Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The World Post Section 13

I have confirmed from several sources that this story is basically correct.  Arthur Topham, publisher of The Radical Press, was indeed recently arrested for hate crimes, for among other things publishing material like The Biological Jew and The Protocols of  The Elders of Zion on his website.  So post section 13--assuming parliament finally passes Brian Storseth's private member's bill repealing that part of the Canadian Human Rights Act--all the players remain the same.  B'nai Brith, for example, has said quite clearly that they will continue their efforts to fight anti-Semitic  speech on-line via the  criminal code.

The only  difference is that the police will sub-in for officers from the various human rights commissions and tribunals, and folks like Mr. Topham will wind-up going to the pokey rather than getting a letter in the mail.  Somebody explain to me how this is an improvement.


Harry Abrams said...

Still waiting on confirmation of charges.

MgS said...

There's one small difference - B'Nai Brith and other organizations have actual money to pursue these issues with.

Smaller communities, such as Canada's transgender community do not have such resources.

Short of actual violence being perpetrated, I don't imagine an already overwhelmed police agency being overly interested in investigating hate material published online for groups that don't have the resources to hand them the case on a platter.

Marky Mark said...

Doesn't the provincial A-G have to approve anything from happening in the first place (under the CCC) such that a gatekeeping introduction is being added as compared to HRC's?

Let's take a tweet from today where even if I find it distasteful and draw my own conclusions about the tweeter, I don't think it crosses the line under the CC-with the HRC's it is less clear if someone would take a more aggressive view:

"...Jews who want to wipe out the Palestinians en masse should stop whining about the horrors of genocide. I'm just sayin'."

bigcitylib said...

Yes, MM, they do, and B'nai Brith and co were able to convince the AG in this case. I don't know how much of an audience Topham has but he is pretty extreme.

Marky Mark said...

Agreed-but what is the history of successful convictions when there has been a decision to prosecute? I've never looked at it but think it's almost imposssible to win one of these cases.

And have those who have been prosecuted continued to do their thing or have they taken their stuff down (if online) and/or stopped distributing written hate materials and/or stopped oral hate speech?

bigcitylib said...

The only successful prosecution was, I believe, of a guy named Gary Harding. I'm not sure if there were any attempts that failed after the AG approved. But you are right it has proven to be EXTREMELY difficult to go this route. As for Harding, I don't know if he's still Muslim bashing, but he did get on Coren's show about six months back to play the "free speech martyr" card.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

There have been other cases including the infamous James Keegstra case, the Roma case and more. Convictions are possible and I believe the cops do take it seriouslyl

In fact BCLyou are quite right those opposing S13 basically bit off their nose to spite their face. No more silly servants sang questions on hate related issues, now big burly cops and the threat of jail are the deal.

1:57 PM

Harry Abrams said...

@ Mgs
I don't think it's strictly a matter of money. I'm a volunteer, most of the legal expertise is pro bono'd, but true, there is at least one BBC lawyer and there's an office staff, plus it's backed by a foundation. Meanwhile I think that any "interest group" can do a reasonable job of making themselves intelligently heard if you have both legal and some media expertise on board.

bigcitylib said...

Harry is right. BB and the other Jewish citizen groups run mostly on volunteer power, plus some folks paid in key positions. You can get a lot done if you can get talented pros (lawyers, Pr, whatever) that are willing to pitch in just a few hours a week but at a pro level.

Plus they are very aggressive in defending their own perceived interests in real time. Some other groups don't, and this can have various consequences. If the mainstream is too quiet, the wing-nuts can take over (hence R. Banerjee is apparently the only Hindu in Canada)