Sunday, June 4, 2023

Ukraine supporters attack free speech in name of democracy


Canada Toronto Ukraine free speech suppression UCC NATO silencing intimidation threats calumny thuggery

The war in Ukraine is about democracy, according to many who seek to suppress the democratic ethos in a bid to expand Canada’s role in the fight.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) has once again demonstrated its aggressive opposition to debating the complex political dynamics responsible for the horrors in Ukraine. Yesterday the head of that organization sent a letter to the Toronto Public Library demanding they cancel a room booking for an event planned for Sunday on “The war in Ukraine and how to stop it”.

UCC head Peter Schturyn wrote: “It is appalling that the Toronto Public Library would see fit to hold an event that blames the US and NATO for ‘instigating’ Russia’s war against Ukraine. …. We call on you to cancel this disgraceful event and in future refrain from providing a platform to those who serve as apologists for Russia’s genocidal war of aggression. Public libraries are supposed to be places of learning, education, and knowledge — not misinformation and mendacity.”

Incredibly, promotional material for the International Youth and Students for Social Equality event, which the UCC linked to, directly criticizes Russia’s invasion. It says, “the Putin regime’s invasion of Ukraine was reactionary and reckless, launched to defend the interests of the Russian oligarchy.” (While not my position, groups that refuse to directly criticize Russia’s invasion should still be able to book library rooms.) Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton and Toronto mayoral candidate Brad Bradford echoed the UCC on Twitter. The anti-Russia social media movement NAFO (North Atlantic Fellas Organization) shared the UCC letter calling for individuals to email the library. In the chatter on one post many called for disrupting the event by bringing air horns and chanting “slava Ukraini” during the talk. The NAFO Twitter conversation descended into death threats. One wrote, “forget the emails — go in person to the event. Look what the Australians did. A group of Z guys came to Sydney Town Hall and were not welcome. Less than two weeks later, one was found deceased in a ditch. Oh well, shame.” Another responded, “It really is a shame… That only one of them was found in a ditch. It’s a shame it wasn’t all of them.”  (more...)

Ukraine supporters attack free speech in name of democracy

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