Sunday, July 25. Free speech supporters converged from London, Niagara,
Hamilton, Mississauga, Uxbridge, Oshawa, Whitby, Toronto and Mississauga to
stage the sixth in a series of protests outside the Metro West Detention
Centre in Toronto for imprisoned German-born publisher Ernst Zundel. The
65-year old political prisoner is now in his 18 month of solitary
confinement in a Canadian jail.
The free speech supporters were organized by
the Canadian Association for Free Expression, the Northern Alliance and the
Canadian Heritage Alliance.
All three groups have blasted the whole
Zundel process. The German revisionist publisher is held under a "national
security" certificate. The much compromised Canadian Security Intelligence
Service (CSIS) contends that Mr. Zundel is a threat to national security
because he's a terrorist.
"Mr. Zundel is a life-long pacifist," Paul
Fromm, Director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression thundered
over screams, obscenities and hoots from a motley and masked group of ARA
protesters bussed in a tawdry yellow school bus by their shadowy
"Mr. Zundel was a model immigrant. For 42
years, he paid taxes and created jobs. His crime? He thought for himself and
challenged a view of history sacred to powerful interest groups in our
society," Fromm explained. "We oppose secret hearings where the defence is
not told the evidence, the charges or the witnesses and, therefore, cannot
answer them," said Fromm to cheers from the mostly young free speech
The 25 Anti-Racist Action protesters, at
least one of whom was armed with illegal mace, arrived on a school bus. "Who
paid for the bus?" protest organizer Marc Lemire asked. "Those scumbags
don't look as if they have $10 if you turned them upside down ands shook out
all their change."
the past, the ARA has been supported by anti- free speech lobby group the
League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith and by Metro Toronto City Council and
the provincial Trillium Foundation. This despite the fact that the ARA
sports the symbols of anarchism and claims to oppose governments and
When the ARA pulled up in their school bus,
they tried to charge out with 2 by 4's with a ARA banner attached. Their
rather pudgy leader started screaming on his megaphone to "stop" since most
of the ARA types who tried to rush the protest were already on the ground.
Until the police arrived, the ARA just
screamed on their megaphone and stayed a good distance back. Their shady
looking leader was screaming on his megaphone "another cheeseburger". The
drugs have scrambled his brains and, perhaps, he thought he was at Burger
Fromm had alerted 23 Division in Rexdale that the ARA would be trying to
disrupt the CAFE Support Ernst Zundel protest. A half dozen police were
visible on the edges of the provincial jail property when he ARA arrived.
The police did nothing as the confrontation
escalated and several ARA slashed at free speech protesters with their
wooden sticks. A quick flurry of blows from some sturdy young free speechers
sent the masked street people squealing back for safety. When the police
arrived, as usual the ARA got louder and more threatening.
One loud self-identified Indian, who seemed
to smell of Aqua Vela, was screaming from behind his covered face, that he
was going to kill the free speech supporters. Then, another ARAer, grabbed
the microphone and started a chant that said: "Paul Fromm - liar liar we are
going to set your ass on fire". Strangely, the officers on the scene did not
considered this a death threat. This curious kid gloves treatment was
similar to the police turning a blind eye in 1995 when the ARA was putting
out posters on how to firebomb Zundel's house. Months later someone
firebombed Zundel's house, and no charges have ever been laid against
anyone. Surprise surprise?
Among the screeching females in the ARA ranks
was one masked woman who sported a hat with a large communist red star.
Paul Fromm took the microphone and gave a great inspiring speech about the
situation Ernst Zundel faces, loud chants of "Free Zundel" filled the air.
He challenged the screaming anarchists. "You claim to be against the state,
but you're here supporting unlimited detention of a man who's not even
charged with a crime. You're here supporting secret trials. You're doing
that State's work for it and you claim to be anarchists!"
City TV and CTV were present, although the
reporters didn't interview any of the free speech supporters..
"The policing was disgraceful," Fromm told a
dinner gathering after the event. "They failed to separate the two sides.
The ARA should have been directed to stand across the street. The police did
nothing to stop the physical confrontation." Observers noted that a van with
mounted officers was parked nearby but not used.