There’s a global controversy brewing around the University of Toronto right now. It all started on November 16th when a group of radical feminists, anarchists, and some students (who said they were sent by their Women’s Studies class) showed up to blockade people from entering an auditorium.
On the other side of the situation was a man named Warren Farrell, and a crowd of people who paid for tickets to enter the event. Farrell is a writer and activist who has written seven books on the subject of men’s & women’s rights. He was one of the most vocal men in support of second wave feminism, and was also on the board of the NYC chapter of National Organization for Women (NOW) from 1971-1974. Over time, NOW became more radical, and Farrell fell out with them. He later became recognized as a major figure in the Men’s Movement.
Farrell is a controversial figure- particularly with people in Canada’s Old-Left- the anarchists and (fringe) feminists have no patience for this guy. What they did gives us a very good example of the world they’d like to see in the future. And, I can assure you, it’s a future that very few of us want to see…
The radicals, as they do, were yelling out accusations that Farrell promotes and celebrates rape, and that the people who were going to attend his speech were sexist ‘rape apologists’. They blocked the doors, yelled bad words and insults while aggressively (and physically) confronting with the police- and some of the Old-Lefties began targeting and insulting the ticket holders.
It’s a scene we’ve seen many times before in Vancouver and Toronto- an act of mob bullying…
There were many familiar faces in the mob. Currently, the most prominent is someone identified as Vanja Krajina- one of the people arrested at the G20. According to a story in the McGill Daily, Krajina was a ‘legal observer‘ at the G20 who was improperly arrested (as many people were thanks to the presence and actions of the anarchists). She had a bottle of saline for her contact lenses, and a vinegar soaked bandanna to protect herself from tear gas. She was charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and conspiracy to use explosives.
Obviously, if the charge was based on what she was carrying on her person, she didn’t have any explosives. We don’t know what information the police had, so we can’t judge whether she was part of a conspiracy. She has, however, commented on this site before defending Alex Hundert- a convicted G20 ringleader who is currently in prison for teaching Ontario’s youth how to ‘de-arrest’ people from the police. On a side-note, Hundert has been steadfastly supported by well known feminist Judy Rebick.
Krajina has also been actively fighting with Member of Provincial Parliament Jonah Schein’s beloved Ontario Coalition for Poverty (OCAP)- a ‘militant’ group who are closely tied with the unions, Common Cause, and the city’s ragtag groups of anarchists. Here you can see her having a temper tantrum after City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam refused to accept an audience with anarchists whose home burned down on anarchist “Flagpole” Alex Balch’s beloved George Street.
It’s not that hard to imagine why Wong-Tam didn’t want to include the anarchists in the meeting- they have a history of causing disruptions, breaking things, and disrespecting everyone around them.She’s obviously learned the lesson that politicians like the NDP’s David Eby, Jonah Schein and MP Andrew Cash still need to learn. This is not the sort of behaviour that’s conducive to building a solid and civil society.
Anyhow, back to the incident at UofT. There was a video taken during this debacle (at the bottom of this article), and it’s caused quite the stir in the online world. Krajina is one of the major stars of the video- she was obviously there for more than just blocking the doors. Instead, she started stalking some of the ticket holders, swearing and yelling insults at them.
Here’s what she said to some poor ticket holder:
“You should be ashamed of yourself- you’re fucking scum. Fucking rape apologist, incest supporting, women hating, fucking scum.”
She then displayed that she has an abysmal understanding of logic:
“Why do you pay money to to fucking for, a fucking rape apologist if rape apologist if you aren’t, fucking, one!”
At 1:21 on the video you will see Marque Brill from the Ontario Coalition of Poverty (OCAP)- he’s a leader with ‘Black Bloc’ types who busted Toronto up during the G20. According to CausePimps.ca, Brill is a paid protester, he’s OCAP’s webmaster, and he was involved in the contemptuous takeover/shutdown of Ryerson University’s CKLN radio. There’s also an interesting story about his dodgy use of someone’s credit card. CausePimps also says he’s a close associate of Andy Lehrer– a man who followed me on Twitter shortly before I published this story, then unfollowed me shortly after.
At 2:08, on the far-left side of the video, we can see Julian Ichim – he’s one of Toronto’s least savoury anarchists who recently participated in interrupting Remembrance day with a couple of Afghani radical women. Canada’s radical website rabble.ca promoted the two women after they did this. Judy Rebick was a founder of Rabble.ca- they’ve been known to publish outright slander.
Amanda Lickers is on the video at 2:18. More recently, she was a speaker at Zach Ruiter’s anti-nuclear meeting over the GE-Hitachi plant in West Toronto. That’s the anarchist-led meeting MPP Jonah Schein and MP Andrew Cash attended together.
Anarchist CUPE leader and schoolteacher Ashleigh Ingle shows up on the video (for real this time, I promise) yelling out at a cop at 3:14 in the video, later, at 3:31 she yells out “fucking pigs” to the cops. In-between you will see her right up-front as the lines of radicals pushed their way into the police. It’s my understanding that she’s a PhD student at the UofT- it looks like she is going to have some explaining to do. (She also wrote an interesting article about the Canadian Federation of Students recently).
It seems that may just happen. The UofT’s Provost’s office published a letter about this incident today– it appears that he’s frowning about the events that occurred at the university that night. Here’s what he had to say about them:
“The vast majority of the University of Toronto community understands that freedom of expression is vital to the mission of universities and cannot be reserved for those with whom one agrees. It is therefore heartening that many members of our community with otherwise divergent views have recognized that the disruption of this event by protesters was a threat to free speech.”
And they’re right. The entire premise of the protest was to shame and stop people from going into Farrell’s speaking engagement. The people behind the protest feel that Farrell doesn’t have the right to speak his mind. If you watch Farrell’s lecture, there’s nothing he said that matched what the protesters said about him. There was nothing said that could be construed as hate speech- at least, not inside the auditorium.
The Old-Left dominated University of Toronto’s Student Union made a statement about the event- framing Farrell as a monster, and the protesters as heroes. They labelled the protesters as conducting an ‘information picket’ in-front of the event- despite the fact the video shows they were (admittedly) blocking people from entering the event. Their level of misrepresentation has only been beaten when the Quebec student union KLASSE lied about the number of people at a student protest (a lie brought to us through Rebick’s beloved Rabble.ca).
One of the reasons that this story has become so big is because it was picked-up by a popular Men’s Movement website called A Voice For Men. They were, justly, disgusted by what happened at this protest- they, as well as the Provost’s office and most reasonable people understood that there was an injustice here, and they’ve shared the story with the world. This site is very popular.
There’s a very heated discussion going on in the comments for this article- and it appears that many people are out for blood. There are some good, and some bad assumptions and plans being made. One of their reader’s natural instincts is to make an example of Vanja Krajina. It wound’t be the first time this happened.
Probably the most well-known instance of this was with Vancouver Schoolteacher Sasha Wiley-Shaw (Why is it always teachers? Should we be concerned about that?) in Vancouver. Wiley-Shaw first came to public attention misrepresenting the injuries she sustained while being arrested at the Casseroles protests in Vancouver where they ‘marched in solidarity’ for the Quebec student strikes. More recently, she was caught on a video cutting-down positively worded Men’s Right’s posters on the side of a construction site in Vancouver. (The posters were placed with permission)
A video was made about Wiley-Shaw by Myerku Media– he assigned her the nickname Creepy Bittergrrl. The video made a number of very valid points, and was right on-the-money in many ways. It was a very well-produced video too- with the exception that it includes a couple of animated dildos. So, it was a bit controversial. Wiley-Shaw is now a globally known name. People are speculating that Krajina is about to suffer the same fate.
Personally, I believe that would be energy misspent. Yes, there should be a discussion about the individuals involved- they were engaged in a public demonstration where there were dozens of people taking pictures with cameras and cellphones. But, overall, the focus should be on the core problem- the bullies who have been terrorizing people on the streets of Toronto. This was not an isolated incident- it’s an ongoing pattern.
The University and City of Toronto has a serious problem on it’s hands- and, it’s not just this city, the same thing is happening in Vancouver, Montreal and universities across the country. The people behind this, and similar, events have been getting increasingly bold in their attempts to ‘Rabble’ up trouble in our cities. They’ve been causing immeasurable harm to Canada’s indigenous communities, nuclear power activism, Gay Pride marches, Israel/Palestine marches, Remembrance Day ceremonies, the G20, The 2010 Olympics, the Quebec Student strikes, and so much more.
What happened at the UofT that day is just one side of how this group of bullies operates. Their violence extends long past the protest. They engage in coordinated character assassinations, cyber bullying, calls to friends and family, and physical attacks. People who disagree with them are often left having to literally watch their backs while they walk through Toronto’s streets.
Ashleigh Ingle’s ex-partner, Brandon Gray once described how one of these organizations worked like an obedience cult. They don’t just rip-up the people they are opposing- they are also continually mauling non-conformists within their ranks. These groups prey on the young, naïve, poor, indigenous, new immigrants- whatever’s the flavour of the day. They leave a long trail of damaged people in their wake.
The UofT has a number of organizations that have become toxic like this over time. Ingle was an officer in the radical CUPE 3902- a union representing UofT academic staff. The Graduate Student Union’s building has become a centre of activities for many on-campus anarchists. And, now, the undergraduate student union is writes a press release defending the people who were blocking free speech.
This is happening at universities across the country- there was a similar incident at Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University when some people wanted to open a Men’s Centre. Many people believe that the glue that holds the radicals together across universities is the Canadian Federation of Students. It’s common knowledge that their politics don’t match the will of the average student- the CFS has been accused of hijacking social movements for some time now.
The problem here is bigger than a few individuals who misbehaved at a protest. The problem is that Canada has many members of our government, academic faculty, mass media, and non-profits who have been aiding, promoting and/or encouraging people to behave this way.
If I’ve been a bit hard on people like Judy Rebick, David Eby, Sid Ryan, Professor David McNally, Professor Jim Deutsch, Antonia Zerbisias, Andrew Cash and Jonah Schein it’s because I so desperately want to see one or more of them take leadership and stop all of the carnage. Bad things are happening, individuals are getting hurt, causes are getting hurt- truth and honour are becoming a thing of the past.
So, who’s going to take this on? Any volunteers? Who’s brave enough?