HAT Forum June 19: Free Speech in Toronto, 2010 OISE, Room 11-200, 11am

HAT Forum, 11 am
Facilitator: Jodi Perrin

Pride organizers ban "Queers Against Israeli Apartheid" from this years Pride Parade, though they have marched in previous years. The Pride Committee caved into threats from City Council, orchestrated by Martin Gladstone and the B'nai B'rith group, to withdraw funding and perhaps even permits.

Question 1:
Why do our corporate media and cultural institutions rush out to defend free speech when some insensitive cartoonists create images that offend a billion Muslims yet those same groups led by B'nai B'rith actively deny free speech to a few persons who wish to express their conviction that Israeli state policies resemble apartheid? (Would they deny Nobel prize winner and Archbishop Desmond Tutu the right to march as he was one of the first to make the apartheid connection?)

Our cash-poor government devotes over 1 billion dollars to policing, security and equipment to lockdown the heart of our city entailing further loss of income for persons and business in that area.

Question 2:
How does this "shock and awe" exercise affect the ability of those who might dissent from the agenda of the G20 to express themselves in free speech?

Question 3 (or is it a Koan):
Who is afraid of What and Why?