UBC cancels free speech event on grounds of “risk”

January 6, 2020 • 12:15 pm

Andy Ngo is a photographer and journalist who is widely viewed as a conservative. At least that’s what Wikipedia says, and so I’ll go with it, though he describes himself, when pressed, as “center-right”. But I also know he’s documented the excesses of Antifa, was beaten up by them, and has provided some useful coverage of an organization that is supposed to be progressive but acts more like a gang of fascist thugs. At any rate, Ngo’s not somebody I would think would be the subject of left-wing protests, as he’s no white supremacist. But of course he’s antagonized Antifa, and that’s a recipe for disaster if you’re supposed to speak.

And so it was, dear readers, that when Ngo was supposed to speak on January 29 at the University of British Columbia on “Understanding Antifa (Anti-fascist) Violence”, the University canceled the event because of “campus safety and security”, which of course means they were worried about Antifa not only deplatforming Ngo, but trashing the place. Read about it at this article from the Vancouver Sun (click on screenshot):

Now in the University’s defense, the group sponsoring Ngo’s talk, the Free Speech Club, is “not funded by the school’s Alma Mater Society and is considred independent of the university.” But balance that against the fact that UBC is a public university and, especially, that the Free Speech Club had already booked the event on the UBC campus and paid a booking deposit, with the talk confirmed by the University. The University’s cancellation occurred on December 20.

And the reasons for the cancellation are that UBC not only feared for the safety of its people, but couldn’t afford the cost of security. Statements like these don’t make me feel good about their commitment to free speech:

. . . a free expression expert said he believes the school isn’t stifling free speech, as The Free Speech Club is alleging, and doesn’t have a duty to host an event if it isn’t part of the university’s academic mission.

“The speaker has every freedom of expression right to express his views. This group of students has every freedom of expression right to find a place to hold an event to let him express his views. It’s just the university doesn’t have an obligation to be that place,” said James Turk, director of Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression.

Except that the University had already agreed to host the talk, and took a deposit for it. It’s weaselly to renege on that commitment because you’re afraid of trouble. Canceling talks in such a way is a terrible precedent, sending the message to everyone—but especially the Left, which is responsible lately for most disruptions and deplatformings—that if you threaten to make trouble, you can shut up your opponents.

Ron Holton, the university’s chief risk officer, said in an emailed statement that campus safety and security is the primary concern, and the school does risk assessments to evaluate the impact that event bookings could have on the campus community.

“The assessment in this case determined the safety and security of UBC students, faculty, staff and infrastructure was at risk if the event was allowed to proceed,” he said, noting the event was cancelled “in order to safeguard the safety and security of our community.”

This is an open message from UBC to Antifa that “if you make enough threats, we’ll shut down any speaker you oppose.”  After all, what does it matter if a club is private or public if the University has the view that if a talk is “dangerous”, it can be canceled? My own view is if the University commits to holding a talk, it is responsible for security, and shouldn’t saddle those who schedule “controversial” speakers with the extra costs. After all, the Free Speech Club has hosted people from all sides of the political spectrum, including UBC professors. But, as the Free Speech Club director said, “It’s just whenever we host a right winger, it turns into this huge volcano.”

And that’s true. If you look at FIRE’s “disinvitation database”, which tallies all campus deplatformings and disruptions in the U.S., you’ll find that when the ideology of the deplatformers ideologues could be identified, 17 came from the Right and 31 from the Left—almost a 2:1 ratio. This has been the case for a decade or more.

It’s shameful that UBC, once committed to hosting a speaker who, after all, has something to say to people (Ngo is no Milo Yiannopoulos), decides to renege on grounds of “safety.” But the Free Speech Club isn’t letting this rest:

The club is represented by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which issued a letter to UBC president Santa Ono on Dec. 31, asking that the event be reinstated. The centre gave the university until Jan. 10 to respond.

In the letter to Ono, lawyer Marty Moore called the university’s decision “unreasonable.”

“It is an alarming betrayal of the foundational pillar of higher education — the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression. Furthermore, it signals automatic acquiescence to the ‘heckler’s veto,’ which will embolden threats from those who oppose the very notion of free expression,” Moore wrote.

The letter emphasizes UBC’s avowed commitment to academic freedom, but ends with a sting: “Freedom must not be sacrificed to fear. We request that UBC act immediately to reinstate the Event. Please respond no later than January 10,2A20. Failure to reinstate the Event will necessitate legal recourse.”

Finally, it looks as if there have been several deplatformings or attempted incidents of censorship in Canada recently. The Sun describes a few:

The university’s policies came under scrutiny last summer when it hosted an event with Jenn Smith, who has campaigned against the use of the sexual orientation and gender identity, or SOGI, resources in B.C. schools. The program is designed to promote a more inclusive environment for queer students.

Smith, who is transgender but uses masculine pronouns, has said he doesn’t promote hate. His events are hosted by the Canadian Christian Lobby.

Similar talks were cancelled at Douglas College and Trinity Western University, but the university defended its decision to hold the talk, citing its “commitment to freedom of expression.”

The debate about free expression hit Simon Fraser University this fall, after a faculty member booked an event at its downtown Vancouver campus called “How media bias shapes the gender debate.” The event was criticized because it featured writer Meghan Murphy, who espouses anti-transgender views.

Although university provost John Driver said in a statement that while the school didn’t endorse the views expressed, it supported the right of faculty and other SFU community members to engage in free speech within the limits of the law.

In the end, the SFU event was cancelled by the sponsor “for security reasons” and relocated.

Earlier in the year, a speaking event with Murphy at the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library drew protesters and prompted the Vancouver Pride Society to ban the library from entering the 2019 pride parade.

The library’s policy states that it “will not restrict freedom of expression beyond the limits prescribed by Canadian law,” even if those who use the library’s spaces express ideas that are contrary to the library’s vision and values.

I tend to think of Canada as more liberal than the U.S., and by “liberal” I mean that they should tolerate free speech more readily. I should have known better because, after all, Canada does have “hate speech” laws. These are stricter than U.S. laws, for Canadian law prohibits publicly inciting hatred against any identifiable group, with “identifiable groups” including “any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or mental or physical disability”.

While hatred like that is reprehensible, I don’t advocate its abolition because this is truly a slippery slope. For example, Ernst Zündel was convicted twice in Canada for Holocaust denialism, though both convictions were eventually overturned. I happen to think that it’s useful to allow Holocaust denialists a platform, and a platform without disruption, so that they can present their case. As I’ve often said, it’s only by hearing their arguments, which are slippery and can be superficially convincing, that we ourselves are able to find counterevidence that of course shows the Holocaust happened and that Hitler wanted it. And every generation needs to understand the arguments and counterarguments. You don’t eliminate Holocaust denialism by banning it; you eliminate it by allowing it to be publicly challenged. 

And likewise with any argument that is not completely wacko but doesn’t comport with the prevailing ideology. They should be heard, and then met with counterspeech.

O Canada!


49 thoughts on “UBC cancels free speech event on grounds of “risk”

  1. “A public university”

    Doesn’t that mean the ‘public’s’ law enforcement agents are responsible for protecting the rights of both ends of a contract?

    If, as part of the contract, peaceful assembly and protocols of behavior are called out, and all who wish to attend explicitly and implicitly consent to those rules, wouldn’t that make violent “hecklers” in violation of law?

    The police force of the city should arrest, imprison, and prosecute thugs as criminals.

    1. Yes. This was my first though upon reading this also. It seems reasonable to me that the university doesn’t want to pay for the security and insurance for an event at risk of violence. Regardless of the need to find the money, it seems over and above what a campus security force should be called on to deal with. They should defer to the local police force. Of course, that would have all sorts of ramifications that I can’t begin to assess. I’m just saying that the discussion needs to happen.

      1. There is something about this whole thing that really bothers me. It does seem perfectly reasonable for an institution to avoid what they perceive as a risk.
        At the same time, we are allowing violent thugs to control topics of public discourse and who is allowed to engage in it.
        Of course, since the current topic is a Canadian institution, there are a different set of laws involved. But it is certainly happening in the US, instigated by essentially the same people, for the same reasons.

        Someone is going to have to be the first to stop clapping for Stalin, and stand up to the bullies. They only behave this way because they don’t believe that there are any consequences for doing so.

        Maybe the whole organization could be treated as a criminal gang. One that conspires to deprive others of their constitutional rights. Or just come down hard on them for the laws that they are already breaking when they violently disrupt events.

        Also- I went back and looked at the FIRE database. They included events where speakers were opposed and sometimes deplatformed by a simple petition of opposition. I think that is a very different situation than blockading an event to prevent entry, disrupting an event, or attacking the speaker or audience. At least in my opinion.

        Personally, I am the sort who these tactics would be unlikely to work on. Threatening me would just make me twice as determined to go through with it, whatever “it” is. I might even choose to attend just because of the threats, even if I had no previous plans to attend. I am not sure if such attitudes are assets or liabilities. I suppose a university administrator does not have the luxury to act on purely moral grounds. It is more of an actuarial equation.

        1. “Maybe the whole organization could be treated as a criminal gang. One that conspires to deprive others of their constitutional rights. ”

          Yes. And “civil rights” and “contracted interaction rights.”

          Also, I appreciate your differentiation between cancellation of contract by challenge in a petition or other peaceful ways, and demolition of contract by thugs deploying violence.

          I only opened a few details on that page, and could not find any “from the right” that destroyed by violence.

          I also want to add to my initial post: it is not only “public” events and public institutions (net tax money receivers) that can call for protection by civil law enforcement; events by private (some of which are net tax money contributors) must be protected from thugs as well.

          Freedom of speech does not have an asterisk attached to it, leading to “unless violently destroyed by haters.”

  2. Given that the administration at UBC has been demonstrating for years that it covers the full spectrum from gutlessness to bat-shit insane feminism, lower your liberal expectations.

  3. (In the spirit of the great Brit stage actor’s telegram cancelling a performance due to illness: “Gielgud doesn’t feel good”) the journalist and photographer should’ve posted a notice: “Ngo’s a no-go.”

  4. I knew Andy Ngo when we was a quiet, introverted student involved in Portland’s local secular humanist community, and photographed a lot of our events.
    In the last few years something changed inside him, and he hooked up with libertarian types, and then went over completely in support of the neo-fascist community. He has worked very hard to make himself a “victim of antifa”. He deliberately provoked the incident in Portland that got him world-wide coverage. He knew EXACTLY what he was doing.
    I for one am glad that Ngo’s talk was canceled. Free Speech is one thing; giving a platform to fascists and bigots is quite another.

    1. Can you give any support to your claim that Ngo supports “neo-fascists” or that he is himself a “fascist” or a “bigot”?

      As for him “deliberately provoking” Antifa, you mean by filming and reporting them? Is that not allowed? And are people allowed to react violently to it?

      1. If you followed Andy Ngo at all (which I do, and have been in the same meetings as him at PSU) all you have to do is watch him and actually witness him surrounding himself with Joey Gibson and Patriot Prayer people in Portland and surrounding area. They are his people now, and his community. May I ask how much time you have spent these past two years analyzing Andy, his movements, and who he hangs with? Honest question. (But I sense you already have chosen sides, and no evidence would convince you.)

        1. By “surrounding himself with” Patriot Prayer etc, do you mean reporting on them as he does with Antifa?

          As for how much I’ve followed this issue — not that much, which is why I asked about it.

          “But I sense you already have chosen sides, and no evidence would convince you.”

          Well you’ve not attempted to give any evidence so far.

          1. Listen, Coel, if you want actual emails from Andy proving this, I don’t have those. But local journalists HAVE uncovered social media and other electronic communications directly between these right-wing fascist groups and Andy Ngo. He is clearly within their orbit. I’m too busy to google all the articles published locally in the Portland area verifying this for you, but if YOU want to read these exact articles, they are pretty easy to discover: go to wweek.com, and do a search for Andy Ngo. You will find dozens of articles verifying my statements. Also portlandmercury.com, and olive.com
            If you’re not willing to do that, then I’ll presume your questions are merely rhetorical in nature, and you really don’t want to know.

            1. “Listen, Coel, if you want actual emails from Andy proving this, I don’t have those.”

              I’m simply asking you to present whatever evidence you do have.

              “But local journalists HAVE uncovered social media and other electronic communications directly between these right-wing fascist groups and Andy Ngo.”

              Interesting, can you give a cite, some links?

              “If you’re not willing to do that, then I’ll presume your questions are merely rhetorical in nature, and you really don’t want to know.”

              You’re the one making the claim here. So far you’ve not given it any substantiation.

            2. That’s not how it works here, scooter. You made the claim, you back it up. Otherwise Hitchen’s razor applies.

              I did do a search on Andy Ngo at Willamette Weekly. I see why you suggested it – you think it gets you off the hook. It doesn’t.

            3. At minimum, given the near vehemence of your writing, you should provide links substantiating what you say.

              The “provocation” canard sounds really close to victim blaming, especially how women are blamed for dressing provocatively.

        2. Even if true, Ngo, Gibson and Patriot Prayer are entitled to their political views and their freedom of association. It is antifa that employs violence to suppress the speech of others.

        3. So? If a leftwing journalist was assaulted by Trump supporters would that leftwing journalist’s association with other leftwingers excuse the assault?

          It appears your argument is entirely tribal.

    2. Unless he provoked the incident by staring fights kicking and hitting people the notion that he provoked it is asinine.
      It seems he knew exactly the mentality of the Antifa thugs and wanted the world to see it.
      Mission accomplished.

      Are you asserting that positioning oneself near one’s political opponents warrants a physical beating?

      And, why did something in him change?
      The tendencies of the left toward violence and absurd dogmatic rigid beliefs maybe?

      Notions such as punch a Nazi, whos a Nazi? Everyone not like me.

      The Left is full of Fascitic tendency and bigotry in its own wat too.

      1. Over at pressfreedomtracker.us, there is data on AntFa assaults on a pretty broad range of media. This includes representatives of CBS, NBC, ABC, Reuters, Fox, New Republic, The Hill, The Sun-Times, NPR, and lots of freelancers.

        I suspect that any reporter who has experienced such assaults is going to try to report from the other side of the lines thereafter.

    3. Unless Andy deliberately provoked the incident in Portland by punching and kicking people I would suggest that the notion that he provoked it by his presence and then by implication that he deserved it is asinine.

      What he did do was prove to the world that Antifa are violent thugs who were and are prepared to sucker punch, sucker kick and throw things at helpless people who they disagree with.
      Everyone saw it and you saying he provoked it changes nothing.

      Also, why did Andy change? Could it be the increasing violence and absurd rigid dogmatic beliefs espoused by those around him?
      Things like punch a Nazi, who’s a Nazi? Everyone who disagrees with us.

      Maybe you do follow him but also maybe there is more to the story and still that does not justify violence and crushing free speech.

    4. I checked and double checked and my first comment was not there, so I wrote it again and lo and behold as soon as I post it the first one pops up.
      Oh well.

      1. “New” users have to wait for their first message to be approved by a moderator. It seems to me that the approval expires after a while, so you have to go through the moderation process again. My guess is that this happens if you aren’t logged in with a WordPress/Gravatar account, since otherwise anybody can claim to be Michael Waterhouse with such and such an email address, so they only grant temporary permission to unauthenticated users.

    5. You are part of the problem.

      There’s a real issue for genuine liberals here (using the normal US definition). Free speech is absolutely under attack, and most of our allies in this regard are not liberals. They are right of center, and have their own agenda. True liberals on the left are too afraid of consequences to side against the authoritarian left, who are not liberals in any sense of the word (other than that used by conservatives, ironically, which is anyone left of them on any issue). The main difference between the authoritarian leftists who influence various institutions now (academia and media most notably) and conservatives is that the latter have lost institutional power. Conservatives, in the past, have exploited institutional power to suppress ideas they don’t like, and there’s no reason to believe that attitude has fled their ranks. So true liberals are now in the position of siding with conservatives and Libertarians (distinct from libertarians) on issues of free speech, while knowing that the former, at least, have a history of suppressing free speech when they’re politically able to. Vigilance is ever more important for modern-day liberals, dealing with the authoritarian left and currently-neutered conservative right.

      I don’t know a thing about you. I know nothing of what kind of person you are. But you are, here, quite literally, claiming that Ngo deliberately provoked physical attacks against himself which caused permanent damage. Do you really think that’s a reasonable claim to make?

      Free speech must apply to all views. If you exclude any of them, then it’s no longer free speech. There is no such thing as “hate speech”. I could emit a large number of explanatory words to back that statement, but I’ll leave it as is. Either you understand what I’m saying, or you don’t.

      The upshot is, you are not a proponent of free speech. You are supporting censorship, and rationalizing violence against a person whose views you disagree with. You can either accept these facts and do something about them, or deny them as I suspect you usually do.

      Put even more succinctly, the real bigot here is you, not your target. Feel free to prove me wrong.

      1. Free speech must apply to all views. If you exclude any of them, then it’s no longer free speech.

        Yes, in fact, the main target of the idea(l) of Free Speeech is speech that we don’t like and may find offensive. Agreeable speech usually doesn’t need much protection.

  5. I think part of the problem is that there’s been some definition-creep on what constitutes “violence.” Physical attacks are being equated more and more with attacks on “dignity” and a loosely defined “right to exist” (which isn’t about actual existence, but, as near as I can make out, authenticity.)

    That means that speakers attacking deeply held beliefs are either committing or promoting violence, giving the listeners the right to fight back using violence. It’s all the same.

    “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”
    “Okay, Boomer.”

  6. That database is interesting reading. I had been unaware that so many deplatformings had been instigated by the right. Of course, most of those seem to have occurred at private religious institutions, which might be a slightly different matter than a secular or public institution.

    It is also interesting that organizations that combat antisemitism specifically and claim to be non partisan in their mission statement are now classified as right-wing. Specifically C4CHA at UNCA.


    I would like them to add disruption of the event as a searchable category.

    1. I was surprised too. I could be wrong, but if I remember correctly, when Mr. Coyne previously cited that database the ratio was significantly greater than 2:1. It’s almost like the Right is trying to catch up… 😛

  7. I happen to think that it’s useful to allow Holocaust denialists a platform, and a platform without disruption, so that they can present their case.

    Can’t say that I’d ever offer a Holocaust denier a platform. But I’m foursquare agin any government entity ever denying ’em one, either.

  8. I don’t have enough information on the level of danger and costs of security to make a judgement on this matter, but do believe the university should have a right to cancel events if they do not believe they can provide security.
    Do not feel the same way about cities. They have s duty yo keep the peace regardless of cost and should not cancel on those grounds.

  9. One thing Twitter is good for (there are others) is telling what’s on someone’s mind. A year or two ago, Andy Ngo was evidently hit in the head by an Antifa protester, or so the story goes. Ever since then he’s been playing the victim and going after Antifa. My guess is that it made him internet-famous and he’s going to milk it as long as he can. Assuming his story is true, it was a terrible thing and he can be forgiven for wanting vengeance, but I see no reason to want to hear him talk about it.

    1. It’s a dereliction of duty not to mention that Ngo, in his role as ‘neutral journalist’, was filmed undercover, alongside violent far-right fuckwits as they planned an attack on antifa. He did absolutely nothing throughout, didn’t report the planned attack to the police.

      The idea that he’s a good faith actor is bullshit of the highest order – it’s hard to see him as anything other than a crypto-fascist himself given his total inaction re. the far-right.

      1. Yes, I was vaguely aware of the controversy and that was the source of my doubt. As I see it, Ngo’s current dedication to fighting Antifa is wholly consistent with the assault being part of his plan.

        1. My assumption is that he was attacked(maybe because I’m a naive idiot who still takes people at face value.), but frankly nothing would surprise me these days.

          The depressing thing is that over the last decade there have been quite a few people on the right who I genuinely respected for their roles in calling out the illiberal left and their hypocrisy re. Islam(and other things). I respected them for what looked like a willingness to stand up for the truth.

          …And then Brexit, Trump, happened, the world shifted ever rightwards, and almost without exception every single one of those figures has fallen in line and begun making excuses for their own side, for Brexit, for Trump, even for the far-right. It’s been very disillusioning.

          1. Agree. Furthermore, the shift is not only rightward but toward non-truth and conspiracy theory. The term “conservative” in the US no longer means simply “holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation” but also includes lying shamelessly to create a reality distortion field around itself. I’m guessing Andy Ngo has signed on.

      2. I can’t speak one way or the other about Ngo but I don’t think not reporting to the police is a very good measure of much. I don’t think journalists generally do things like report to police. There’s a general understanding that reporters have a right too protect their sources. In this case, I think you just don’t like his sources. (Nor do I, but that’s really irrelevant.)

        1. Actually I assumed he was a good faith actor until fairly recently. I thought the attack on him was appalling and I took it entirely at face value.
          I am, shall we say…not a fan…of antifa – I think they have consistently made things much worse, wherever they’ve gone, and their tactics are a PR coup for the right. They are patently not ‘just as bad as fascists’, but that’s not much of a recommendation.

          And I dispute pretty bloody strongly the idea that if journalists hear members of a violent far-right organisation talking about an attack they should(or would) simply ignore it. I know plenty of people in the media and I’m 100% certain that they would not ignore members of a notoriously violent far-right gang planning attacks in which others could potentially get killed.

      3. Why shouldn’t he do that? Antifa infiltrated Patriot Prayer. Did you complain about that? I expect journalists would want to obtain inside information on their subject. Has Ngo ever been arrested for assault? No, he is a victim Of assault.

        BTW, there is NO evidence for your claim that Ngo was complicit in the *alleged* PP attack on antifa. It is false news by left-wing media.


        You sit in Europe and base your opinions on antifa-friendly media. I live in the Pacific NW and I have witnessed in person the attacks by antifa. They did it last night in Seattle, attacking groups who were legally expressing their voice.

        1. “Antifa infiltrated Patriot Prayer. Did you complain about that?”

          Why would I complain about that? I’m not complaining about Ngo doing the same thing, I’m pointing out that he overheard them discussing violent attacks and did nothing.

          “I expect journalists would want to obtain inside information on their subject.”

          So would I. And if they heard those subjects planning an attack I’d expect those journalists to report on it, immediately. I wouldn’t expect them to just smirk in their phone and do nothing.

          “BTW, there is NO evidence for your claim that Ngo was complicit in the *alleged* PP attack on antifa. It is false news by left-wing media.”

          Where did I say he was complicit in an attack? That’s a way of shifting the goalposts.
          I said he DIDN’T REPORT on their plans to attack antifa. And he clearly didn’t. He’s on video, right there, as they talk about it. How you can somehow downplay that as ‘false’ is beyond me.

          And don’t talk about me ‘living in Europe’ as though I’m some kind of idiot in an ivory tower, who should keep their mouth shut. And don’t presume to know what media sources I read, just like I won’t assume you simply read biased sources yourself. After all, your link is deeply tendentious, and does nothing to argue against the actual allegation against Ngo. I could easily conclude that you live in a little right-wing media bubble.

          FYI, I have lived in the east end of London, I have first hand experience of the far-right myself. I grew up around the BNP, the EDL, skinheads and Paki-bashers. People have been killed by the far-right in the very area of London I was born. My grandmother marched against fascists in the thirties in Manchester. Don’t patronise me. If you have any evidence that the video I’m talking about didn’t happen or was faked, then by all means tell me about it. Otherwise it’s simply undeniable and everything else you’ve brought up has been utterly irrelevant distractions.

          And again, don’t tell me to keep my nose out of things. That does nothing but make me want to stick my nose in even further. I don’t tell Americans to keep their nose out of British affairs, so don’t do the same to me.

      4. “Ngo, in his role as ‘neutral journalist’, was filmed undercover, alongside violent far-right fuckwits as they planned an attack on antifa.”

        What the video actually shows is the “far-right fuckwits” milling around talking, while Ngo is a short distance away, watching, and mostly checking his phone (as a journalist reporting on events might do). That’s about it.

        So he didn’t report them to the police? Well the police in Portland have a long record of doing very little about repeated clashes between left-wing fascist groups (aka “antifa”) and right-wing fascist groups.

        1. “What the video actually shows is the “far-right fuckwits” milling around talking, while Ngo is a short distance away, watching, and mostly checking his phone (as a journalist reporting on events might do). That’s about it.”

          No, it shows them talking about attacks, and him standing right by them. There’s no excusing that, unless you’re just an apologist.

          “So he didn’t report them to the police? Well the police in Portland have a long record of doing very little about repeated clashes between left-wing fascist groups (aka “antifa”) and right-wing fascist groups.”

          What kind of excuse is that? Are you telling me he was justified in not reporting on threats of violence by far-right dickheads…because…what? The police would have ignored him or something? Why would he believe that? And even if he had some reason to believe that, why wouldn’t he do it anyway? He’s meant to be a neutral journalist right?

          You would rightly excoriate anyone who didn’t report on antifa planning an attack. This is such lame apologetics.

  10. I have an idea. When any campus group wants to invite a speaker whose views are one inch to the right of Hillary’s, the group should promise to *provide its own security* — mind you, “provide”, not “pay for”. Then arm all its members and attendees with small CO2 fire-extinguishers. A blast of CO2 in his/her blattering mouth will suitably discourage an Antifa thug, and no law can possibly forbid people from carrying fire-extinguishers in public!

    1. Good in principle, but that’s violence, and you bet you tuchas that antifa wouldn’t just have fire extinguishers, too, but sticks and wrenches and more destructive weapons. Better to leave security to the pros!

        1. That is fine with me but then the university should be free from being sued for failure to protect the students. If they have liability for failure to maintain order than then should be able to cancel to cancel or require deposits. And the reverse is true. If they are required to let anyone speak then they should be immune from liability for failure to provide adequate ptotection.

  11. So the “person of color” free pass from the Cult of the Woke to say whatever you want is cancelled if it raises the ire of the COW’s enforcer-thugs.

  12. Within living memory the entire free world had to take up arms against fascism. There were many then as well who didn’t recognize the threat, or sympathized with it. Right wing violence became common in Wiemar Germany , just as it is becoming here and now. It’s also much more lethal than anti fascist violence. Has antifa bombed any synagogues lately? Whether or not Trump wins reelection there is violence coming, count on it, and liberals and their allies are going to be on the receiving end of most of it. Antifa are babes in the woods compared to your average gun toting fascist. Come that day we’ll be needing something more like the 82nd Airborne to stand against them. I just can’t get worked up over a few de-platformings and milkshakes. But then I suffer from Trump Derangement.

    What if Hitler had been deplatformed early on? All of Germany and the world got to read and hear and respond to his ideas and that stopped nothing.

  13. So our laws against hate speech are described in an encyclopedia as US being the exception. It was constituted 3 years after the WWII due to an antisemite propagandist, prompted by US jewish groups pressuring our the government on the issue [ https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hets_mot_folkgrupp ]. It is easy to find universities that has rules implementing the law [ https://gul.gu.se/public/courseId/40328/lang-en/publicPage.do?item=16824955 ].

    The first link says that here it is an extreme minority, nationalists and “white power” movements, that complain.

    You don’t eliminate Holocaust denialism by banning it;

    You might; I don’t have any statistical references any which way. But I do think we have less of that than US [ https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/05/the-world-is-full-of-holocaust-deniers/370870/ ].

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