freedom of expression

3 petitions

Started 7 months ago

Petition to David Yager

Protect Professor Camille Paglia From Political Persecution

Sheridan Merrick started a petition to fire a tenured Professor, Camille Paglia, from the University of the Arts for her dissenting views on how best to accommodate transgender individuals and to handle cases of sexual assault. Professor Camille Paglia is the author of Sexual Personae; Free Women, Free Men; Vamps & Tramps; Break, Blow, Burn; and Glittering Images, books of breathtaking scope and towering erudition on art, feminism, politics, sex, and education. Professor Camille Paglia's positions are thoughtful, nuanced, provocative, but never unfair or unnecessarily cruel. Here are a few short videos of who she is and what she stands for. Here is the video that Sheridan Merrick took issue with. University professors have tenure precisely to protect both the professors and their intellectual integrity against political pressure from both establishments and mobs. UArts must stand up for Camille Paglia's right to think, speak, and write freely. Please sign this petition if you agree that UArts should allow Professor Camille Paglia to: Continue her work at UArts without change, Debate and answer questions from the students who disagree with her in an undisrupted setting.

Hui Wang
11,467 supporters
Update posted 2 years ago

Petition to Hon. Yasir Naqvi

Hon. Yasir Naqvi -- Retract your consent for criminal proceedings against Kevin Johnston

Join the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) in defending the civil rights of Ontario citizen Kevin Johnston. Please sign the petition. No one in Canada should be jailed or criminally prosecuted for thoughts, inferred attitudes or speech, in the absence of proven intention to have demonstrably caused actual harm to an identified person. Victimless crimes are antithetical to democracy. Supposed capability of inducing an emotional response (“hate”) in persons at large must never be the crux of a criminal prosecution. Section 319(2) (“Wilful promotion of hatred”) of the Criminal Code must be struck. OCLA The Ontario Civil Liberties Association vigorously advocates for authentic and unqualified freedom of expression of individuals, on all topics and in every form, in accordance with the right to free expression enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Civil rights and legal context The threats to civil liberties caused by the hate propaganda provisions (sections 318 to 320) of the Criminal Code of Canada affect all Canadians. The said sections define offences resulting in prison sentences of up to five years for speech that need not be proven to have caused physical or psychological harm to any person. The sections define crimes of expression in which the Crown is not required to prove that there was a victim, or that any person suffered actual harm. The said sections are applied at the discretion of the Government, since no proceeding can be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General. Thus, the use of such a proceeding as a political instrument is an inescapable feature of the law. The political nature of charges made under the said sections is evident. Powerful individuals calling for or condoning wars of aggression that are actually carried out are never charged. The accused typically are politically isolated ordinary bloggers and publicists, who express highly unpopular views that attract the political opportunism of influential lobby groups, or are social media pundits who have a following that can be politically exploited because of its minority views that repel a majority constituency. At the Government’s whim, the accused is confronted with the disproportionate legal resources of the Crown, and the investigative resources of the police – who will typically make a home-invasive seizure of all storage and communication equipment and agreements (mobile phones, computers, account statements, stored emails, books, etc.). The arrested individual must apply for bail release. If released from custody, bail conditions can include a partial or total gag-order about the proceedings and about the impugned expression. Prosecution of Kevin Johnston According to multiple media reports, the charges against Kevin Johnston are solely regarding section 319(2) of the Criminal Code. The social-media context is one where there are intense societal debates involving positions that can be characterized as “anti-Muslim” or “anti-Jewish” or “anti-freedom” and such. Mr. Johnston is on an “anti-Muslim” side of public expression. Section 319(2) has also been used against a blogger who was on an “anti-Jewish” or “anti-Israel” side (whose civil rights OCLA also defended). These topics are ones where there is a high potential for political use of the Criminal Code: either to placate influential lobbies or to exploit public sentiment about racism of opinion. OCLA urges the Attorney General not to use section 319(2), which could result in jailing a citizen for unpopular expressed views — clearly political views about multiculturalism and security. Instead, the government should trust a robust and wide-ranging societal debate to produce the best possible outcome, and trust the police and state prosecutors to pursue crimes having actual victims that have personally and demonstrably suffered actual harm beyond a threshold higher than the emotional-response realm. The Ontario Civil Liberties Association believes that the proceedings against Mr. Johnston are systemically political in nature and should not be consuming public, police, and judicial resources. We believe that the proceedings are harmful to Canadian society, in addition to being unacceptably unjust towards a citizen. We ask that the Attorney General retract his consent for the proceeding against Mr. Johnston, in the interest of preserving a just and democratic Canada.

Ontario Civil Liberties Association
1,834 supporters