of their privacy.

  5. Mahrukh Siddiqui on April 12th, 2018 12:52 pm

    It is our policy to name people arrested on campus.

  6. Cesar on April 12th, 2018 10:24 pm

    This policy needs to be changed. The Inquirer needs to think about changing its reporting practices given recent national current events and its own complicity in the recent harassment of students and faculty on campus.

  7. Alexander on April 12th, 2018 6:41 am

    I thought it was really cool to see another group’s view on such an important social issue. Surprising in today’s culture they were quite amiable and respectful. I wish I could say the same about the majority of the protesters representing this college. Ironically, when passing by one of the displays on Monday, I overheard Rhianna Taylor shout at the anti-abortion team , “I don’t care about respect.” Later in that chant she even said that the outside team was being polite and respectful.

    I just happened to be visiting Diablo Valley College that day, and I will say that I hope fellow students will see that people can strongly disagree with each other but still be tolerant in the sense of maintaining civility. I am now becoming convinced that I will not pursue coming to DVC to continue my studies as I would rather learn from a college or university that promotes and practices civility and respectful exchanges of thought. After all, it is college, and that is what we are supposed to do: learn different schools of thought and figure out what is true.

  8. Bella Martinez on April 12th, 2018 11:20 am

    This is a college campus. Grow up and engage in respectful dialogue – that is what higher education is all about.

  9. William Wilberforce on April 12th, 2018 4:35 pm

    Ms Taylor called for students to assault the pro-lifers on Monday. She went on in her ranting to make all kinds of accusations, while fellow pro-choice classmates expressed their disgust with her foul language and tantrums. Ms Taylor cursed the school administrators with f-bombs and did not show tolerance or diversity by her reckless actions. She did not represent most of the students those two days and did not address the real issue that an abortion kills an innocent human being and that a civil society must oppose the genocide of the smallest members of the human species. Tantrums don’t fix problems…civil dialogue does.

By commenting, you give The Inquirer permission to quote, reprint or edit your words. Comments should be brief, have a positive or constructive tone, and stay on topic. If the commenter wants to bring something to The Inquirer’s attention, it should be relevant to the DVC community. Posts can politely disagree with The Inquirer or other commenters. Comments should not use abusive, threatening, offensive or vulgar language. They should not be personal attacks or celebrations of other people’s tragedies. They should not overtly or covertly contain commercial advertising. And they should not disrupt the forum. Editors may warn commenters or delete comments that violate this policy. Repeated violations may lead to a commenter being blocked. Public comments should not be anonymous or come from obviously fictitious accounts. To privately or anonymously bring something to the editors’ attention, contact them.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.


Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Pro-life advocacy leads to conflict in the commons


    First Time, Full Time, Free Tuition available at all Contra Costa community colleges

  • Pro-life advocacy leads to conflict in the commons


    Academic Freedom resolution passes

  • Pro-life advocacy leads to conflict in the commons


    Ancient myth and heavy metal – DVC music pays tribute

  • Pro-life advocacy leads to conflict in the commons


    Low student turnout at Diablo Valley College safety forum

  • Pro-life advocacy leads to conflict in the commons


    Academic Freedom Resolution raises tensions for Academic Senate at DVC

  • News

    ASDVC election nullification leaves future of student clubs and organizations uncertain

  • Pro-life advocacy leads to conflict in the commons


    One ASDVC coalition believes election nullification unfair

  • Pro-life advocacy leads to conflict in the commons


    Art against assault

  • Pro-life advocacy leads to conflict in the commons


    ASDVC election voted null after multiple violations

  • Pro-life advocacy leads to conflict in the commons


    Contra Costa County prosecutor speaks to DVC students about sexual assault

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.
Pro-life advocacy leads to conflict in the commons