Now, Day Two begins…
First, to clarify early media reports: there were not “2000 protesters”, which, it seems to me, is the expression Ann Coulter used when contacting Drudge via cellphone.
It sounds like there were “2000 people” in the general vicinity, not protesters.
Since Coulter was in a holding room or somesuch before the speech, it is likely that she was getting this information from someone else, who was probably just as confused as everyone else. It’s hard to talk or hear over a fire alarm.
The “2000” figure is going to be the Left’s talking point, as they try to paint this event as a publicity stunt or whathaveyou.
Anyhow: I explain to my American readers at NewsReal why this is a big deal, HERE.
Report on the Ann Coulter riot from the National Post, with comments from both sides.
An eyewitness report from blogger Nick Milne, who isn’t a big fan of Ann Coulter but went to her talk anyhow:
I arrived at Marion Hall – or, more accurately, sort of near it – at about 6:30PM. The line was already at least several hundred people long, and more were arriving every minute. Police estimates (yes, the police were eventually involved; read on) put the final crowd size at about 2,000, but at that early stage there were still enough people to create a line that snaked the equivalent of several city blocks around another university building. The front of the line – and the people in charge of everything – could not be seen. This surely contributed to what ended up happening.
I fell into conversation with those in front of and behind me in the line, and, though feelings were generally upbeat – pretty much everyone I talked to said they were there to see what all the fuss was about – there were ominous rumours circulating that attendees had to sign up for the event in advance, even if it was free for U of O students. Most of the people in the line (one event organizer with whom I briefly spoke but it at about 70%) had not registered, and indeed had no idea that they were supposed to. Had the event organizers been permitted to advertise the event properly in the area most frequented by students this immediate and unresolvable problem may never have occurred. As it was, the line continued to grow anyway, though now under a cloud of anxious uncertainty.
Someone started tearing pages out of a copy of Coulter’s latest book, and then tearing those into confetti which was then strewn about. This earned another round of cheers from those nearby.
The protester group began chanting “SODOMY! SODOMY!” with great enthusiasm. You think I’m making this up. I understand; I’d think that too.
Meanwhile, Free Canuckistan has a roundup of various reports, aptly entitled “Houliganism”, after “the founder of the feast”:
Professional OttawaU brain-washer and pantywaist François Houle’s Canukistani dreams of an orderly non-conservative post-Christian Trudeaupian society? It’s this, in reality: barbarians of many colours, silencing the voices of freedom, debate, truth, and the true dignity of difference, one by one, until only a hollow and brittle monoculture remains. Ruins, inhabited by wreckers.
The University of Ottawa and those brave members of the Ottawa Police force took a dive. They canceled because this was shaping up to be a pain in the butt.
Chickenshits. And the sad part is that this will only encourage the vermin to keep disrupting events.
Indeed. Canadians should be concerned that this is what passes for the security apparatus at our nation’s capital.
Parliament Hill reporter Brian Lilley was there and has a MUST READ report:
One of the loudest protestors outside was Sameena Topan, the young woman holding the “safe place” sign. Sameena told me she brought that sign because, “This is a space for all students from all backgrounds to come and feel welcome.” Sameena went on to say that no student should feel threatened or marginalized. Asked if she had protested, complained or tried to shut down Israeli Apartheid week, Sameena first seemed shocked at the question, then answered no.
While the students of U of O were successful in shutting down someone they considered guilty of hate speech, one of their professors was busy telling the Ottawa Citizen that Coulter does not come close. Errol Mendes, a professor of constitutional and international law, says Canada’s criminal code sanctions against hate speech are designed to stop the sort of thing that led to the Rwandan genocide. “To me, that’s the sort of speech that Canada is rightfully trying to prevent happening over here,” Mendes told the Citizen. “Much as I detest everything (Coulter) says and stands for, she’s not that close to the type of speech that then leads to the dangers to society as a whole.”
But to the students, Coulter threatened their “safe space” so they ensured that the campus of one of Canada’s older universities was not a safe space for her. Shame. Shame on them, shame on the university for letting things get so out of control.
Another Parliament Hill reporter, Deborah Gyapong, was also at the scene and has brief cellphone videos:
When I got outside one of my blog readers came up to me and told me he had been inside the hall before 7 p.m. He said a group of people rushed the hall, jostling the three people who were at a table checking student ids and those who had registered. The table got pushed aside. When the volunteers said they needed order and for people to come to the table, some of the rowdies folded the table up and threw it aside. Then the volunteers decided it was too dangerous for them and they shut the doors to the audi
One gal was waving one of Ann Coulter’s books around asking whether they should burn it. “Let’s debate this,” she says. [VIDEO]
Luckily I didn’t see any book burning. These students think they are keeping the University of Ottawa a “safe” place. Safe for them to never hear any opinion that might upset them or challenge them. What a sad, sad day for Canada and for Ottawa. I am ashamed of the University of Ottawa. What a rinky-dink excuse for university. What a disgrace for the Oblate founders, whose mission was to truly educate people.
Posts galore from…
Scaramouche, who summarizes Ezra’s radio debate this morning with one of the media’s trusty go-to Muslim “spokesmen”:
Ezra pointed out that there’s no comparision between Galloway and Coulter. Galloway supports criminal terrorist group Hamas, and wanted to come to Canada to raise funds for that criminal organization. Coulter supports no terrorist groups and was “shut down by a bunch of brownshirts,” an action “of which I’m sure Mr. Mouammar approves heartilty.” Ezra called this type of censorship “un-Canadian” and suggested that his opponent “needs to drop his Saudi values and get in synch with Canadian values.”
Mouammar tried to claim that Coulter’s speech would have been a breach of Section 13. Ezra pointed out, however, that the censorship provision does not apply to speeches, only to telephone messages and the Internet. Not that that stopped Provost Houle from writing his threatening letter and ginning up the crowd such that Coulter’s speech had to be canceled due to security concerns.
And if you want to talk about a “double standard,” what about Provost Houle, who doesn’t write threatening letters about the “anti-Semitic festival” it holds every year?
I don’t agree with many Canadian conservatives about Galloway; he should have been allowed in, if only because, as I predicted at the time, this is EXACTLY the situation we’d eventually find ourselves in…
PLUS: Eyewitness “Jaeger” at Small Dead Animals, with pix.
SoCon or Bust was there and has photos and video:
Tonight was a sad night to be a Canadian.
Not content for being unoffended themselves, they want to ensure that no one else feels offended – or challenged – either. Like a bunch of spoiled and dangerous brats, they will graduate from University believing that someone should be silenced and perhaps go to jail if such a transgressor meets their twisted and demented form of “hate speech”.
Miss Marprelate was at the scene:
The head of the International Free Press Society also spoke about how they took Kurt Westergaard to Yale and Princeton and never had to fear for his life there.
These speeches were regularly punctuated with cheers, clapping, booing, and cries of “We want Ann” at the appropriate moments. A smaller number started to chant telling us to go home. They chanted so loudly that the man trying to tell us how to leave the building safely couldn’t make himself heard.
I was able to catch a glimpse of some nice “This is a Safe Space” and “Love” posters. The fact that we had just been police escorted out of the building because the protesters were such a danger seemed lost on them.
Relistening to my audio recording of the demonstrators it sounds like “Freespeechers go home.” I know there were other slogans as well.
Here’s the video from Ann Coulter’s Q&A the night before, at the University of Western Ontario.
Ann Coulter got Colby Cosh on the phone last night. Here’s his report:
The police, Coulter says, “had been warning my bodyguard all day that they were putting up [messages] on Facebook: ‘Bring rocks, bring sticks, you gotta hurt Ann Coulter tonight, don’t let her speak.’ And the cops eventually said, we’ve got a bad feeling, this isn’t gonna happen. And they shut it down.”
“Unfortunately, conservatives are too polite, so they will never get a taste of their own medicine in that regard, in terms of angry mobs with sticks and rocks.”
After the event was cancelled by the police, Coulter says she went to her hotel room to relax and had a surreal moment. “I was watching the local news, which was all hockey and Ann Coulter, and some nut came on claiming that he was the organizer behind my speech. [murmurs in background] OK, his name is Craig Chandler. I sent an e-mail to my bodyguard saying Craig Chandler is disinvited from the event in Calgary. He’s on TV claiming to be the organizer and denouncing me!”
Here’s one report on what Craig Chandler allegedly said on TV.