Protesters try to shout down Ezra Levant at Ryerson

Protesters try to shout down Ezra Levant at Ryerson

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Shouting matches and security challenges greeted a March 22 speech at Toronto’s Ryerson University by conservative pundit Ezra Levant.

The venue for Levant’s talk on conservative politics, Israel, anti-Semitism, campus politics and free speech was moved late in the day from the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre to a room in the Mattamy Athletic Centre because of “security concerns,” the Ryersonian campus newspaper reported.

Videos posted to Facebook and YouTube show students disrupting Levant’s talk with chants of “no Islamophobia, no white supremacy.”

Levant, founder of Rebel Media, is then shown leaving the podium and confronting the students, yelling “Don’t shout down the Jews.”

Levant and a phalanx of supporters, walked toward the door to the room as he shouted at the demonstrators, who set off alarms and blew whistles in an attempt to drown him out.

One shouted, “You’re a Nazi bastard.”

Levant, in turn, reportedly called the 50 or so protesters “paid anti-Semites” and “professional brown-shirts.”

As well, the president of CESAR, the union for continuing education students, issued a letter to Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi expressing the group’s disappointment in “giving space to a known bigot, Ezra Levant,” the Ryersonian reported.

READ: REBEL MEDIA STAR GETS FLAK FOR ’10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT JEWS’ VIDEO

No one from CESAR returned The CJN’s calls.

In his talk, Levant asked why the liberal press and Jews in the Liberal party aren’t calling out mosques preaching hate against Jews, face-obscuring veils and Sharia law, the Toronto Sun reported.

“I’m not saying this not just as a Jew but someone who loves the west and loves freedom,” Levant was quoted as saying.

One of the announced hosts of the event, Students Supporting Israel, backed out at the last minute, citing threats it had received.

The threats involved “safety issues” and came from students who do not attend Ryerson, SSI president Rebecca Katzman told The CJN the day after the event.

“We pulled out because it wasn’t worth it. We don’t want to harm any individuals,” she said.

In a Facebook post, the group said: “Originally, we signed on to the event on the grounds that it was a talk about Israel. Due to various reasons, and specifically numerous security threats and personally threatening attacks [directed against] many of our executives and members, SSI decided to pull out of the event.

“SSI respects everybody’s safety, and right to express their views. SSI is not politically affiliated with any party, as we brings in various speakers from all sides of the political spectrum, and stand up for freedom of expression and free speech.

“We understand the concern of such an event, and that is why SSI officially pulled out from co-hosting.

“We have full and utmost respect for our friends at Ryerson Campus Conservatives, however we decided we could not be affiliated with this event.”

The group Ryerson Campus Conservatives was left as the only sponsor of the talk.

Robert Walker, national director of Hasbara Fellowships Canada, told The CJN he finds it “certainly distressing to see how free speech is under attack on our university campuses.

“The institutions that are supposed to uphold the standards of freedom of expression are often the very places where this freedom find itself most limited. Moving forward, I hope to observe a greater level of respect and tolerance for differing views so that we can advance the discourse on these crucial topics,” Walker added.

In an email to The CJN, Levant called the demonstrators “fascists” who “didn’t even bother to ask me a question – like two Muslim activists did. They didn’t even heckle me substantively (my speech had quite a few controversial moments, where a heckle would have been on-point and perhaps effective). They just stood up like zombies, trying to shut down the event.”

 

  • TerrorIsEvil

    Nicely done, Ezra. This is the first time I have seen the pro-terrorist crowd driven out of the public space they are violating with noisy propaganda tactics.

    I am a big fan of fighting back with words. Shouting and bad behavior deserves the same – it does not matter how juvenile it appears – fighting back works.

    The protesters think that they have special rights and the moral high ground when they utter magical leftist words like “Islamophobia” or “racist” or “occupier,” but they are just parroting hot-button nonsense that other people in the media, the Muslim Brotherhood or academe have scripted for them.

    These kooks are just stooges and useful idiots. How many of these little con artists would survive in countries where sharia law and misogynist practices are in full force? How many of them would have the courage to protest in a Muslim country the mistreatment of Muslims by Muslims or repression of women in those countries? None.

    They find easy targets like Jewish speakers and others (like shutting down Prof. Jordan Peterson at McMaster University for not using the correct fake gender words) – shut them down – and then pat themselves on the back for stopping free speech, shutting down discussion and demonizing Jewish people. religious people, conservative people or any person who has finally discovered that the leftist mantra is not friendly to anyone’s freedom and can turn on the left on many issues in the same way they shut down speakers on the right.

    • George Bacon

      agreed

  • Yankel

    Ezra gives a platform to anti-Semites like Gavin McInnes and Richard Spencer. For him to play the antisemitism card is pure hypocrisy.

    • George Bacon

      ah…Gavin is not an anti-Semite. But these Soros Brown Shirts are

      • Yankel

        Goebbels was wrong. Repeating the same lie over and over again doesn’t make it true, George.

    • George Bacon

      ah…Gavin is not an anti-Semte. But these Soros-paidBrownShirts are

    • George Bacon

      ah…Gavin is not an antiSemite. But these Soros-paidBrownShirts are

    • George Bacon

      ah…Gavin is not an anti-Semte.

    • George Bacon

      Gavin is not, But these Soros-paid BrownShirts are