CHAOS ERUPTED ON the night of March 23 as hundreds of protesters clashed with police to prevent Ann Coulter, a radically conservative U.S. pundit, from speaking on the University of Ottawa campus. The dozens of spectators who had been admitted into the Marion Hall auditorium and were waiting for Coulter to appear were eventually told that it was “physically dangerous” to proceed with the event and were evacuated from the building.
“It is an embarrassing day for the University of Ottawa and their student body that couldn’t debate Ann Coulter and chose to silence her,” said Ezra Levant, a Canadian conservative activist who was to introduce Coulter at the event. “Never in my whole life [have] I thought I would have to tell people how to get out of a university safely.”
The speaking event was part of Coulter’s three-city Canadian tour, organized by the International Free Press Society and the Claire Boothe Luce Policy Institute, an American organization supporting conservative women in politics. Coulter was scheduled to speak on political correctness, media bias, and freedom of speech, but is best known for making controversial comments that have included, shortly after 9-11, calling for Islamic countries to be invaded and all Muslims to be converted to Christianity.Oh, dear. Samantha sounds awfully crabby. I think her "friend" Mr. Monthly may be in town.
Students and local residents began lining up in front of Marion Hall several hours before the event; however, shortly before the scheduled speaking time, the building’s fire alarm was pulled, and the speech was delayed. After groups of people began to chant lines such as “No more hate speech on our campus” and “Coulter go home,” and crowded the doors to the building, Levant announced to those present in the auditorium that the event was cancelled, citing security concerns.
While Levant indicated it was protesters who pressed against the doors to the building, witnesses outside claimed that police blocked the entrance to Marion Hall. A group of activists, including several members of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), took credit for the protest.
“We support a positive space on campus. We don’t tolerate hate speech,” said social sciences student Taiva Tegler, one of the organizers of the protest.
The audience inside the auditorium consisted mostly of Coulter’s supporters, but several protesters were able to get inside by registering earlier with event organizers.
“I think it is very disgraceful that there are so many people here that support a woman who has made very homophobic, racist, [and] sexist comments,” said international development graduate student Samantha Ponting, one of the protesters who gained entry to the event.
“By allowing her here on campus, it has created an unsafe space. That’s why we closed the event,” she said...
In the olden days, they falsely accused mouthy chicks who upset people of being "witches" and burnt them at the stake. Today's modus operandi--forming an angry mob and chasing them away--is so much more civilized, don't you think?