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Free speech is dead on university campuses

After Concordia allowed the Netanyahu riot to set a precedent by initially not allowing Ehud Barak to speak, it seems free speech is now only a privilege of the side of rioters. A planned speech by US Ambassador Paul Cellucci at UQÀM was cancelled for “security concerns”:

Following on Concordia University’s decision last month to call off a speech by former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, the Universite du Quebec a Montreal yesterday cancelled an address by the U.S. ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci.

Cellucci was to have spoken at 2 p.m. yesterday at a conference organized by the Raoul Dandurand chair in strategic and diplomatic studies.

[ . . . ]

Nobody was able to say what the nature of the security risk was, but this week a group calling itself Bloquez l’empire (Block the Empire) sent out a statement by e-mail urging Montrealers to rally to “stop Cellucci from speaking.”

The University claimed that RCMP and US Security Officials recommended cancellation. But spokespeople from both deny that claim, and say the decision was made by the University.

The violence-rules contingent is crowing over their success:

Cellucci represents a regime whose ambitions to political and economic domination are expressed ruthlessly, but have the merit, at least, of being openly acknowledged. His legitimacy, especially after the concerns raised about election fraud in the US, should not be recognised. The only place Cellucci should be allowed to speak is before a tribunal, trying him for complicity with crimes against humanity.

The cancellation is a minor victory, and a little indication of what can be done – especially around the coming visit of Bush to Ottawa (30 November-1 December).

If this keeps up, it will kill free speech everywhere. Mob rule is being permitted far too much success. Eventually, only one viewpoint will be represented: that of the groups willing to resort to violence to suppress all speech besides theirs.

Concordia has set a very dangerous precedent. What people need to realize is that yesterday, it was an Israeli former PM who wasn’t allowed to speak. Today, it was a US ambassador. Tomorrow, it may be your speech that’s suppressed.

This is an issue that affects us all.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Patrick B 11.18.04, 7:04 PM

    The Ambassador of our largest trading partner is prevented from speaking by a small gang of thugs.

    An MP of the governing party laughs delightedly as she stamps on a doll fashioned in the likeness of the President of the US.

    The University of Waterloo refuses to censure one of its Professors (who is also the leader of a major Islamic group in Canada) for publicly proclaiming that every Israeli citizen over the age of 18 is a legitinate target for murder by Islamic terrorists.

    Our Prime Minister of Canada sails as close as he can to saying that Yasser Arafat was an inspired and worthy leader as he eulogises the man who invented modern terrorism.

    And we actively defend the klepocratic habits of the United Nations upper echelons because the personal friend and adviser of the Secretary-General is also a senior adviser and personal friend of Paul Martin.

    Just what the hell is happening to this country? We are becoming a silly, spiteful society. We whine incessantly (or at least the eastern media does).

    We lavish tax dollars (the new Fund for Arts Tomorrow pig trough) on anarchistic “art” that aims to destroy every value we stand for, whilst we send troops into harm’s way without equipment, or with equipment more dangerous to them than that of the enemy.

    We think a third-rate journalist like Ralston Saul is a major thinker.

    We tolerate and fund a national broadcaster with laughable ratings that constantly denigrates anyone and any thing that doesn’t fit with its world-view.

    And we accept without whimper that our national government is totally in thrall to the political classes of one province, and we allow that group systematically to milk the federal treasury, and particularly to steal billions of dollars from the only two economically successful provinces of Alberta and Ontario.

    Finally we think there is nothing wrong in the racist rules that prevent anglophones from rising to senior public service positions, thus allowing the creation of a governing class representative only of 25% of the country’s population.

    When are we going to wake up? If we don’t, this country will disintegrate through secession, corruption and political treachery.

  • ElBud 11.19.04, 3:55 AM

    Just to prove the point, it was recently announced that Noam Chimpsky will be speaking at York. No ‘successful’ protests over that one, eh?

  • DaninVan 11.19.04, 4:43 AM

    “…only two economically successful provinces of Alberta and Ontario.”

    Hey! B.C. is economically successful! We can’t help it if Ottawa and the Quebec pirates rob us blind. If we’re having a bad patch, you needn’t look any farther than Cretin, Martin etc. Softwood ring a bell? Offshore drilling? Dept. of Fisheries? Etc., etc…

  • segacs 11.19.04, 5:00 AM

    Some of us in Quebec would like to be economically successful… but it’s hard when our government keeps overtaxing us in order to pay off people’s gambling debts.

  • John Palubiski 11.19.04, 2:52 PM

    You know, universities are meant to encourage critical thought nad intellectual discovery, and UQAM has completely abdicated its role by cancelling the ambassador’s speech. If influencial political figures can be censored, then it only follows that little guys like me have no more right to free expression.

    Assholes like Louis Farakhan are, of course, welcome at any time.

  • TM Lutas 11.19.04, 6:40 PM

    I’d love to do a survey on campus among faculty, staff and students. Just one question (aside from demographics), “Should violent protestors be expelled/fired”. It would be very gratifying for a lopsided yes vote to be recorded.

  • DaninVan 11.19.04, 8:35 PM

    But then Carolyn ‘Pariah’ sets such a fine example for our youth. Seriously.

  • jeremy 11.20.04, 6:10 AM

    I agree that gwb, should be asked NOT to come to Canada, i mean what is he coming for really, to pander to Canada for support, to get into the missile defense league, so that the U.S. can claim operating control of the arctic cirle areas, to get into the tundra of the praries and northern territories to drill for gas and oil for the U.S., maybe he’s gonna set some new American Guidelines for Canada to follow, in this global “fight” on terrorism? Bush can stay home for all I care.

    Free Speech, well, I think we are falling into that dangerous pattern. That there really is NO freedon of speech anymore ( cue Carolyn Parish ) tape… I wonder WHAT they are afraid of hearing from those of us who have something to say for OUR futures?

    Yeah, Quebec needs all that money to pay those Vidoe/gambling debts. This is something that is sickening really!
    That’s why they wanna hike tuition here again, and this year another vote went up to stop the tuition hike. They screw our financial aide, in opt for loans instead of bursaries…. How the hell do they expect payment when they collect astronomical taxes from us to begin with?

    I believe we live under some blatant double standards in University, the media and government.

    WHY can’t we make fun of a foll who happens to be the President of the United States? Do we need to pander to the U.S. Government by forcing people out, and apologizing for it nationally? come on Paul Martin, who;s ass are you really kissing now??
    Please don’t say gwb…cause i will be totally disappointed.

    I’m gettin married tomorrow so no more politica tonight.


  • DaninVan 11.20.04, 5:03 PM

    Jeremy; if you don’t understand the difference and implications of you ridiculing the President of The United States, and an elected Member of Parliament, a Government Member, publicly embarrassing the Government of Canada, then you’re too far gone to help.

  • Joe Geoghegan 11.20.04, 6:35 PM

    Dan, I think it’s safe to assume that Jeremy was pretty inebriated when he made that post. Let’s give him a chance to reconsider the wisdom of his position when he clears up.

    Personally, I think stomping on a figurine of the President is dangerously close in spirit to burning him in effigy.

  • DaninVan 11.20.04, 8:45 PM

    Joe; of course, that explains it! 😉

  • Peter 11.23.04, 4:12 PM

    Of course only the “regimes” that agree with the Arab mob agenda are the “legitimate” governments in the world today

    Did I say “agree with?” I meant “appease.”

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