Did Coulter silence herself? - Macleans.ca

Did Coulter silence herself?

Organizers, not police cancelled Ann Coulter’s UOttawa speech


Despite conflicting reports, Ottawa Police said event organizers, not police, cancelled a speaking engagement at the University of Ottawa Tuesday evening that featured the fiery U.S. pundit Ann Coulter.

After a fire alarm that delayed the event from starting, Ezra Levant, who was set to open for Coulter, told the approximately 200 people who made it inside the auditorium: “2,000 people right now are pressed against the front doors, pressed against the police, refusing to allow people to come in” and, Levant added, police and security had advised them it would be “physically dangerous” for Coulter to speak.

“We did advise Ottawa U security that the venue wasn’t large enough to accommodate all the people who attended,” said Ottawa Police media spokesperson Const. Alain Boucher.

But he said, whether or not the event would take place was up to the organizers. Boucher said Ottawa Police were concerned with “security issues,” which he said could be summed up to the sheer number of people for the size of the venue. He said according to police estimates there were 1,500 people in total, both outside and in the entrance to Marion Hall, where the event was being held.

As for the protesters outside the auditorium, Boucher said, “I wouldn’t call them rioters. They were people there to voice their concerns.”

After Levant and International Free Press Society president Bjorn Larsen finished speaking to the almost half-full auditorium, protesters could be found grouped together on the tarmac holding signs and chanting various call and responses.

Police were guarding the steps to the building, but at the time none of the protesters were within 10 feet of the officers. No arrests or reports of violence were made.

One of the officers estimated the number of demonstrators to be 200.

Coulter herself told Maclean’s that police “eventually said, we’ve got a bad feeling, this isn’t gonna happen. And they shut it down.”

But Boucher, maintains, the decision to cancel the event wasn’t made by police.

Despite backlash the university received after vice-president academic and provost Francois Houle sent a letter to Coulter advising her to “weigh [her] words with respect and civility in mind,” the university insists it never prevented the event from taking place.

A statement issued Wednesday said that the university made no attempts to bar Coulter from appearing on campus. “Last night, the organizers themselves decided at 7:50 p.m. to cancel the event and so informed the University’s Protection Services staff on site. At that time, a crowd of about one thousand people had peacefully gathered at Marion Hall,” the statement said.

President of the university Allan Rock, is quoted: “Freedom of expression is a core value that the University of Ottawa has always promoted.”

The organizers of Coulter’s speech, students from the school’s Campus Conservatives, have not yet responded to requests for comment from Maclean’s.

Coulter is set to speak at the University of Calgary tonight. CTV reported University of Calgary provost Alan Harrison said security will be increased because of what happened in Ottawa.


Did Coulter silence herself?

  1. Sadly this is probably the most accurate report of the incident so far. Which doesn’t say much for this country’s news outlets, some of which were actually at the event and saw first hand how few protesters there actually were, then went on to imply there were thousands. I know they are trying to make it seem like a big story because it’s a slow news week in Canada, but still, aren’t there any quality checks in the press these days? What happened is that they went from getting zero press coverage for the original event, to some press coverage when the National Post published that letter, and saw a way to let the media give them loads of free PR. A few protesters showed up and started chanting, and the organizers decided they could get much more press if they cancelled the event, then tried to make it look like it was the police who did it for safety reasons, even though they didn’t seem too concerned about anything other than the fact the venue was too small for the amount of people who showed up. And the vast majority of those people showed up to see her speak, not to stop it. Of course the media went along with the interesting story instead of the true one. Even though they were there so they know the reality of the situation.

  2. It sure is shocking that Ann Coulter would lie to try to get more publicity for herself, isn’t it?

  3. Overstated and overblown. That’s Ann Coulter and Ezra Levant.

  4. Another few days and this will be a non issue as is Mz Coulter.

  5. You know… it’s sad we have to debate what freedom of speech is… Look you can say what ever you want… it’s when people hear it, get offended and make such a big deal out of it… Who cares really… She’s a HOT Chick, she knows it.. SEX SELLS!!! and UPSET PEOPLE Sell for her!! :)

    Bottom line is… If Cranmer was joking when he said the “N” word… why are we allowing her to use the same insults on other cultures and countries..??

    Hitler was the same way!!! “right wing” Conservative!!! made people angry and talked bad things about the Jews.. People thought he was a great/peaceful man… it got people listening and interested!!!

    We should really learn more about this ANN Coulter lady rather then pointing fingers/accusing her of hate speeches!!! We need to learn her past, family life and anything that could expose her as “EVIL”… because personal life will show her “REAL” side…
    So People are we going down the same path with people like her?? or should we work this a little differently??!?!

  6. More lies from the Left.

    The police in no uncertain terms informed the bodyguard of Coulter and the event organizers that “they could not guarantee the safety of Ms. Coulter or the organizers”.

    U of Zero is a pathetic, second-rate university, and now everyone in the world knows.

    Canada, The True North Strong and Free could not be more of a lie than in U of Zero, steps from the Parliament of Canada.

    Brownshirts will of course applaud any attempt at threatening their evil daycare utopia.

    But once in a long while, U of Zero inmates do need to look up from their Playstations, unlock their minds and think for themselves for once in their lives.

    Groupthink is not thinking – it is moronic sheep-bleeting chorus led by enemies of the Western world.

  7. Pingback: Shame on Canada - Page 2

  8. Let me first apologize for being stupid enough to even add to this outrageous political prostitutes publicity machine.

    This charleton is a disgrace to decency and exposes the duplicity of the Canadian press.

    No-one in the Canadian media gives a shit about the state of politics in Canada.

    Yet here we have a glorious self publicist manipulating the rather dim Canadian media to enhance her earning power south of the line.

    There used to be a decency divide at the line sadly no more.

    We read a detractor comparing this Right wing zealot with Hitler.

    Next we see a right wing zealot, easily recognizable by the tendency to name-call everything which it finds it does not like.

    The right wing zealot then refers to the brown shirts who most famously, were the henchmen of the same Hitler.

    Comparing Coulter to Hitler is an insult to Germany, this woman couldn’t get a bus-load of monkeys to follow her.

    Hitler on the other hand had million prepared to go to their deaths for him. Even US Congressman Bush funded him.

    Congressman Bush sired a US President and was Grandfather to another.

  9. Is the Pope Catholic?

    This is probably the first time Mzzz Coulter has seen the equivalent of her ‘tea-baggers’ rallying against the likes of her. I would assume she was enjoying her paid-for dinner with the C.R.A.P.per boys too much to leave to give a silly little speech for what she once consideread a paltry sum of money ($10,000). All I ccan say, to paraphrase Lady Macbeth, is
    “Out, Out, Damned Rot”.

  10. Nice try. I see Ann’s profile prior to this effort was a little faded and needing of a media energy boost. With the power of FOX behind her, this might of worked in some backwater college town back home.

    While it did take a while for our press to stop listening to the people who wanted to be heard (over and over again) and begin to ask other people and authorities what really happened, the story got investigated and here you have it.

    While I don’t agree with her nasty opinions, I don’t care if she speaks here. There are laws in place that protect us and there are people who want to see… and oddly enough hear her view, probably the same reason some people like to see circus freaks I guess. We’ve spent too much time accommodating this prefabbed non-issue in our media, it’s stale.

  11. If you don’t agree with her ignore her. What hypocracy. Apparently all the Canadain left wingers are all for freedom of speech and expression unless they disagree with it.

  12. Take your drama to your mama. She is ONE of those responsible for inciting violence (religious, ethnic, and now Medicare related) in the US. She expressed some really insulting views on Canada and the French-Canadian. Probably she was too drunk to give a speech in Ottawa, but at least she managed to getting paid without delivering a public appearance. And she managed to get free publicity… Oh and maybe that muslim woman can use Coulter’s offer for a free camel ride on her back.

  13. Ann “I-haven’t-ate-a-full-sized-meal-since-I-was-last-married-which-happens-to-be-NEVER” Coulter still has relevance? This definitely happened outside of the GTA, because people like that have no use and spark no interest here in Toronto. Ann Coulter? Really? Sure it wasn’t a typo?

  14. [quote]
    More lies from the Left.

    The police in no uncertain terms informed the bodyguard of Coulter and the event organizers that “they could not guarantee the safety of Ms. Coulter or the organizers”.

    U of Zero is a pathetic, second-rate university, and now everyone in the world knows.

    Canada, The True North Strong and Free could not be more of a lie than in U of Zero, steps from the Parliament of Canada.

    Brownshirts will of course applaud any attempt at threatening their evil daycare utopia.

    But once in a long while, U of Zero inmates do need to look up from their Playstations, unlock their minds and think for themselves for once in their lives.

    Groupthink is not thinking – it is moronic sheep-bleeting chorus led by enemies of the Western world.

    While to some this may come across as passionate and true, I have heard all of these arguments, word for word, from similar minded people before. Nice work regurgitating someone else’s opinion to make yourself appear smarter. I bet U of Zero grads have less time for blog responses than you do :)

    People being upset does not turn this into a totalitarian, fascist police state. It means people were upset, the event was poorly organized, and going ahead with it could have presented unnecessary risk.

    It appears that you are trying to capitalize on this for yourself, to promote your own ideas. Not as altruistic as you would like to present yourself now is it. It is a gross exaggeration or outright lie to suggest that disagreeing with Ann Coulter (who?) makes you a Nazi, or that U of O students are prisoners who are stuck at a second rate school. Which college did you drop out of?

  15. Yes! I was at the university. The general impression amongst everyone actually present was that her people cancelled and used security as a pretext – they wanted to milk this for publicity.

  16. This story is a massive embarassment to the radical left in this country, and that is why Macleans is now joining in the chorus of rewriting history to change the facts.

  17. According to Coulter the police shut down her speaking engagement because the the venue was, “…surrounded by thousands of rioting liberals” who were “screaming, blocking the entrance, throwing tables, demanding that my books be burned, and finally setting off the fire alarm.”

    She claims that because of the Provost’s letter she has never before been greeted with “… so much mob violence that the police were forced to cancel it.”

    Do her recollections of the recent event make her a comedian or a pathological liar. My take is the latter.

  18. No surprise that Macleans doesn’t side with Ms. Coulter on a free speech issue after they let Mark Steyen get run off of its pages. You lefties would be falling all over yourselves it was Chavez, Obama or Castro speaking.

  19. As a Canadian who lived in the US from the beginning of Bush Sr.’s administration til the end of Bush Jr, I will tell you now that this was EXACTLY how Coulter wanted the event to play out. The OMG HATECRIME response to the UO vice president’s letter should have been your first clue. I’m betting the event organizers forfeited the 10+k that was paid to Coulter in advance.

    I will now reveal the PROPER way to protest Ann Coulter speech.

    Step 1: Buy up as many of the tickets as possible for yourself and fellow protesters.

    Step 2: Attend speech. Wait for Coulter to appear.

    Step 3: When Coulter takes the stage, get up, turn around, and leave silently in an orderly fashion.

    The reason that this method can be considered a successful protest is because it denies Coulter the attention and opportunity to cry persecution while simultaneously puts whatever conservative student organization which invited Coulter on the academic administration’s proverbial shitlist for wasting a massive amount of university resources on a low attendance event, causing them to possibly lose future funding and influence. Calgray would do well to consider this advice.

  20. Ms.Coulter has played the Canadian media like a violin. Howard Stern could not have done it better. She is a shock jock, A wwf
    wrestling villan, a carnival barker. She’s very good at it.
    wake up suckers you’ve been had. Ms. Coulter take a bow and give
    your press people a raise. Before you go, one favor take that Ezra Levant with you.

  21. Ryan and Wayne, you can’t honestly believe Macleans is now part of some vast left wing conspiracy? This is a joke, right?

  22. Quite obviously Ms. Coulter canceled the event as a publicity stunt. That the media took the bait hook, line and sinker is a reflection on the pitiful state of “journalism” in this country. Peaceful protesters expressing their free speech in defiance of a genocide advocate were attacked as a “violent mob”, “thugs”, “haters of free speech” and so forth. Actually, hate speech is not free. It is very costly indeed.

    Imagine what the reaction would have been if Ms. Coulter suggested that we invade Israel, slaughter its leaders and convert all Jews to Christianity. Methinks the media would be taking a slightly different tone. Coulter has been cast as a “free speech” martyr because her views fall in line with the power elite. Demonizing Muslims is important, so she is welcomed with open arms. What a bunch of hypocrites.

  23. Pingback: Ann Coulter in Ottawa « Engineering Politics

  24. it should not come as a surprise when ms coulter (who accesses
    millions of viewers thru TV and can deliver the lowest common denominator insanities that she is dishing) that even a small group of people who stand as one to prevent her from bringning them down to her level of discussion, they should be viewed as anti free speech. I say if people had done the same at the beginning of any tyrany, the world could be in a better space than it is now (what:
    full of screaming fanatics who cannot even have an intelligent discussion)Maybe the power of the microphone has gotten out of hand. Thanks and bravo to those who indeed stand for free speech!

  25. The U of O was ill-advised to send Coulter the letter that referred to Canada’s hate crime laws: firstly, they should have known that such a letter would be perceived by her as inflammatory and condescending (I’m guessing that this gal gets her pantyhose in a bunch if you so much as look at her funny, so just imagine what a letter from some stuffed shirt telling her she could be arrested might do to her mood). Secondly, while Coulter may not act like it, she is an adult, and the onus is on her as a visitor to Canada, to know about the law of the places she visits. It was not the duty of the U of O to inform her of the law, and it was a dumb move to do so because it likely had her up in arms long before she set foot on campus.

    The sad part is that no one will ever really know that Coulter’s people were the ones who cancelled the appearance. She has so deftly hijacked the media attention and has twisted the event so thoroughly to her advantage that it is highly unlikely that the facts will never be known. And this is particularly sad for those who came out in peaceful protest, because they and the U of O are now the ‘bad guys’.

    If only Mr. Houle had not sent that ridiculous letter…

  26. So despite actually being at the event and talking to the police and security, Ezra Levant is still trying to blame protesters for his failed promotion of hate-on-a-stick Ann Coulter. Ezra recalls the shock and horror he experienced when he read in Facebook that Ann could possibly be the recipient of a cream pie in the kisser.
    I swear his voice was breaking when I saw him on tv explaining why the police, because of thousands of hairy rioters, had to shut things down. He spoke in hushed tones about the stand he made in front of the auditorium, daring the frenzied mob to come no further as he shielded Ann from their horrid taunts. What a guy!

  27. Of course she cancelled the show. That is a matter of record. So is the fact that the Ottawa police are on record as saying that they were unable to keep either the speaker or the audience safe. To most Canadians, the travesty is that a group of fascist pigs prevented freedom of speech by threatening violence. Canadians have never bowed to fascist thugs threatening violence. We used to fight them. Until now. Shame on us.

  28. Arturolexo, where are the police on record as saying they were “unable to keep either the speaker or the audience safe?” I am not calling you a liar, I just haven’t seen any public statement from the police to this affect and it’d be awesome if you could post a link to it.

  29. Too many people for too small a room according to the police. A disaster waiting to happen. It probably saved the day when someone pulled the fire alarm before something terrible happened. Like a racist rant from a headcase.

  30. Tempest in a teapot! Good gosh! Heck! Shucks! I’ve been listening To Ann Coulter’s points of view ever since she was a regular on Geraldo Rivera’s old evening TV talk show on MSNBC years ago. She’s funny and to the point. What she says is distorted by the news media into things she didn’t say at all and then reported that way. The news media ascribes meaning to her words that just isn’t there.
    Hey, anybody remember when the news media was reporting that Ms. Coulter, that righty gal, and Geraldo, that lefty guy, were busy having an affair? Remember? They said that Geraldo had even sent a helicopter to pick her up and bring her to his home in New Jersey for a romantic weekend. Now, Geraldo did own helicopters. Fact is, Geraldo and his wife had invited Ann and her husband to their home for a weekend – just friends spending time with friends. My, how awful! And yeah, he did send a helicopter. I bring this up to illustrate how the news media loves to distort the truth.
    What a shame that here in Canada right-wing thought is labeled “hate speech” no matter how inoffensive, while left-wing thought, even when it is horrifically offensive, is considered acceptable.
    If you really want to go after “hate speech” you should target all the anti-American hate speech that is woven into the fabric of the Canadian character. (“Oh, no! It’s not hate speech when we do it! It’s only hate speech when THEY do it!”) I’m nearly 70 years old, now, and for my entire life I’ve put up with brain-dead Canadians spewing hate about the Americans. Then they sit down to watch American television shows, go to American movies, read American magazines and books, eat at branches of American fast-food restaurants, and holiday in Las Vegas. HYPOCRITES!!!
    When will the Human Rights Commission take a look at all the anti-American hatred? When they do, it is my hope that they will start with the The Toronto Star which for generations has been, through its columnists and editorials, a world leader in hate-mongering against anything American.
    Hatred is still hatred, even when it originates in Canada! Hatred is never any less hatred.

  31. LoL at all the crybaby liberals posting here.

    They can’t form a rational argument against her poltics so they have to try and frame her jokes as “hate speech”.

  32. How come the Macleans story differs so much from the live 1st hand account of one of the protesters? Someone is lying. http://www.flickr.com/photos/socialcontract/

    They describe what they did in these terms: Rush and Crush, ‘So we rushed the doors and quickly overwhelmed security.’ The fact is, once the ‘protesters’ got inside the building, there was no way the police would be able to keep them out of the auditorium without a major police presence. If ‘Rush and Crush’ worked on the front doors, then what would stop it from working at the auditorium doors? It is clear that this is why the auditorium doors were locked and nobody was being let in. If they had opened the doors, the ‘protesters’ would have rushed the doors and quite possibly caused injury or at least a dangerous situation. The police can say that they did not shut the event down, but it was clear from the the photostream description that the police had no control over the situation and so they had to say that they could not guarantee the safety of either the speakers or the crowd. It’s pathetic that the police seem to now be trying to deflect the attention from their inability to control even as few as a few dozen activists. This event was shut down by political activists. It’s no big deal, but lets not rewrite history to make it look innocent. http://www.flickr.com/photos/socialcontract/

    Coulter: the she-devil in her own words
    by Colby Cosh on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 11:38pm – 279 Comments
    Ezra Levant, who was present at the venue for tonight’s aborted Ann Coulter talk at the University of Ottawa, spotted my quickie weblog entry about the cancelled event and had me chat briefly with the leggy agitator. Coulter tells Maclean’s she never had the chance to move on from a private dinner reception at which she was signing books, meeting local conservatives, and waiting for the all-clear from her bodyguard, who was on the scene at the university. “I was just reviewing my speech. It was a fine little speech, and by the way, I cut it down so we could have an extensive question-and-answer period. I gathered that I was going to have a very exciting crowd tonight.”

    The police, Coulter says, “had been warning my bodyguard all day that they were putting up [messages] on Facebook: ‘Bring rocks, bring sticks, you gotta hurt Ann Coulter tonight, don’t let her speak.’ And the cops eventually said, we’ve got a bad feeling, this isn’t gonna happen. And they shut it down.”

    Coulter agrees with the suggestion that conservative speakers face greater dangers and nuisances in trying to encounter audiences on university campuses. “I speak at a lot of college campuses and I need a bodyguard… Michael Moore does not; Judy Rebick does not. I think Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could have spoken tonight with less controversy.” She dismisses the possibility, however, that things are ever likely to change. “Unfortunately, conservatives are too polite, so they will never get a taste of their own medicine in that regard, in terms of angry mobs with sticks and rocks.”

    She accuses the University of Ottawa’s academic vice-president, Francois Houle, of “inspiring hatred” toward her with his epistolary warning to her that she needed to be conscious of Canada’s criminal prohibitions of hate speech. Indeed, she says she intends, with Levant’s help, to ask police to proceed with exactly the same charges against Houle.

    “He described the law to me very carefully—any speech that incites hatred toward someone based on membership in an identifiable group can be criminally prosecuted. Well, before I even set foot in Canada, he had identified me as having criminal proclivities because I belong to an identifiable group: conservatives. Or it could be because I’m a Christian, I’m a Presbyterian. I’m a female conservative. If what Francois Houle did to me is not a hate crime, then nothing is.”

    After the event was cancelled by the police, Coulter says she went to her hotel room to relax and had a surreal moment. “I was watching the local news, which was all hockey and Ann Coulter, and some nut came on claiming that he was the organizer behind my speech. [murmurs in background] OK, his name is Craig Chandler. I sent an e-mail to my bodyguard saying Craig Chandler is disinvited from the event in Calgary. He’s on TV claiming to be the organizer and denouncing me!”

  34. –>Dan Taylor: Wow, I never knew I lived in an “…evil daycare utopia…” Good one! lmao

  35. What a strange Title for an article ” Did Coulter Silence Herself”

    Who Cares ? You have missed the point , completely.

    The relevant question is , Is Free Speech Dead in Eastern Canada?

    When the Canadian Association of University Teachers have to demand an apology to Ann Coulter, from the Provost of the U of O, the answer is a resounding Yes.

  36. @healer,

    Thank you for posting Colby Cosh’s interview with Coulter. You will notice that it is linked to in this article.

  37. When police suggest it may not be safe, what else can you expect but to cancel. Silly argument over who did what…point is we have lost our tolerance for some sides of contentious issues. Dare I suggest the ‘right’ side?
    I have not seen anyone shut down Israel Apartheid Week.

  38. As far as i’m concerned anyone the visits our country and spreads mistrust and hatered and responds to any of our citizens the way she did should be barred from entering CANADA the free again.

  39. What a waste of space … who freakin’ cares!!! Almost as bad as the bs babbling by idiots on Face Book!!

  40. Pingback: Wednesday-Night - » Media matters

  41. RE: Comment by Bob on 25 March 2010:

    AND: “As a Canadian who lived in the US from the beginning…”
    Yup, you’re probably right bob. That’s how business is done.

    AND: …”…the PROPER way to protest…”

    “Step 1: Buy up as many of the tickets…”
    Logical. Expensive, but logical.

    “Step 2: Attend speech….”
    Again, Logical. And an interesting idea, too!

    “Step 3: When Coulter takes the stage…”
    Well, there is a problem here. When the protesters leave, she will merely allow more of her fans in. She gets the cash, and the raves. Best to stay, stand-up, dramatically put on sound-blocking earphones. (Have someone explain why…) Then, sit down, and quietly read a book. She’ll get the message, and you are being polite and courteous to others with a dissenting viewpoint. The protesters could all perhaps wear a bright red t-shirt or something, to ID themselves. Where possible, they should sit in a noticeable group. Then you have an elegant solution. One the media will notice.

    AND: “The reason that this method can be considered a successful protest…”
    Well said.

  42. Not only did the police not stop the event, but apparently the organizers were offered a larger venue, which they turned down. See the great story by Michael Rowe in the Huffington Post on Mar 26th.

  43. Anne Coulter will always say whatever she wants to say about anything. If anybody wants to debate her, stay on the facts instead of “wimping” out emotionally having a tantrum fit, because then she will go for the jugular and wipe all those who wimps out intellectually.

  44. The facts are that Coulter and Levant were cowards who were afraid to stand up to a bunch of protesters carrying paper signs. It shows how much they value freedom of speech. The fact is, they could care less, and don’t seem to realise that freedom of assembly and fredom of protest are aspects of freedom of speech. If you expect me to sit quietly and nod my head while you insult me, your in for a big surprise. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. Their version of freedom of speech is unidirectional – from them to you. And what about Levant’s strong support on censoring George Galloway!

  45. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Bill Tieleman: Ann Coulter and Ezra Levant’s free speech scam - talk about rank hypocrisy!