Freedom or Repression of Speech at Alberta’s Universities? A Point of Contention Between the NDP and the UCP

Is former NDP Cabinet Minister, Shannon Phillips, attempting to revive her waning political career by initiating a fear mongering campaign? Ms. Phillips is targeting Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s plan to integrate the Chicago Principles on Free Speech into the operations of Alberta’s colleges and universities.

The University of Chicago put forward a statement in 2015 asserting that it is an essential duty of universities to foster debate even when some might find the certain arguments to be “offensive, unwise, immoral or wrongheaded.” Rather than trying to constrain speech the academic mission calls on its champions to celebrate ideas by debating them with enthusiasm and respect.

In an Aug. 9 video posted on her Facebook account, Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips tries to make a case against the Chicago Principles. Instead of embracing free speech, Ms. Phillips would apparently prefer to continue the Alberta NDP’s policy of trying to manage and control speech in Alberta’s institutions of higher learning. This NDP hostility to free speech and to academic freedom has been most clearly expressed in the political party’s shifting position on my case.

My suspension came in October of 2016 as an administrative response to a now-notorious Facebook scam mounted by B’nai Brith Canada and Joshua Goldberg. Goldberg’s extremely reprehensible “Kill All Jews” post is said to have appeared very briefly on my Facebook wall without my sanction or agreement. Goldberg is presently in a US federal penitentiary convicted of terrorist charges.   

See this and this. 

Ms. Phillips wants to confine the issues to my suspension at the U of L in October of 2016. Among the many issues she tries to ignore or downplay is the fact that the professional associations representing me locally and nationally defeated the U of L Board of Governors in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. The ruling came down in September of 2017. It indicated my suspension took place outside the terms of an administrative-faculty collective agreement. A judge ruled that my suspension was illegal.

It does not bode well for the future of the supposedly left-leaning NDP that one of its senior MLAs can be so flippantly dismissive about an administrative failure to live up to the terms of a collective agreement with a faculty association. Who does the Alberta NDP represent if it fails to uphold the rights of organized labour?

Is the NDP’s position on Israel-Palestinian relations illustrative of the party’s propensity to identify with wealth and power over the victims of injustice? The provincial and national branches of the NDP have disappointed many decent men and women who expect Canada to show some sort of balance in its international orientation to the Jewish state and the Palestinian people.

The former leader of the federal NDP, Tom Mulcair, was ruthlessly one-sided in his Middle East policies. Mulcair would not allow NDP MPs to criticize Israel. He prevented NDP members from seeking election to federal office if they manifested pro-Palestinian proclivities. Mulcair prevented Libby Davis, Morgan Wheeldon, Jerry Natanine and Paul Manly from running for public office. Paul Manley’s father, James, is a United Church clergyman who risked his life on a ship seeking to deliver in 2012 humanitarian aid to the Palestinian inhabitants of the blockaded open-air prison of Gaza.

See this.

In 2017 NDP federal leadership candidate, Niki Ashton, attempted to overcome Muclair’s reactionary legacy by emphasizing the need for the Canadian government to develop a more balanced position in the Middle East. Ashton’s role in Parliament as MP for a large Manitoba riding with a majority of Aboriginal peoples was probably a factor in her developing a wise sensibility to the dilemmas of indigenous Palestinians.

B’nai Brith Canada intervened in the NDP leadership campaign to depict Ms. Ashton as an anti-Semitic bigot engaged in the process of befriending terrorists. As this lobby was trying to turn NDP members against the pro-Palestinian candidate, B’nai Brith Canada was deeply involved concurrently in my case. It put extreme pressure on the Alberta Premier to counter the court’s decision to reinstate me to my professional responsibilities.  

Premier Notley succumbed to the pressure. Seeking partisan political advantage she wrongfully intervened to undermine the juridical integrity of an internal investigation within the University.  The President of the U of L Faculty Association wrote to the Premier indicating she “may have biased the outcome of any such fair and objective process.” Shortly after Notley intervened to join in the attack on academic freedom, she was feted at a dinner hosted by B’nai Brith Canada.

See this.

The coalition of the lobby group, the U of L Board of Governors and the very top officials in the Alberta government was aimed at bringing about a preconceived outcome before a genuine process of arbitration of my academic work had even commenced.

Left-wing parties in many countries have been pressured to ignore the Israeli government’s violations of international law in its treatment of Palestinians. Those who insist on criticizing Israeli actions are often targeted professionally for defamation through the deployment of weaponized terms like “anti-Semitism,” “conspiracy theories,” “holocaust denial” and “hate speech.”

The Israel Lobby’s attack on the UK Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn, a decent social democrat under vicious political attack, forms a telling illustration of the web of corruption that has ensnared Rachel Notley and Shannon Phillips. It is disturbing to witness the Tony Blairite propensities of the NDP survivors of Jason Kenney’s recent electoral sweep in Alberta.

In her video discussing the U of L free speech case, Shannon Phillips shows that she is deeply enmeshed in the deceptions and propaganda disseminated by B’nai Brith Canada. This deception began when B’nai Brith tried to pin on me the extremely offensive content of the Joshua Goldberg post.

An honest account of how this story has unfolded would mention that I retired on 20 October of 2018 in good standing as Emeritus Professor. I was not found guilty of anything. Shannon Phillips has conspicuously failed to do her homework in mounting her attack on free speech and on the protections for academic freedom in Alberta.          

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Dr. Hall is editor in chief of American Herald Tribune. He is currently Professor of Globalization Studies at University of Lethbridge in Alberta Canada. He has been a teacher in the Canadian university system since 1982. Dr. Hall, has recently finished a big two-volume publishing project at McGill-Queen’s University Press entitled “The Bowl with One Spoon”.

Featured image is from Flickr

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So please – don’t expect anything to come of this.

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Edmonton

Alberta Holocaust denier reportedly arrested in Germany

Monika Schaefer described the Holocaust as the ‘most pernicious and persistent lie in all of history’

Monika Schaefer, a Jasper woman who has denied the Holocaust ever happened, has reportedly been arrested in Germany. (Emilio Avalos/CBC)

A Jasper, Alta. woman, infamous for denying the existence of the Holocaust, has been arrested in Germany, according to B’nai Brith Canada.

Monika Schaefer was arrested in Munich earlier this month, B’nai Brith Canada, said in a statement Thursday.

The Canadian-based Jewish rights advocacy group said it is awaiting further details on why Schaefer was arrested. It praised German authorities.

B’nai Brith officials said the group had filed complaints against Schaefer with German officials because of her “anti-Semitic incitement.”

Holocaust denial is a criminal offence in Germany. Under Germany’s Incitement to Hatred laws, those found guilty of denying the Holocaust could face a maximum of five years in prison.

“German officials should be commended for taking action against Holocaust denial,” said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada, in a statement.

“We will continue to work, even across borders, to ensure that racism and bigotry find no haven in Canada.”

CBC News has spoken with Munich police but has been unable to corroborate reports of Schaefer’s arrest, or what charges may be involved.

Schaefer was reportedly arrested during a recess in the trial of Sylvia Stolz, a lawyer on trial for Holocaust denial, according to a post on the right wing German blog deutsches-Maedchen.com.

Police commended

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center said it confirmed through the Bavarian State Police that Schaefer had been arrested on charges related to Holocaust denial.

The Toronto-based, non-profit human rights organization, which is committed to countering racism and anti-Semitism, commended German police for the arrest.

“Holocaust denial and revisionism continue to prevail across social media platforms in Canada and across the globe,” Avi Benlolo, chief executive of the centre, said in an emailed statement.

“Such perversion of the truth must be confronted through the use of the deterrent tools available under the law, as well as through education.”

Schaefer gained notoriety in July 2016 after publishing a video on YouTube in which she described the Holocaust as the “biggest and most pernicious and persistent lie in all of history.”

Monika Schaefer, right, was a former Green Party candidate who campaigned with leader Elizabeth May. (Facebook)

Throughout the video, she expresses her firm belief that six million Jews did not die at the hands of Nazi Germany, and she refers to the Holocaust as “the six-million lie.”

Schaefer was the Green Party candidate in the Alberta riding of Yellowhead in the 2006, 2008 and 2011 federal elections, but was ousted from the party during the ensuing controversy over the video.

At least one hate speech complaint was filed against her with the Alberta and Canadian human rights commissions.

On her Facebook page, Schaefer, who was born in Canada of German heritage, describes herself as a self-employed violin instructor.

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Jew Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL

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KEYNOTE: “Voices prohibited by mainstream media and its role spreading Islamophobia” Rula Jebreal

Conference: Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America? Washington, DC – March 18, 2016 at the National Press Club This conference was organized by the American Educational Trust, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine, and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc. (IRmep)


When “Fake Progressives” Crack Down on Progressive Voices: Bonnie Faulkner’s Guns and Butter on KPFA

The consensus among “Progressives” and Left Democrats is that Alex Jones is a “conspiracy theorist” (allegedly involved in hate speech) and censorship against him has nothing to do with First Amendment rights which guarantee Freedom of Speech.

While the media has provided extensive coverage of the Alex Jones saga, the crackdown on progressive voices by self-proclaimed “Progressives” has not hit the headlines.

Bonnie Faulkner’s Guns and Butter weekly program on KPFA has been closed down by Pacifica. It was among the station’s most popular programs over a period of 17 years. Not a word from the mainstream media. 

This decision against Bonnie Faulkner is also intended to suppress the voices of prominent authors, activists, lawyers, scientists, politicians and scholars who have contributed to Bonnie’s weekly program over the past 17 years. (See archive here)

Historically, the Pacifica Radio (KPFA) network based in Berkeley, California was a powerful independent voice. No more.

This is the text of their letter to Bonnie:

 

Let us ensure that Bonnie Faulkner’s program goes back on the air.

Our thanks to NoLiesRadio.Org and TruthTroubadour

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, August 21, 2018

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click here to contact Pacifica (KPFA) 

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Below is the video recording from Aug 18, 2018 public meeting of the KPFA Local Station Board “Public Comments” session in Berkeley, CA. Bonnie Faulkner is speaking against the censorship of her Guns & Butter Radio show, which she has hosted for about 17 years. 

“There is widespread about the “deep politics” show being censored in the midst of a wave of censorship and loss of civility in these post 9/11 crime times.”

NoLiesRadio.Org is a Pacifica Affiliate, which entitles it to broadcast on the internet many of the same shows that are produced at KPFA and other network stations.

Guns and Butter has been a popular program on KPFA for about 17 years.

It has reached a new and wider international audience on internet radio via NoLiesRadio.


Pacifica’s History and Mandate. Committed to the Truth???

94.1, KPFA is a community powered radio station … For nearly 70 years KPFA has investigated the contemporary intersections of class, race, distribution of wealth and it’s affects on the citizens of our Northern and Central California coverage area.

Over the years we’ve advanced the discussions and told the truth about historical moments of political impasse, racial tensions and economic inequality. Our mission and hope is to provide diverse programming that provokes thought and reaction on a complexity of issues for our community of listeners.

 

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These Jew-run media outlets have promoted endless lies as a way to con our people into supporting all sorts of agendas that are not in our interests.

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