The Trials of Ezra Levant
This might run a little long, but bear with me since I think this is important.
The above video was shot by Ezra Levant during the opening statement of his interrogation by the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
Until his resignation, Levant was an editor of Western Standard - a famously conservative/libertarian news-magazine based in Calgary, Alberta. In February 2006 he re-published the infamous Danish Muhammad cartoons, which drew the ire of many a Muslim radical.
Now, instead of issuing their standard-order fatwas, one extremist Imam (Syed Soharwardy of the "Islamic Supreme Council of Canada" - whatever the fuck that is?!?) thought out to corrupt our Canadian legal system by filing a complaint with an out-of-control Alberta Human Rights Commission.
The pathetic thing about this commission is that anyone who feels slighted or offended by some politically incorrect expression, can file a complaint which the defendant will have to spend money and time to fight. No matter how baseless the accusation is. To add insult to injury, far from being controlled by actual judges or even competent attorneys, the commission is ran by bureaucrats and bottom-of-the-barrel divorce lawyers.
Rather then attempt to fight the charges that are actually pretty laughable, Ezra refused to acknowledge that the government had any right to put-on these mock trials, or (in case of a conviction) to force him to apologize for what he has done.
Instead, he videotaped the whole proceeding and published them on his blog with comments and explanations. You can watch them all here... it won’t take that long and it’s honestly the closest we’ll get to that scene from Atlas Shrugged where Hank Rearden delivers the speech at his trial (this time with a goal of promoting free-speech rather than unchecked capitalism, which is all that much more admirable).
Here's a quote from his last post, and a video of the closing argument:
As the 90-minute interrogation proceeded, it became obvious to me that it would be morally inconsistent to end by asking for an acquittal, or any other "mercy" from the government. The logical conclusion of denying the legitimacy of the commission was to demand its worst. The point of civil disobedience is not to get off scot-free, but to willingly accept the punishments of an unjust system, to shame that system into reform.
Here's how I phrased it.
P.S. It's quite obvious that Ezra is a dedicated conservative who, let's be honest here, often comes across as being a bit of an asshole who's filled with self-righteous indignation, and who no-doubt made plenty of enemies back in his publishing days. But it's just depressing to see the only mainstream media mentions about this thing come from other conservative publications. I would've figured this was something all journalists could unite under.