All Posts Tagged With: "Abortion Debate"
Carleton students shouldn’t be forced to pay for a group they don’t support
Critics of the Carleton University Students’ Association’s threat to strip an anti-abortion group’s club status are missing the point.
“Carleton student association bans anti-abortion club,” screams the headline on the National Post’s religion blog. According to a press release from the Campaign Life Coalition: “Carleton University, that bastion of free-thought, has ordered some of its students to accept its pro-abortion policy or leave the University.”
The problem is that this just simply isn’t true.
What’s actually happening at Carleton is that the students’ association–not the university–has decided to suspend a group’s club status. What does this actually mean? It means the group won’t get student money and can’t use student space for their activities. That’s it.
This has nothing to do with freedom of speech and everything to do with a group of self-righteous whiners who feel that they’re entitled to funding from all students and are upset that the gravy train has been stopped.
This group hasn’t been “silenced” or any such nonsense, they’re just being forced to pay their own way.
Students shouldn’t be forced to financially support groups that they disagree with. As Thomas Jefferson said, “to compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
Yes, I am aware that students across the country are forced to pay for on-campus groups they may or may not support. I don’t think they should be.
Moreover, Carleton Lifeline’s views are particularly extreme. The group’s most recent protest involved the hosting of something called the “Genocide Awareness Project” a vile campaign which makes a mockery of the suffering of Holocaust victims.
The CUSA is a private corporation run by elected pseudo-politicians, they’re allowed to take stances on issues. One might even say that’s what they’re supposed to do.
If individual Carleton students want to pay for this group they can, and should, do it out of their own pockets.
Threat to decertify pro-life group ignores union’s pledge to protect campus diversity
CUSA issued a notice to Carleton Lifeline Monday saying that the group will been banned for failing to comply with CUSA’s anti-discrimination policy. It helpfully informed the club that it has the opportunity to be recertified, so long as it adjusts the terms its constitution.
“We invite you to amend your constitution to create one that respects our anti-discrimination policy,” wrote Khaldoon Bushnaq, CUSA’s vice-president of internal affairs. CUSA’s anti-discrimination policy essentially states that “any campaign, distribution, solicitation, lobbying, effort, display, event etc. that seeks to limit or remove a woman’s right to choose her options in the case of pregnancy will not be supported.”
In sum, Carleton’s anti-abortion club must now support abortion rights if it wants to remain a student group on campus. The thought police at CUSA have given Carleton Lifeline until tomorrow to amend its constitution.
CUSA is the same student organization that famously and erroneously characterized cystic fibrosis as a disease only affecting “white people, and primarily men” back in 2008. The student savants who made up the council at that time deemed the disease not “inclusive” enough and voted to discontinue its Shinerama fundraising campaign. The burden of national embarrassment (and, you know, the actual facts about the disease) eventually prompted council to reverse the decision, but it seems the discomfiture of being a Canada-wide laughingstock back in 2008 has settled for the CUSA of late, and it’s getting back to making outrageous moves.
In what can only be perceived as an ironic push for progressivism, CUSA has turned its own constitution on its head; a constitution which explicitly states its aim to uphold an “environment free from prejudice, exploitation, abuse or violence on the basis of, but not limited to, sex, race, language, religion, age, national or social status, political affiliation or belief, sexual orientation or marital status.” Despite Article I of CUSA’s constitution, which states that the organization “shall act as a representative of the entire undergraduate student body attending Carleton University” (emphasis mine), CUSA’s decertification of Carleton Lifeline is little more than a discriminatory move toward a segment of its populace.
Some students at Carleton University believe that abortion is wrong. Shall I pause for dramatic effect? Though perhaps an unpopular position among members of CUSA’s council, it shall nevertheless seek to uphold an environment where pro-lifers can express their political and ideological beliefs free from discrimination. That’s according to CUSA’s own stated principles. Perhaps council has forgotten, but clauses protecting individuals’ rights to association and free speech are precisely so important as to protect those unpopular opinions. Concepts such as a woman’s right to cast a vote or the freedom for gay partners to express affection in the streets were once unpopular and/or offensive positions too, after all.
Not only is CUSA failing to protect its student from discrimination based on political and possibly religious belief (anti-abortion positions are often faith-based, after all), the group has taken on the role of oppressor itself. By mandating a “think like us or else” ultimatum, council is not seeking equity for all students, but rather, is playing favourites with group ideology. Short of CUSA declaring that pro-life attitudes plague only “white people, and primarily men,” I should think this latest hypocriticial CUSA move has just about pushed limits of reason.
-Photo shows Lifeline members being arrested during a demonstration on campus last month.
Youth Protecting Youth (YPY) seek apology, reversal of student union policy, and financial restitution
You don’t need to be a great social commentator to recognize that when you mix abortion debates with university students, you get a political hot potato. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Victoriaville or Vancouver though, because the script pretty much stays the same.
Step 1: A pro-life student club (or traveling exhibition) compares abortion in some way to murder/genocide/terrible, terrible things
Step 2: The university’s student council, in all its wisdom, decides to ban said group or club from campus.
Step 3: Gnashing of teeth commences.
It happened at UBC-Okanagan, it happened at York, it happened at Lakehead . . . it happens pretty much everywhere. Generally though, the debate stays inside the university. In the case of the University of Victoria, it’s headed to the courtroom.
Youth Protecting Youth (YPY), the pro-choice student club at UVic, has initiated legal action against the UVic Student Society (UVSS) for what they claim is “a protracted campaign of censorship and discrimination against the club, in which the Student Society has deprived YPY of official club status and withdrawn its funding to punish it for expressing pro-life views.” The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) has been assisting YPY over the past year, and is seeking intervener status in the lawsuit.
Somewhat ironically, the lawsuit comes after the UVSS restored YPY’s club status. This followed two years of increasing clampdowns on the club, which culminated in the UVSS denying YPY club status in February. Since that time, UVSS elections were held, in which the left-leaning slate that had been in power for over a decade was defeated by a more centrist group, which reinstated the club last month.
It’s a moot point to YPY though. In the lawsuit, they demand what amounts to a formal apology from the UVSS, a guarantee that club status will not be taken away in the future, and financial restitution for funds refused since October 2008.
Case law on the subject is murky. In 2008, BC’s human rights tribunal dismissed a complaint by UBC-Okanagan’s pro-choice student club, Students For Life, allowing the student union to continue to deny them club status. However, at the time William Black, a law professor at UBC, said the case probably wasn’t precedent setting, arguing “It looks like it was rejected not as a matter of principle, but based on the facts.” At UBC-O, a special general meeting was held to ban Students For Life. At UVic, all decisions involving YPY have been made exclusively by the UVSS council. In America however, the Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that student clubs cannot be denied funding based on their viewpoint.
Where the lawsuit goes from now is anyone’s guess, though in all likelihood will cost thousands of dollars, take months to finish, and remind the majority of students why wading into the waters of the abortion debate is an issue student governments should be wary of.
Latest move to silence abortion debate at UVic will likely lead to legal showdown
The University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) cranked up their fight against the pro-life student club Youth Protecting Youth (YPY) last week by revoking the club’s status. Previous efforts to silence the club’s controversial message only went so far as to deny the club funding. This latest move denies the very existence of the group, upping the stakes significantly in a conflict that is sure to end up in court.
The spat began in October 2008 when the university’s students’ society refused to give YPY the same meagre funding all UVic student clubs receive. Clubs approved by a committee are entitled to $232 each year in addition to such perks as banner supplies and free room bookings. Upon review in 2009, the committee approved funding for YPY. But the students’ society board stepped in and once again revoked the funding, yet still permitted it to operate on campus.
In an October 2009 meeting, the society’s directors accused YPY of “harassing” female students with anti-abortion posters. Those opposed to YPY have also complained about a YPY sponsored event that featured the controversial pro-life activist Stephanie Gray debate distinguished medical ethicist Eike-Henner Kluge. Director Tracey Ho summed up the society’s position by saying, “No one should debate my rights over my own body.”
YPY fought back by contacting the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), in hopes the organization would defend its right to freedom of speech. BCCLA agreed and in late 2009 threatened to launch a lawsuit on behalf of YPY if the UVSS didn’t reinstate the club’s funding. The UVSS brushed the BCCLA off. (Read our previous coverage here.)
In a UVSS meeting that stretched past 11pm last Monday night, the student society decided to revoke the club’s status for one year, meaning that in addition to losing funding, YPY can no longer rent rooms or access other perks available to clubs. YPY may be able to regain status if it complies to certain restrictions. The catch is that the UVSS hasn’t yet determined what those restriction are, so YPY’s status won’t change until the restrictions are written at some unspecified time in the future.
The decision was in part a response to a complaint filed by the UVSS Women’s Centre. “Reproductive rights are elemental in women’s collective and individual potential for equity in all realms of social life,” the complaint letter states. “Access to abortion free from harassment is one of these reproductive rights that YPY continually undermine through the proliferation of inaccurate information and the creation of hostile environments.”
“YPY’s identity and actions as a pro-life organization inherently discriminates against women. Through intimidation tactics and moralist evangelizing, YPY limits the ability of women on campus to access accurate information about abortion free from harassment.”
John Dixon, president of BCCLA, finds this argument illogical. “It is worthwhile to consider, for a moment, what this really means,” he wrote in an email. “It means that the very civil, moderate pro-life YPY club at UVic doesn’t even have to get out of bed in the morning to discriminate against women; it means that no matter how mild, moderate, and circumscribed its advocacy, it discriminates against women. There is no appeal to reason here, but a weird evocation of a kind of secular flavour of sacrilege.”
In a Thursday email to UVSS chairperson Veronica Harrison, YPY president Anastasia Pearse asked the UVSS to call a special general meeting to reconsider their status. “We are unaware of any policy or bylaw that gives the Board discretion to withhold club status indefinitely based upon a yet-to-be-developed policy,” Pearse wrote. “We refuse to participate.”
Harrison has maintained that the UVSS has every right to deny funding to YPY. “Freedom of speech of course can happen, but not when it’s harassing or oppressing other people,” she said in December.
UVSS Director Nathan Warner was one of the minority who voted against revoking YPY’s status. “I’m pro-choice but I’m also pro-debate,” he told Maclean’s. “Abortion is not an easy topic for anyone and I believe that no matter what you ask it will likely offend someone. I don’t think that is reason enough to merit banning a club from campus.”
Warner concedes that YPY is asking tough questions in its anti-abortion campaign. But, as he points out, YPY’s posters don’t include graphic images that have been associated with other pro-life campus activism. “This attack on freedom of expression is unfounded and needs to be stopped,” he said.
It seems unlikely that the BCCLA will back off either. According to Dixon: “At the University of Victoria, the values of freedom of conscience, opinion, religion, and expression are decried as quaint residues of an irrelevant past. The Board of the Student Society has drunk deeply at the well of post-modernist ideology, and they are determined to drive the very moderate and civil student pro-life club from the campus. What certainly seems separate from this university is the faintest memory of the very idea of a ‘university’ as a place dedicated to the preference of dialogue over force.”
Related: Closed for debate. Also see, Uvic’s pro-choicers up the ante against pro-life club
- With files from David Foster
Latest petition goes so far as to question existence of pro-life club Youth Protecting Youth
David J. A. Foster, a student blogger at the University of Victoria, reports that he has come across a petition calling for the indefinite suspension of the pro-life club Youth Protecting Youth. The petition, which was found in UVic’s students union building, goes farther than previous efforts by the University of Victoria Students’ Society to limit the club’s activities.
For nearly a year and a half, Youth Protecting Youth (YPY) and the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) have locked horns. Since October 2008, the UVSS has denied $232 in annual funding to which all clubs are entitled to. In October 2009 the UVSS board again voted to deny funding. Recently, the BC Civil Liberties Association asked the UVSS board to reconsider their position, arguing that denying funding is an unreasonable limit to freedom of speech on a university campus that should be a bastion of open debate. The board refused and BCCLA is threatening legal action. The Canadian Federation of Students has reportedly stepped up to offer the UVSS legal funding if the BCCLA makes good on its threat.
However, while UVSS has repeatedly refused to fund the anti-abortion club, it has not outright denied its status as a club. This gives the group the right to book space and other perks. This latest petition brings the controversy a step further by asking that the club be denied status full stop.
The petition asks the UVSS clubs council to consider a motion calling for the suspension of the group for “their repeated offensive actions.” These offensive actions, as described in a letter preceding the petition, include: use of GAP (Genocide Awareness Project) materials on campus and hosting the controversial anti-abortion activist Stephanie Gray on campus, who participated in a debate with a philosophy professor. “This is hate speech that caused harm to many people on campus, including but not limited to many women on campus who have had abortions,” the letter reads. “The images and the captions on the posters harassed women and tried to make us feel guilty about a choice that we have a right to make.”
First thing first, according to everyone I’ve spoken to about the topic, GAP materials–which typically feature graphic images of abortions next to those of horrific events like the Rwandan Genocide–have never been used on UVic campus. Ever. Not by Stephanie Gray or anyone. So what this boils down to is a group of students feeling offended by the posters and Stephanie Gray.
I wrote an article on the BCCLA’s legal action against the UVSS in December, which included a description of the event at which Gray spoke. You can read it here.
And as far as I can tell, this dispute is going to go as far as the courts allow. John Dixon of the BCCLA is candid about his organization’s determination to fight for YPY’s freedom of speech and I can’t think of a more aggressive sparring partner than a stubborn students’ association funded by the CFS.
Pres encounters large-scale protests as hard-line Catholics protest his commencement address
President Barack Obama strode head-on Sunday into the stormy abortion debate and told graduates at America’s leading Roman Catholic university that both sides must stop demonizing one another.
Obama acknowledged that “no matter how much we want to fudge it … the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable.” But he still implored the University of Notre Dame’s graduating class and all in the U.S. to stop “reducing those with differing views to caricature. Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words. It’s a way of life that always has been the Notre Dame tradition.”
One of the noisiest controversies of his young presidency flared after Obama, who supports abortion rights but says the procedure should be rare, was invited to speak at the school and receive an honorary degree. “I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away,” the president said.
Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, introduced Obama and praised the president for not being “someone who stops talking to those who disagree with him.” Jenkins said too little attention has been paid to Obama’s decision to speak at an institution that opposes his abortion policy.
Ahead of Obama’s address, at least 27 people were arrested on trespassing charges. They included Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff identified as “Roe” in the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. She now opposes abortion and joined more than 300 anti-abortion demonstrators at the school’s front gate.
More than half held signs, some declaring “Shame on Notre Dame” and “Stop Abortion Now” to express their anger over Notre Dame’s invitation to Obama.
Obama entered the arena to thunderous applause and a standing ovation from many in the crowd of 12,000. But as the president began his commencement address, at least three protesters interrupted it. One yelled, “Stop killing our children.”
The graduates responded by chanting “Yes we can,” the slogan that became synonymous with Obama’s presidential campaign. Obama seem unfazed, saying Americans must be able to deal with things that make them “uncomfortable.”
University charges students with trespassing after graphic abortion display
The University of Calgary has taken the war against politically incorrect opinions on university campuses to a whole new level.
The University is in the process of charging students with trepassing after the student set up a outdoor display containing graphic images of aborted fetuses.
The group Campus Pro-Life put up a display of the Genocide Awareness Project in a central area of the campus back in November. They did so despite being told by university administration they were not welcome to set-up the display in such a way that unsuspecting passers-by would be exposed to the images. The university also warned the students that legal consequences could follow if they defied the order. Regardless, the students set up their display with the pictures clearly visible to onlookers.
I not a supporter of the display and, frankly, find the equating of abortion to the Holocaust offensive. However, the university administration has a responsibility to tolerate student expression of such opinions. The fact that the university is seeking court convictions of these students shows a willingness to crush unpopular student expression that is unbecoming of an institution dedicated to the ideas of the academy.
The University of Calgary has been steadly climbing in reputation in the last couple of years and has done a wonderful job in creating good graduate programs that are nationally competitive. It was one of the universities I was considering if I decided to continue in political science for graduate studies. An institution that does not cherish free expression, especially when that expression is difficult to tolerate, is an institution that ultimately limits intellectual pursuits. Why would I attend an institution that limits debate?
I’m not disputing that the university has a right to ask Campus Pro-Life to display their pictures in a less intrusive way; that is an expression of an idea. However, it should not be able to use the coercive power of the state against a way of expressing an idea. The university says it doesn’t mind the expression of the idea on the campus, only the method of expression.
Universities shouldn’t allow one method of expression for ideas it agrees with and then deny that same method of expression to an idea it disapproves of.
First Carleton, next Calgary.
Later today, pro-life/anti-abortion at the University of Calgary are planning to display graphic photos of abortion at the University of Calgary.
The university is promising to arrest the students if they do so. The university proudly states the fact that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not apply to universities and they have the right to remove students from the campus if they deem their protest to be trespassing on university grounds.
I wonder how administrators would feel if the government decided to close a department in the Faculty of Arts? I bet they would scream ACADEMIC FREEDOM!
I’m no fan of the genocide awareness project and can see why many people do not wish to see the pictures, but the freedom to only say things people want to hear is no freedom at all.
Rob Breakenridge’s column in the Calgary Herald is the best written piece on this subject in a long time:
The display features images of aborted fetuses, and the university is firm in its demand the display be turned inward so as to safeguard the sensibilities of passersby–a compromise, as the university sees it.
But rather than get caught up in the arms race of political correctness, theUofChas an opportunity to prove universities remain a haven for vigorous –even polemical–debate.
An unfortunate addition to this controversy, though, is a capacious amount of hypocrisy. It seems quite likely that a more politically palatable organization would encounter much less resistance.
I doubt a display on domestic violence would be shunned if it included images of battered women. I’m sure animal rights groups are free to show images of animal testing and I don’t think an antiwar group would be forced to conceal images of prisoner abuse.
There are times when troubling images can or even should be used to make a point –who gets to decide which are appropriate?
As for the Campus Pro-Life group, while its members and supporters are highly attuned at the moment to the importance of freedom of expression, how lasting is that appreciation?
While others are rightly being asked to put their beliefs aside for principle, how willing will pro-lifers and social conservatives be to return the favour? If a campus group proposed a display on the history of gay erotica, would those social conservatives in the pro-life camp be as eager to see such images?
We’ll wait and see what happens later today.
University of Guelph’s student union latest to ban pro-life club
Forgive me for my sarcasm in this post, but I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall and not even chipping the paint. The only thing I’m achieving is continuing to frustrate myself and getting a headache. Yet, I continue screaming at the top of my lungs: “Enough! Banning free speech does nothing but make martyrs of the newly-oppressed!”
A few months ago during a similar situation at York University, I noted that banning pro-life groups is actually counter-productive to the pro-choice cause.
The name of the banned club is Life Choice and they stand accused of promoting their anti-abortion/pro-life viewpoint during an event called “Life Fair” in March. The event featured speakers from the pro-life side, including graphic pictures and the distribution of materials to the student body. The CSA says this violated clubs policy and decided to ban the club during its Oct. 1 board meeting.
Life Choice says it didn’t believe it was violating policy.
This is the typical “he said-she said” debate that surrounds this issue. As much as I’m personally disgusted by some of the material and graphics shown by pro-lifers at many events I’ve witnessed, I support their ability to express their viewpoint and distribute their materials.
Sadly, the CSA does not believe in free speech for this political hot potato. According to the CSA, the event in March was so traumatic they had no choice but to ban the club and to issue an apology on behalf of the student body for exposing them to this side of the debate. The apology cites, in partial defense of the CSA’s crackdown on free speech, a recent resolution of the Canadian Federation of Students to support student unions which ban “anti-choice organizations access to their resources and space.”
All of this reflects poorly upon the CSA, but it gets worse. The CSA did not provide due process to the pro-life group.
Under the CSA’s own policy, Life Choice was supposed to be informed that their club status was being review. This would have provided the club the opportunity to speak in its own defense in front of the CSA Board. The CSA did not inform Life Choice of the impending vote as they rushed to ban the club. The lack of due process discredited the decision to ban the club. The CSA took the position that this lack of due process was acceptable because the club could appeal its mistreatment to the CSA Board of Directors, the same people who denied them due process in the first place.
The appeal was to be heard on Oct. 29. In the lead up to this meeting, the local mainstream newspaper The Guelph Mercury, devoted an editorial to the fiasco. In the editorial, the paper called the ban an “incredibly ill-advised choice.” However, the paper noted the appeal offered the CSA a “chance to save face, do the proper thing and return the club’s student group status.”
Sadly, for the already damaged reputation of the CSA, the normal chair of their meetings was unavailable that night and the meeting was unable to render a decision on the future of the pro-life club. According to The Mercury, the CSA will be meeting again tomorrow and still has the opportunity to make the right decision. They can allow for free speech to return to their campus.
Here’s my advice to the CSA: allow Life Choice enough status to participate in the great discussions of the academy. Allow them free speech. Don’t fund them. (They’ve said they don’t want the funding.) Allow them to distribute their viewpoint. If the CSA feels so strongly on the issue, counter their materials. If they are false, as the CSA claims, have confidence in the intelligence of the average university student to be able to realize this.
The abortion debate is exactly that; a debate. What better place for a debate to occur than on an university campus.
What should be done about hazing on campus?
- It should be banned outright (43%)
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This poll closes at 19:00 Eastern Standard Time on November 12, 2008
York Federation of Students censors abortion debate at their campus; protests freedom of speech at another university
Free speech is again the centre of controversy at York University after the students’ union canceled an on-campus abortion debate last week only four hours before the event was scheduled to commence. This has some students accusing the York Federation of Students of quashing open dialogue around issues they disagree with.
“We would not have a debate over something that is racist or homophobic,” said Gilary Massa, vice-president equity of the York Federation of Students. “This debate is sexist … when it comes to free speech there is a line. … They are talking about taking away women’s rights. We would not allow a debate asking if women beating should be allowed.”
The club hosting the event, the York Students for Bioethical Awareness (SBA), invited Jose Ruba from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Awareness to represent the pro-life side in the debate. The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Awareness (WARNING: graphic content) main page features a graphic comparing abortion to the Holocaust accompanied with the statement: “When personhood is denied, the unthinkable becomes reality.” The CCBEA is behind the controversial “Genocide Awareness Project” and its large images of aborted fetuses alongside images of the Holocaust or ethnic cleansing in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia.
But the graphic images were not cited by the student government as a reason for shutting the event down. Rather, the reasoning seems to be purely ideological.
“I was told in a meeting by members of the York Federation of Students that debating abortion is comparable to debating whether a man should be allowed to beat his wife,” said Margaret Fung, co-president of SBA. “They said that there is freedom of speech to a limit, and that abortion is not an issue to debate. … They were opposed to our message and they stopped this opportunity for us to express our viewpoint in the context of a debate.”
Amir Mohareb, president of the York Debating Society and moderator of the canceled debate, was surprised by the late cancellation. “[The YFS executives] were openly excited about the debate and ready to cheer on the side they support in the debate,” he said. He was initially concerned about the plan for the debate and declined the invitation to moderate at first. “We were concerned about the original plan and responded with a list of conditions to make sure it was a fair and proper debate,” said Mohareb. “They [SBA] accepted our terms.”
Mohareb and Fung have both requested a written explanation of the cancellation. Mohareb said there may have been good reason to cancel the debate but he hasn’t heard it yet: “A number of different executives said that a debate on abortion may be inappropriate to hold in the student centre.” Mohareb said that if the cancellation was because of the political issue being discussed, it would be an unacceptable attack on free speech.
However, Mohareb said that the anti-abortion speaker wanted to hand out materials featuring the controversial images. Mohareb suggested that if the YFS had opposed the debate on the ground of the offensive materials, that might be understandable. But above all, he urged the student government to explain their actions.
But in interview with Maclean’s Massa maintained that it was the topic of the debate that led them to put a stop to it. She repeatedly compared the act of banning abortion to beating women.
Although both sides are deeply entrenched in their positions, the YFS has been somewhat inconsistent on free speech in the last week. The day after the cancellation of the debate, Massa led a delegation of York students to McMaster University to protest what they called an infringement on free speech.
The YFS joined other Toronto students unions in condemning McMaster University and the McMaster Students Union for censoring a poster featuring the controversial phrase “Israeli Apartheid” and a graphic, violent image. At the rally, the Toronto unions accused the university and students union of shutting down free speech at McMaster. They called on McMaster University and students union to allow for absolute free political speech on the campus.
Massa doesn’t see the connection between the two incidents. She said that the censorship at McMaster was about a political issue while the York debate would have amounted to “hate speech.”