Case dropped against professor arrested for protesting anti-abortion display
Laury Curry, an adjunct professor in UB's Media Study Department, was arrested April 15 for disorderly conduct in protesting an anti-abortion display in front of the Student Union. YouTube Screenshot
The disorderly conduct charge against Laura Curry, an adjunct media study professor, was dropped on Thursday morning.
Curry appeared in front of Judge Mark Farrell in Amherst Town Court almost a month after she was arrested for using profane language to demonstrate her distaste for a graphic anti-abortion display presented by UB Students for Life and the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.
The display - which was stationed outside the Student Union from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 15 and 16 - showed pictures of dismembered fetuses and compared abortions to genocide, child abuse and hate crimes. Curry, who was arrested the first day of the display, still believes it was profane.
Curry used the work "f***" repeatedly and told University Police, "I'm not being disorderly." She pointed at the display and said "that is disorderly" and "[the images] are swearing to me."
Shortly thereafter, Curry was arrested. Some students and community members were outraged. Three days after her arrest, approximately 600 people signed Stand With Laura Curry, a petition that called for the dismissal of her case.
Judge Farrell ruled the First Amendment protected Curry's self-expression at the rally.
"[The community support] has been amazing," Curry said. "The friends that I have made in Buffalo and the people I didn't know here have stepped up and given support personally and through funds. It made it a lot easier to tolerate."
Since the incident, Curry has received a "s*** ton" of personal hate mail, she said. Some messages were uninformed, violent and menacing, she said, and some weren't written in "any language [she] would want to repeat."
The professor and artist said she has not allowed the incident to bring her down. She and Cayden Mak, a media study instructor who was involved in organizing Curry's support committee, raised $316 to cover her legal fees. Only $300 was needed and Curry plans to use the remaining $16 as the first donation to an "abortion fund" she is starting.
"I want to be able to have a fund where young women and men, who care about women, will have the resources for education and action," Curry said. "There will be a way for people to have resources when needed to make choices."
To raise more money, Curry plans to perform a one-woman show - the working title is Laura Says F**k - to present her ideology through her art. Though the performance is still in development, Curry raffled tickets for opening night at a fundraiser Mak organized on May 7.
Curry said she hopes to shed light on the mistakes made prior to and during the protests. She believes UB should have warned students such a graphic display about a sensitive topic was going to be set up in the most common area of the campus. She also believes people should not be punished for their reactions to something like the display - which was meant to elicit an emotional response, according to Christian Andzel, the president of UB Students for Life.
"I feel the freedom of expression and speech is very important anywhere on the university campus," Andzel said. "If the judge believed [Curry's] actions fell under her right to freedom of expression and speech, then I stand with the judge, even if I thought she did not need to escalate the already-intense environment."
Curry said her conversation with UB regarding the incident is ongoing.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More ubspectrum News Articles
Recent ubspectrum News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR UBSPECTRUM NEWS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST UBSPECTRUM NEWS
- Anthone Taylor uses motivation from his departed friend and current mentor to...
- Perfume Genius’ “Too Bright” casts a strikingly subtle shadow
- Animals deserve protection, but Andre Robinson doesn’t deserve jail time
- Beauty is in the details: FIFA 15 review
- From the Cradle to the Grave and back
- Lost identity in the Sonora Desert
- McCarley Gardens residents ‘at ease’ for now in Buffalo
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- When It Comes to Winter Roof Checkups, the Attic Is Your...
- Is It Time to Sell Your Structured Settlement for Cash?
- Pest Proof Now to Protect Homes for Winter
- 3 Fishermen Rescued at Sea Thanks to GPS Device
- Mes de la Hispanidad inspira liderazgo, empoderamiento,...
- Majority of Moms and Moms-to-Be Believe in Public...
- Wineries Speak Up About the Benefits of Using Natural Cork
- Taking a Holistic Approach to Fit Living
- Wondering if it's Time to Buy a New Car? Just Check Your...
- Smartphone to Become Wallet -- Are Customers, Businesses...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- Over 2,000 Groups Prepare to “Hit the Streets” with Volunteers and Celebrities for National Voter Registration Day on September 23, 2014
- Peace Corps Director Calls on College Students to Make a Difference After Graduation Through International Service
- USA NETWORK AND VERIZON LAUNCH THE “CHARACTERS UNITE COLLEGE TOUR” COMPETITION FOR STUDENTS TO BRING A USA NETWORK CELEBRITY AND A WORTHY CAUSE TO THEIR CAMPUS
- WHEN GEORGIA SMILED: THE ROBIN MCGRAW REVELATION FOUNDATION TEAMS WITH PIVOT AND STUDENTS OF THE WORLD TO LAUNCH THE #iASPIRE GRANT CONTEST
- Latino Groups Launch National Campaign to Deliver Record Latino Turnout for 2014 Midterm Elections