Deborah Gyapong: Anti-free speech students shut down Ann Coulter lecture

Anti-free speech students shut down Ann Coulter lecture

UPDATE: Get Brian Lilley's take here.
Blazing CatFur has a round up. And can you believe this is also on Drudge?


An unruly, chanting mob of anti-free speech demonstrators gleefully celebrated their success at forcing the cancellation of Ann Coulter's speaking engagement at the University of Ottawa.

I arrived a little after 7 p.m. and the paved area in front of the Marion building was packed with people trying to get into the hall. Then I heard the fire alarm had been pulled and they were trying to clear the building. Some folks came out, a number who had already paid the $10 for non-students and who had been waiting in the auditorium. The people tried to get back in and for about 45 minutes we were crushed like sardines in the vestibule, uncertain what was going to happen next. The doors to the auditorium were locked. Finally the Ottawa Police came and cleared people out, except for us journalists and a group of student demonstrators who were gleefully chanting and celebrating. When I got outside one of my blog readers came up to me and told me he had been inside the hall before 7 p.m. He said a group of people rushed the hall, jostling the three people who were at a table checking student ids and those who had registered. The table got pushed aside. When the volunteers said they needed order and for people to come to the table, some of the rowdies folded the table up and threw it aside. Then the volunteers decided it was too dangerous for them and they shut the doors to the auditorium.

There was lots of media--TV, radio, print, French and English so this black eye on the University of Ottawa's reputation is going to be all over the mainstream media. I see it is already all over the blogosphere.

I would guess though that at least two thirds of the crowd wanted to hear Ann speak. Though I heard some say they disagreed with her, they still wanted to hear her. One student was furious that the demonstrators were shutting this down.

One gal was waving one of Ann Coulter's books around asking whether they should burn it. "Let's debate this," she says.

Luckily I didn't see any book burning. These students think they are keeping the University of Ottawa a "safe" place. Safe for them to never hear any opinion that might upset them or challenge them. What a sad, sad day for Canada and for Ottawa. I am ashamed of the University of Ottawa. What a rinky-dink excuse for university. What a disgrace for the Oblate founders, whose mission was to truly educate people.

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