Battles for Freedom
- June 5, 1999
a more complete assortment of pictures of the communists who attacked the
- See a real video clip
of the whole riot!
- Time: 2:26 - June 6, 1999 [824 KB]
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clip now in real time
Victoria and region is the Mississippi of
Canada, with a police force that rivals in incompetence and bigotry the
goonish Southern sheriffs of yesteryear.
The B.C. capital region police regularly stop motorists in four-car
roadblocks, nosily demanding: "Where are you going? What are you doing
there? Have you had anything to drink?" However, when it comes to
preventing anarchist thugs from shoving and intimidating people trying
to attend a free speech meeting, they are nowhere to be found. In fact,
on June 5, one officer, when asked to intervene to assist an incapacitated
senior citizen with a walker trying to get by anarchists blocking the meeting
entrance, said he couldn't as he was "afraid."
On June 5, 55 people, many of them seniors had to pick their way over
protesters who sat down and blocked the entrance to the Nellie
McClung Library in Saanich, scene of the fundraising event for journalist
and World War II hero Doug Collins. The event, sponsored by the Canadian
Free Speech League, raised $732 in a collection to assist Doug
Collins in his application for judicial review before the Supreme Court
of British Columbia to appeal
his conviction earlier this year by a one-man B.C. Human Rights Commission
tribunal for having written columns "likely" to promote "hatred
or contempt" of privileged special interest groups.
As people began arriving for the meeting they were greeted by screaming
protesters from the Trotskyist
International Socialists, the Capital Region Race Relations Association
and the University of Victoria New Democrats. The anarchist mob, some hiding
behind bandannas and others sporting red armbands, chanted: "Immigrants
in; Nazis out."
A recent refugee from behind the Iron Curtain recognized careful communist
organization in the mob's tactics. Older people trying to step over the
protesters, were shoved from behind. Then, the instantly aggrieved protester
let out a howl that he'd been assaulted.
- 78 year old war hero Doug Collins
has to fight his way through a sea of communist stooges.
When he arrived,
78, a veteran of the Second Gloucesters in the British Army, with 11 escapes
from German POW camps to his credit, was
the back by an East Indian male and had to shove his way through the mob.
Several others tried to drag the sturdy veteran North Shore News columnist
to the ground. "I still have a few punches left," he told a cheering
audience later that night.
- [Left] Notice the "real tough'
piece of trash holding a stick to try to stop Collins!
Frightened library personnel had phoned the police as the mob swarmed
over library property and blocked the entrance to the downstairs meeting
hall. It took the police, whom Doug
Christie, general counsel for the Canadian Free Speech League, had
contacted more than a week before, 20 minutes to show up. When they
did, they sat in their cruiser, letting people be obstructed and harassed.
Only once did they make an ineffectual foray and politely ask the protesters
to let those interested in the free speech meeting pass.
led by Ben Issit of the International Socialists, carried signs that read:
"The CFSL are Nazis; Nazis Out!" "Self-Determination for
First Nations" and "No Tax $ for Hate." Issit wore an incongruous
yellow Star of David, along with a Canadian government-supplied "Stop
Racism" pink and black button.
- Doug Christie blamed the indifferent
authorities for permitting the mob to exercise a "heckler's veto."
Introducing Doug Collins, Christie, Canada's most outstanding legal
defender of free speech, said: "Doug Collins fought in a war for freedom
and now he has to fight his way through a mob. God help us if we ever have
to depend on that mob out there for our freedom. I asked: 'What kind of
people are you who would try to stop an old man from entering a meeting.?'
All they did was scream and chant."
to the still chanting mob, who every now and again interrupted their slogans
to let out a war whoop, feature speaker Collins said: "There
you see the Canada of the future and it wouldn't be very different from
Speaking to the standing room only crowd, Collins warned that the attack
on free speech is "going on at all levels." For instance, "the
Regina Leader Post refused an ad because the local human rights commission
warned that it contained discriminatory opinions about gays."
Collins quoted U.S. professor Kevin Macdonald who has said: "Hate
laws have no place in a free society. They are tools in the hands of repression."
noted that the hostility to free speech extends even to elements of Canada's
Supreme Court. "Three years after the human rights act amendments
that were aimed at me passed in B.C., Madam Justice Heureux-Dube gave expression
to her view that the law was a fine one."
Explaining the ongoing threats to free thought in Canada, Collins warned:
"There are organizations
in this country who want to criminalize holocaust denial. They've done
it in Germany and, make no mistake about it, that's what they want to do
He explained that during the debate in B.C. on the NDP amendments to
the human rights legislation that brought in the press gag law under which
he was convicted of a discriminatory practice, cabinet minister Corky Evans
had argued: "We need the law because the courts don't always do what
we want them to do."
Dealing with the much bandied about term "hate", Collins
charged: "It's the special interest groups like B'nai
Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress
and some of the immigrant groups that are the haters."
Collins blasted the B.C. human rights procedures. "It's a kangaroo
court where truth is no defence. If truth is no defence, lies prevail.
You can be fined for hurting someone's feelings. There is no right of appeal
under the Act. Finally, the complainant gets legal aid, even if he's a
billionaire like Bill Gates."
Referring to recent efforts by lawyers for the B.C. Attorney General's
Department to seek to quash Collins' application for judicial review, he
said: Attorney General "Ujjal Dosangh and his gang don't want the
issue to get to the courts at all."
Collins has twice been charged under B.C.'s notorious press gag law.
Acquitted the first time, he was charged again last July on a complaint
by Victoria businessman Harry Abrams of B'nai Brith. The judgement by one-man
tribunal Tom Patch came down in February, 1999. It found that "individually
the four columns didn't constitute hate, but collectively they did,"
"They said I was subtle. I've never been accused of being subtle.
I'm about as subtle as a sledgehammer. They said they knew what I really
meant. You don't have to be a mind reader to know what they meant -- censorship,"
Collins told the meeting which gave him a standing ovation.
A recent article in The Economist ranked
Canada tenth among nations for freedom of the press, behind the U.S., Spain,
Portugal, Japan, and the Czech Republic.
- Paul Fromm, Director of the Canadian Association for Free
- Paul Fromm presents a cheque to Doug Collins on behalf
- of the Canadian Association for Free Expression
Fromm said: "In World War II, they had a song, 'There'll always
be an England.' Doug, there will always be men and women of good will across
this great Dominion who respect free speech and honour your courage and
determination. On behalf of your many friends in Ontario, here is our initial
donation of $500 toward your defence fund."
During the question period, Peter Pollen, the former mayor of Victoria
said: "I was mayor of this city for eight years. I don't agree with
all that Doug Collins says, but he's a valiant man and I'm here to support
freedom of speech. Ben Isset, a terrible creature with a megaphone, who
was himself acting like a fascist, called me a 'fascist' and a 'Nazi' as
I entered the hall tonight and I had said nothing."
Harry Abrams, who brought the most recent complaint against Doug Collins,
told the Victoria News (May 28, 1999): "'Shame on them. Shame on them'
... for allowing the [CFSL] to meet. 'This doesn't have to be in our public
facilities. ... Why the hell do we have to have these people spreading
hatred in our public spaces?"
- Also see
the June '98 Battle of Victoria
- The Gallant
29 Hold the Line for Freedom of Speech