Thursday, September 23, 2004

FREE SPEECH AT McGILL

Reported from The McGill Tribune

Apparently, since June, a man identifying himself as Lloyd A. Davidson has been demonstrating outside McGill University's Roddick Gates displaying a rotating array of signs with misoginyst and anti-semetic slogans on them such as, "Christianity is the true Jewish religion."

Student's who have become frustrated with the inability of McGill Security or Montreal police to do anything about the situation have taken action into their own hands in the best way possible: by organizing counter-protests.

Jamie Ormond, U3 Political Science, took action on Wednesday in part because it was the eve of Rosh Hashanah. Ormond had visited businesses along avenue McGill College and called Jewish organizations, but was disappointed by the response. Staging her own protest, she said, proved more effective.
"One day of action produces more results than hundreds of phone calls," she said.
...
"Today he's had a really bad day," Ormond said Wednesday. "He's been spoken to by many, many disgruntled university students who want their campus free of negative speech."
[Fellow student Kelly]Graham agreed.
"It's hate. He shouldn't be allowed to walk around promoting hate," she said. "If enough people cause him problems, then maybe he'll change his sign."

Exactly.

We don't need excessive laws banning what people can and cannot say. The best defence against expressions you dissaprove of is to counter them with your own. By organizing counter demonstrations the student's of McGill indicate that Mr. Davidson's opinions are unwelcome at the gates of the school, and if enough of them show up and make their voices heard Davidson will be marginalized or silenced.

Democracy requires participation. Rights have to be earned, every day. The creation of the society we want will only come by responsible citizens actively exercising those rights.

Posted by Matthew @ 8:34 PM