Christie Blatchford’s presentation at the University of Waterloo on Tuesday night went off without a hitch, without even a whimper of protest from Dan Kellar or the other self-appointed censors who intimidated the university into cancelling her scheduled Nov 12/10 appearance before it even began, and had promised to disrupt her second vist.
- HelplessByBlatchford, Dec 03/10: Blatchford set to speak at UofW next Tuesday, ‘students’ promise to disrupt
The Kitchener Record has a very good account of the evening for so I am free to devote this piece to giving credit where it is due – to the University of Waterloo, not only for ultimately defending academic freedom and freedom of speech, but for its masterful public relations work.
Before continuing, however, I feel compelled to share what many who have read Helpless and/or experienced the OPP’s race-based policing policies in Caledonia firsthand might regard as the quote of the evening (just one of many superb Blatchford-isms to which we were treated):
“The election of former OPP chief Julian Fantino – who she blames for abandoning the rule of law in Caledonia – to a federal seat in Vaughan “makes me want to slit my wrists,” she said.
- The Record, Dec 08/10: Security tight for Blatchford’s return to UW
DEFENDING FREE SPEECH:
Christie Blatchford and the University of Waterloo
Most observers agree that UW got caught flat-footed on Nov 12th by a small group of goons who should have been handcuffed and dragged out in order to preserve the precious academic freedom that is the lifeblood of an institution upon which policy makers rely for scholarly scrutiny of vital issues of local and national concern.
Certainly, Waterloo’s image took quite a bruising in the eyes of bloggers, journalists and academics. Dr. Frances Widdowson – the author of Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry who faced a vicious campaign of academic intimidation by occupation supporters after she invited Gary McHale and me to speak at the 2010 New Directions in Aboriginal Policy forum at Mount Royal University [LINK, LINK] – wrote what may be the best editorial of the entire Blatchford incident:
[…] It is now becoming standard practice to make unsubstantiated accusations about racism, sexism, homophobia, white supremacy, etc. to silence disliked, and possibly true, opinions. Christie Blatchford is the latest target of such smear tactics, and this will almost certainly happen again. Solidaritists watching the Blatchford affair will be emboldened by the University of Waterloo’s impotence; if these censors are not opposed, we will be effectively asking students to vet who is allowed to speak.
Read the rest of this article…
- HelplessByBlatchford, Dec 11/10: University of Waterloo takes a stand for free speech and Christie Blatchford’s Caledonia story
Mark Vandermaas, Editor