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Staying the Course



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As is well known round these parts, universities nowadays are no friends of free speech, honest inquiry and vigorous debate. So I was pleasantly surprised to hear that students at Ottawa’s Carleton University had installed a “free speech wall”. I was less surprised by what happened a few hours later:

By Tuesday morning the wall was gone, destroyed in an act of “forceful resistance,” by seventh-year human rights student Arun Smith.

Seventh year? Wow! Is that a record for the grueling academic discipline of “human rights”?

Maybe not. Three years ago, when protestors shut down Ann Coulter’s appearance at Ottawa’s other university, I was struck by the senescence of the mob:

Sameena Topan, 26, a conflict studies and human rights major.

I’m thinking of holding a competition to find Ottawa’s oldest “human rights” major. First prize: a copy of Lights Out, my free speech book. It’s great for burning at demos, and easy to tear up.



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