Archived posts

small-web-version_harperfree_poster.jpg (image) [small-web-version_harperfree_poster.jpg]  

Shades of Ann Coulter? Christie Blatchford cancels University of Waterloo speech.

The right is screaming ‘censorship’. Details so far have been sketchy but Christie Blatchford was forced to cancel her speaking engagement at University of Waterloo after students occupied the stage. Not much in way of hard news right now except for some rightweeters who are blowing several gaskets. Why the organizers, the publisher or the university didn’t have adequate security is puzzling but does mimic Ezra Levant’s big FAIL with Ann Coulter. Perhaps a self-fulfilling proclivity for victimhood? posts details.

Judging from a photo of the event, there were not a lot of people in the audience – dozens perhaps. Is that all the protesters? And they caused Blatchford to cancel?

Don Gardner made the comment that this will only give Blatchford’s new and reportedly racist book on Natives and Caledonia in particular a shot of free publicity. I’d rather the emphasis be on the publicizing of racism than on the demo itself but I fear the media will only pick up on the dirty fucking hippies disrupting another event.

Like the G20, it’s far more important for our journalists that we all act like good little robots and when we don’t sit down quietly all the racism and warmongering that is being protested drains from the story. To the media, a journalist has a right to make a living. Who cares how she makes it?

Great to see students actually making a stand. Expect the media to flock to Christie’s defense. Same old story. Thanks in advance, media.

Cross posted at Let Freedom Rain

30 comments to Shades of Ann Coulter? Christie Blatchford cancels University of Waterloo speech.

  • i didn’t see any hippies up on stage :)

    there were about 20 people actually there to see christie (old, white), another 20 there to disrupt her (youth who can see through her racism). it was great. the older white generation, who were never taught about community due to individualized upbringings, need to start listening to the youth who spend there time fighting against the problems their parents created or perpetuate.

    W M Reply:

    Guess what Dan Kellar? As youth, we spewed the same silly crap about ‘old white guys’, ‘don’t trust anyone over thirty’ was our phrase. You’ve got nothing on us ‘old, white guys’. And while we were at it, we defeated segregation and the worst of the prejudice against black people – ended the cold war (Ronald Reagan) and broke the glass ceiling so that women could aspire to higher positions.
    And we believe in free speech, no matter how much we may not like to hear it. You have some lessons to learn, don’t you?

    dan kellar Reply:


    well you may have done those things 40 years ago (though rascism, sexism, and war still all exist, so you didn’t do a very good job did ya), you gave up, sold out, and now don’t give a second thought to the ongoing genocide of indigenous peoples around the world (and right in canada)due to our system of dominance and capitalism.

    you may have changed some minds back in the 60s, but you did not change the system. i grew up in your system, i was taught by it, and i now reject it for its utter failures.

  • Mark Mercer

    Why weren’t the disruptive protesters removed from the stage, by the police, if necessary? Let’s hear how the university explains its mistakes. Let’s see whether the president apologizes for the cancellation and for the way security mishandled the event. Let’s see whether he makes a public commitment to the integrity of campus events. If he doesn’t, if he tries to make the university’s actions look good or if he expresses any sympathy with the disruption, then tell your children not to apply to Waterloo.

    By the way, freedom of expression, the rule of law, the university as a place of uninhibited talk–these are not matters that should divide left and right. The most serious problem with the left in Canada today is its disdain for freedom of expression and the other civil liberties. If we want to combat racism, we must let everyone have his or her say, even the racists.

  • rabbit

    “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

    Noam Chomsky

    ck Reply:

    Rich, given your side is perfectly ok for arresting & beating those with dissenting views like the Toronto G20. I also know how your side gets all schizo when we dare criticize Harpercons, Tea-partiers or REthuglicans. Not to mention, if Stevie spiteful gets his way, we won’t even be able to criticize his buddy Israel. Free hate speech is ok, but anyone a tad off the far right better shut up. Not impressed.

    rabbit Reply:

    What a spiteful rant. Your commitment to free speech is paper thin.

    And who is “my side”?

    ck Reply:

    We all know who your side is; cut the games.

    Spiteful rant? Further giving yourself away.

    Isn’t Alice in Wonderland waiting for you? I think you’re late. Off with you!

    W M Reply:

    Rabbit, you called ck right on the money. He has no concept of free speech whatsoever – a typical left winger, capable of pretty words but can’t listen to those he doesn’t like. As someone else posted Noam Chomsky’s (a left wing heroine) statement about free speech, I’ll simply refer CK to it. Think it’ll teach him anything?
    No, me neither.

    ck Reply:

    Oh looky here, a new troll! Man, when you decide to take a shit on someone’s site, you make sure to take one of those colon cleansers, doncha? By the by, CK’s a SHE!

  • Jeline

    Freedom of expression should be important to everyone. Not allowing someone to speak because you don’t agree with what they might say makes it look like you aren’t capable of debate. Freedom of expression/speech is one of the most important things we have, or used to have. It amazes me that at a university of all places where there should be intelligence, there are people too fearful to allow someone to speak unless they are presenting a viewpoint they agree with…sad

    ck Reply:

    Racism, hate and bigotry are sad; not only sad, but insane.

    ck Reply:

    Besides, the sound of Blatchy’s voice is just gawd awful. Makes one just wanna drive nails thru their skull.

    Please, Blatchey, herself, had come out against the G20 protesters in Toronto, thus condoning the arrest of anyone speaking against the Harpercons and the rest of the far right. As mentioned, I’m not impressed.

  • shaun

    You throw around words like “racist” and “bigotry” with the same regularity than Nutso himself, Glenn Beck.!

    So, these people should down those they disagree with so they can’t speak. I think I’ll do the same. You won’t let me speak, I won’t let you speak. So, now we’re all shouting and calling each other terrible names. Hmmmm…. I think you’re on to something here!!!!

    If these morons were actually informed and intelligent on the subject they would get their thumbs out of their mouths and actually use all that education to DEBATE the issue.

    ck Reply:

    informed on the subject? This is one dimensional clucking Blatchy Bitchford here. What subject could it be? Bigotry, war mongering, Americanize health care-Wealth care for billionaires, Fuck the poor, fuck the planet. I think I’ve covered it in less than 100 words. See how easy that was?

    W M Reply:

    CK, you’re quite good with your clever ripostes, despite the vulgarity. Now – do you have any solutions for the problems of this planet, as you see them, that don’t involve violating the rights or dignity of people you disagree with?
    No, didn’t think so.

  • Christie Blatchford is paid an obscene amount of money to use the establishment media to propagate Conservative talking points. She is a conduit for that party to spread its message, sometimes verbatim. These student protesters do not have access to the media the way Blatchford does. She has the talent to put words together and knows the right people. These kids may not have that talent and certainly do not know the power people. The students’ only recourse to get their point across – other than student newspapers or blogs – is to exercise their democratic right to protest. It is up to the organizers or the speaker to arrange for security when that speaker is controversial.

    Blatchford – like Coulter before her – was under no threat. The only threat to Blatchford was that people who do not share her particular brand of war love and disdain for people of lesser means were about to challenge her and were occupying the same stage. Freedom of expression is for everyone, not just rich propagandists. If there was a law against what the students were doing or if the protesters offered any real danger to Blatchford, the law should have been called immediately. They were not. She could have spoken but she – or the organizers – chose not to. The protesters exercised their freedom to speak out and challenge peacefully – Blatchford fled.

    Clancy Reply:

    Your comments are patently false. I was there. Blatchford wanted to speak but was strongly persuaded against it when it was clear the protesters were determined to prevent her from being heard over their shouts. Many of us in attendance were appalled that the law was not enacted and the protestors were not removed. The protesters were not going to allow anybody’s opinions to be heard except their own. And what a shame. I would have greatly enjoyed hearing the reasoned opinions of those against Blatchford’s book. But instead, all we got was the shrill shouts of children in tantrum.

    ck Reply:

    OK Shaun, why’d you change your name? For openers, as a migraine sufferer who has heard the sound of Bitchford’s voice, I can honestly tell you that driving nails through my skull would more comforting.

    Rich! Typical, though. The gospel of Bitchford must spread her shrilly bigotry, hate and war mongering, but no one’s allowed to protest it?? Anyone who was properly raised just gets to shut the fuck up???

    Clancy Reply:

    I don’t mind a good protest at all. I have been actively involved in social justice movements and environmental issues for years. Which is why I wanted to attend this particular talk. But this protest… this one was specifically designed for mere anarchy and chaos. The protestors here (who bring a legitimate perspective to this subject) actually managed to place themselves in the role of the schoolyard bully, while handing Ms. Blatchford the opportunity to play the victim card. They hurt their cause.

    ck Reply:

    Please, Bitchford, like Coulter before her, stage their own drama for publicity, as if the drama is more interesting than the speech. Come to think of it, it must be. That was more than likely choreographed.

    Jay Reply:

    ck, your responses are just oozing with hatred.

    How can you take a positive stance against hatred and bigotry when you discuss matters with such indifferent hatred?

    ck Reply:

    Lessee,now….hating the hateful? Yeah, I can see how tricky that can be for you

    ck Reply:

    Jymn, my dear, I couldn’t have put it more eloquently.

  • The university has issued an apology:

    Apology after author is silenced
    University officials issued a statement yesterday in the wake of a Friday night incident in which Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford was prevented from speaking at a scheduled event in the Humanities Theatre.

    A group of protesters took exception to what they called the “racist” attitude of her book Helpless, which deals with the four-year standoff over native land claims in the village of Caledonia in Ontario’s Haldimand County. Blatchford had been invited to campus by the university bookstore to speak about her book. After some time, it was announced that her talk would be rescheduled.

    The events of the evening were live-blogged by the Wilfrid Laurier University student newspaper The Cord, and got some media attention yesterday.

    Says the statement that was issued by the university yesterday: “The University of Waterloo was disappointed that a guest invited to share a particular perspective on a topic of importance to Canadians was silenced by protesters. Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford was scheduled to appear at the university on Friday night to discuss her new book Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All of Us. Due to safety issues, the university decided to reschedule the event.

    “The university considers Friday’s events as an attack on its presence as a place where issues are explored, discussed and at times debated. The freedom to speak and to learn is fundamental to the institution. Waterloo’s ethical behaviour policy states: ‘The University is an autonomous community which exists to further the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and understanding through scholarship and teaching. The University aims to ensure an environment of tolerance and respect and believes that the right of individuals to advance their views openly must be upheld throughout the University.’ To ensure there is no doubt of the university’s convictions, Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur apologized to Ms. Blatchford, on behalf of the university community, for Friday night’s disruption. He has asked the community to begin planning for a safe, open and respectful dialogue featuring Ms. Blatchford and her book.”

  • Where we juxtapose, CC style. Rightbloggers are suddenly AOK with protesters at speeches – as long as it is wingnuts at a progressive speech. Notice how they love the energy and violent streak of a mob of rightists protesting a lefty speech.

    I say go for it. It’s democracy, people. Innit it?

    W M Reply:

    Yes Jymm – it IS a democracy. That’s why the students should have permitted Blatchford to speak, and then engage her intelligently and civilly on the issues.
    You, and CK, don’t understand democracy, OR free speech, that much is quite clear.

    ck Reply:

    Free speech or hate speech? There is a difference. Either way, the protesters didn’t cancel her speech; the organizers did. If she’s goin’ to speek, then she should face and answer her critics. The organizers were going to have none of that.

    Jymn Reply:

    But I do understand the US’s “right to gather” principle that is laid out clearly in the “First Amendment”. That’s a perfectly good example of democracy in action. (In a non-democratic country – say North Korea or Saudi Arabia, for example – you cannot gather and protest.) No one was stopping the G&M writer from speaking. She – or the organizers – were too frightened to do so because a small number of people might have shouted questions at her, much like they did at the Galloway rally to which I referred. You might want to take the time to read and evaluate the post before responding like a hand-written sign at a Tea Party protest.

  • [...] was disappointed that my alma mater, the University of Waterloo (UW), after the Christie Blatchford debacle last month. Et tu, Waterloo I mumbled to no one in [...]