Last night two dozen anarchists tried to invade and disrupt a Vancouver lecture by Toronto teacher Paul Fromm, sponsored by the Canadian Association for Free Expression. Several scruffy anarchists in their 20s forced their way into the meeting room at the Croatian Cultural Centre. They refused to pay their admission fee and refused repeated requests to leave.
Other anarchists attempted to shove their way into the meeting. They fought with several people trying to deny their admission. Speaker Paul Fromm was dragged out into the hall, assaulted, and had his suit jacket ripped, before being rescued by several sturdy union members in attendance.
Having been expelled from the meeting, the anarchists, mostly “white”, but including several East Indians, started to pound on the glass windows of the hall, threatening to break them. The police finally arrived and calmed the mob. The meeting finally got under way an hour late. Part way through, the mob, now supplemented by rercruits from a local radical cafe, began pounding on the windows as television cameras arrived to film the event. The television crews made no effort to interview Mr. Fromm or a CAFE spokesman.
At the end of the meeting, police escorted the 60 participants to their cars. Thr frustrated anarchists, having been unable to halt the meeting, denounced the police as racists, and scramed at the departing free speech supporters: “Immigrants in; Nazis out! Immigrants in, racists out.!” Others hollered: “Vancouver is a racism-free zone.!” The anarchists had learned of the meeting from Doug Collins’ column in the North Shore News. The column brought out a number of new and interested people, including one lady who’d travelled for two hours by public transportation on this frigid Friday night.