The likes of Kady ‘Is it lunchtime yet’ O’Malley, Rick Salutin and too many to mention here all ran the talking point relay race: that the organizers of Ann Coulter’s speech in Ottawa “cancelled their own event,” either out of cowardice or as a publicity stunt.
Now reporter Kevin Libin writes:
Unlike the U.S. Constitution, Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms makes no guarantees about property rights. Their protections are largely established by the criminal code: call the police and tell them someone’s in the process of burgling your jewelry store, or stealing your car, and in most cases, they’ll send officers over in a hurry.
Canada’s charter does, on the other hand, establish some pretty explicit protections for free speech. But what happens if you ask for protection from authorities when someone is infringing on your right to speak at a public forum?
Not much it seems.
At least, that’s the unavoidable impression one gets from the following fascinating account from Rick Benoit, vice president of VP Protection, Inc., the firm that was hired to handle security for Ann Coulter’s recent visit to Canada.
The letter details what happened at Ms. Coulter’s last stop, in Calgary, just days after rowdy students at the University of Ottawa forced organizers to cancel her appearance there.
Though there was an obvious risk of a similar incident in Calgary—particularly after the Ottawa students’ intimidation tactics proved so effectives—according to Mr. Benoit, not only were police and campus security both unwilling to do anything to protect the free speech of Ms. Coulter and the other speakers, they warned the private bodyguards not to contain any aggressive behaviour “for any reason” or “we would be charged and face criminal prosecution.”
If you don’t believe him, how about Steve Paikin, who broadcasting a live episode of The Agenda from the University of Toronto with Ontario’s finance minister as a special guest had to play bodyguard to the minister after a mob rushed the stage. “The police, I’m told, were urged not to intervene,” Paikin explained, “lest pictures of demonstrators being hauled off by the cops show up all over YouTube.”
That only raises a critical question: if the police won’t protect someone’s right to speak, who will?
And of course, I can personally attest to the fact that the Toronto police force was explictly told NOT to arrest any belligerent Muslims at the anti-Israel rally I attended in January 2009, even after a Jewish child was threatened with death in their immediate presence.
Scotland Yard has bowed to Islamic sensitivities and accepted that Muslims are entitled to throw shoes in ritual protest — which could have the unintended consequence of politicians or the police being hit.
News of the concession by the Metropolitan police has come to light amid a series of trials of more than 70 mostly Muslim demonstrators who were charged with violent disorder after last year’s Gaza protests outside the Israeli embassy in London.
As for property rights here in Canada, google “Caledonia.”
When I gave a speech about free speech earlier this year, there was a lot of tisking at my jab at the cops.
Now do you still trust them to protect you? If so, why?
This is not ideology, anarchistic or otherwise. This is human nature: “The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.”
More human nature: the cop assigned to your next protest or speaking engagement may well be a “very nice person.”
He may even intellectually understand that his bosses’ orders violate principles that trace their way back to God via the Magna Carta.
But he is still a unionized bureaucrat, not to mention one with a gun, along with a large number of colleagues and friends capable of pressuring him socially, and an Internal Affairs Department to deal with.
Do you really think the average cop on the line will jeopardize his very generous penion and benefits and mortgage and car payments and early retirement for some scribbles on an old piece of paper?
My American friends would answer Kevin’s question by saying that “the Second Amendment is the only thing that protects the First.” Since Canadians only enshrine one of those rights in our crappy Charter, just barely — and the right to private property not at all — we now see the results.
And as you can see from the comments to his article, lots of Canadians are just fine with that.
As my codefendant writes about the security chief’s letter:
In a real country, with real rights, and real journalists, this letter would provoke a national media scandal and formal investigation – but it won’t, for all of the reasons stated above [in Libin’s description of the Charter.]
“The police are not there to create disorder.
“The police are there to preserve disorder.”
Ah yes, police behavior. Always a popular misconception what cops are -for- in this country.
In Canada, cops exist to “keep the peace”. That’s the “peace” in “Peace, Order and Good Government”. That’s their charter, what they are constituted to do.
Meaning, if you pursuing your personal business becomes a “peace disruption” problem, they will stop you doing it.
If your exercise of free speech is attracting too much evil attention, they will let your opponents beat and possibly kill you because its easier that way.
Of late, it has been decided at the very tippy tip-top levels of government that personal injury and property damage are not a problem when perpetrated by certain groups.
Indians for example are right now, today, flouting gun regulations, cigarette sale regulations, are illegally squatting on provincial property, and are smuggling with almost perfect immunity from prosecution. Other groups whose members average a lower surface albedo than pasty white enjoy similar privilege.
Lest anyone think this is a racial thing, note that members of CUPE, CUPW, and a few more union outfits enjoy the same level of immunity. Also, apparently, leftist radical university students.
Conversely, it has been decided that pictures of people from these protected groups getting their @sses kicked by either police or the above mentioned pasty white high-albedo types ARE a problem. Important distinction, its the pictures that are the pr
oblem, not the @ss-kicking.
Therefore we see plenty of examples where police are standing with their backs to armed, violent protesters who are actively attacking people (and police too), while facing toward a much larger crowd of unarmed non-protesters who are doing -nothing-.
Happens every Sunday in Caledonia, but you can see it at every demonstration by a protected group. Group gets violent, anyone trying to defend their own property or person from the violent group gets arrested and dragged off while the violence moves on.
Conservatives of course are on a different list. They are on the Do Not Protect (DNP) list. That’s why counter-protesters at Anti-Israel events get ignored or moved along by police. The cops have specific instructions to not-protect them, and get rid of them if at all possible. Kathy Shaidle and Ezra Levant are on the DNP list, they’ll tell you all about it.
Anne Coulter may well have advanced from DNP to “actively harass”. No doubt she will find her papers are not in order the next time she crosses the Canadian border.
The cops are not there to protect you. They are there to keep your ignorant, stupid, peasant backside in line and make sure you pay your taxes. Everything else they do is public relations or more tax collection.
Incidentally the Army is also not there to protect you. Their two primary missions are protecting the country from foreign threats, and to restore “order” if the cops fail to keep the “peace”. Restoring order historically has meant shooting anybody who sticks their head up and jailing anybody who doesn’t. Ask an old Japanese/Canadian person about that.
Tax cut now, please.