Free Speech Monitor – July/August, 1996
Doug Christie’s Western Canada Concept in Vernon in July, 1995; several meetings of Ron Gostick’s The Third Option Committee in eastern B.C. in February, 1996 and the Second Canadian Free Speech Conference in Vancouver, March 23. This meeting — see item below — was held at a new location after Lethbridge and other thought control fanatics pressured the pusillanimous management of the Surrey Inn into ripping up a signed contract and cancelling the meeting. When confronted by Doug Collins, Paul Fromm and other letter-writers in the Salmon Arm-area papers, Lethbridge bobbed and weaved. Yes, he had pressured the Surrey Inn to cancel the Free Speech Conference and he was proud of it. Well, when confronted with the fact that the hotel staff had been terrified of violence, he retreated and said he had “encouraged” management to cancel the meeting. Actually, he had crowed to the Victoria Times-Colonist (March 21, 1996) that his group had “forced” the cancellation. Fed up with the antics of the federally-funded censor of the Okanagan –Kirk Makin, writing in the Globe and Mail (February 6, 1993) reported that SACAR had received $3,000 from the Ministry of Multiculturalism to help fund a conference — Collins issued a challenge: “I hereby challenge Lethbridge to a duel. A duel of words. Let him debate me in Salmon Arm on the issue of free speech.” The challenge appeared, appropriately enough given Lethbridge’s Stalinist behaviour on May Day. (Salmon Arm Observer, May 1, 1996) Given a chance to explain his contempt for free speech and his insolent belief that free men and women needed the bare-rumped professor — several years ago in leading a protest against a Canadian League of Rights’ seminar in Salmon Arm, Lethbridge had “mooned” those entering the meeting — to decide what books they could read or what meetings they might attend, Lethbridge ran. He pompously clothed his admission of intellectual poverty thus: “It is the policy of anti-racist and anti-fascist organizations across Canada that we do not debate such people. Their position on human rights, racism, and the Holocaust does not merit debate, nor do we intend to give them either the credibility or the platform that debating provides. No, Mr. Collins, I will not grant you a platform.” (Salmon Arm Observer, May 8, 1996) On May 18, the meeting, hosted by broadcaster Pat Burns, went ahead. Sixty people heard a barn-burner of a speech defending freedom of thought and speech by Collins, a man who had paid his dues through six years of service in the British Army in WW II. Lethbridge was in the parking lot outside the Salmon Arm Community Centre where the non-debate was held. An empty chair with a sign “David Lethbridge” was there for all to see. About a half dozen SACARites paraded with signs proclaiming “Bigots” outside the hall. It wasn’t clear whether they were referring to themselves or to those attending the meeting. Collins commented: “Bigots are people who won’t listen to what others have to say.” An RCMP officer was present to maintain law and order. The one minor disruption of the evening came from an obviously intoxicated and belligerent person who identified himself as “a thirteenth generation Metis”. His contribution was to denounce “White honkies” — a term equivalent to niggers — give Collins the finger and then stomp out.
Censors Try to Stop Vancouver Free Speech Conference
Anyone naive enough to wonder why there is a need for a group like the Canadian Association for Free Expression, when we have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that apparently guarantees freedom of speech and expression, need look no farther than the campaign by a number of B.C. leftists to stop our Second Canadian Free Speech Conference scheduled for the Surrey Inn, March 23. The bad news: a campaign of public abuse by a sympathetic leftist reporter, Kim Bolan of the Vancouver Sun, and a series of phone calls spooked the Surrey Inn into cancelling its contract with the conference and going so far as to reneging on a reservation for a bedroom for conference organizer Paul Fromm. The good news: thanks to a number of people who pitched in and contacted would-be attendeees, the conference went ahead at a new location and attracted over 100 people. The censors behaved like bonehead ignoramuses, denouncing a conference that hadn’t even taken place yet. Leading the censorship charge was “Alan Dutton of the Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society, [who] said that while the official topic of the event is free speech, the meeting will more than likely promote hatred toward minorities.” (Vancouver Sun, March 20, 1996) Dutton, when the government grants run out, should set up as a crystal-ball gazer foretelling the future. David Lethbridge boasted: “SACAR was among the first to call attention to and denounce [the conference]. We were joined in condemning the conference by the Multiculturalism Minister and Attorney-General Mr. Dosanjh, and by the B.C. Human Rights Coalition, the Canadian Anti-Racist Education and Research Society, the Committee for Racial Justice, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association, and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation Programme Against Racism. Hard work by all the anti-racist organizations paid off. The hotel management … finally agreed to cancel the meeting after successful lobbying by our forces.” (Salmon Arm Observer, April 3, 1996) Among the most disgusting displays of ignorance was a comment by B.C.’s chief justice official: “Multiculturalism Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said he’s appalled a conference featuring associates of racist groups is to be held … in Surrey, just two days after B.C. celebrates the International Day for the Elimination of Racism. … Dosanjh said conferences of this type in the past have hidden behind the guise of free speech, while promoting racism.” (Vancouver Sun, March 20, 1996) What conferences? What racism? The attacks by Kim Bolan of the Sun, the Indian-born Dosanjh, and the other assorted book burners and thought control freaks were entirely a hodge-podge of guilt-by-association and innuendo. The conference keynoted by broadcaster Pat Burns’ fiery defence of librety went ahead and succeeded. A set of conference tapes is available for $25.00.
Dutton Tries to Gag Charles Maclean and Nightline B.C.
“A Vancouver radio station is becoming a soapbox for white supremacists, charges an anti-racism activist. A March 22 broadcast on CKST AM 1040 radio station’s Nightline B.C. show was so horrifying, Alan Dutton says, that he’s launching a complaint with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the regulatory body overseeing national broadcasting. There were ‘anti-Semitic and racist remarks throughout the broadcast,’ said Dutton, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society (CARES).’I was horrified.'” (Western Jewish Bulletin, April 5, 1996) What probably incensed Dutton was the fact that, for two hours, Paul Fromm, C-FAR Research Director, was able to expose and denounce the efforts made by the thought control freaks like Dutton to intimidate the Surrey Inn. In the article Dutton made further wild and defamatory charges that are now the subject of a lawsuit by CKST against both Dutton and the Jewish Western Bulletin. Dutton also griped that earlier the same week Nightline B.C. had interviewed historian David Irving by telephone hookup. Later in the same broadcast, Maclean had on Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress, who did little to refute Irving, but huffed and puffed mightily to the effect that Irving shouldn’t be given a platform. On the very night Fromm appeared, Charles Maclean referred to a previous offer he had made to Dutton to appear on his show. Dutton had replied that he would be intimidated by the presence of such a rightwinger as Maclean. Host Maclean then publicly offered Dutton a half hour alone in the studio to expound his views any way he liked. Obviously, censorship is so much safer for the mentally impoverished than debate. Friends of free speech should, nay _must_, write the CRTC and back Charles Maclean, CKST-AM and Nightline B.C. Write: Mr. Stan Darling, Secretary General CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2. Send a copy of your letter to AM 1040, Suite #100, 856 Homer Street, Vancouver, B.C., V6P 2W5.