How I Almost Became a Refugee

Posted in Lifestyle
Tue, Jan 26 - 9:00 am EDT | 1 year ago by
Comments: 11
Be Sociable, Share!
    Use Arrow Keys (← →) to Browse

    Riposte Modernism - Canada's Twitter Trial

    If you’re not Canadian, you might have missed something extremely important that happened this weekend. Canada narrowly avoided turning into a police state where you could be arrested and imprisoned for up to a decade for having the wrong views.

    This affects me personally, being Canadian. The last few months, I was one legal judgment away from in essence becoming a political exile. A kind of refugee, though not the gropey kind. I quite happily live in another country right now, but I always knew that if I wanted to (or really needed to) I could always go back home. If push came to shove, or I just got bored of being here, I could go back to Canada and its crappy winters and excessive rules.

    But for this last while, I wasn’t so sure. That’s because of the Twitter Trial case.

    Let’s see if I can explain it very briefly: a very well-known non-Canadian feminist had advocated for the censorship of video games claiming they are harmful to women. A Canadian programmer guy (I believe “programmer guy” is the right technical term here?) made a video game about this feminist where the players can punch her in the face.

    So that’s the guy that got arrested? No! Wait, there’s more.

    A couple of other, not as well-known (Canadian) feminists (Stephanie Guthrie and Heather Reilly) were so outraged by this guy’s video game that they started openly tweeting about a plan to dox him, by repeatedly writing to his prospective employers and to his home town’s newspaper to try to shame this programmer guy.

    This is where Gregory Alan Elliott comes in. He’s the guy who was arrested and might have spent as much as ten years in jail if things had gone the other way.

    Elliott was not a conservative writer, or an anti-feminism activist. Nor was he a Gamergater, or even a computer guy. He was a street artist best known up till that point for making large-scale poetry/art in Toronto’s snow.

    View post on imgur.com

    He was the type of eccentric Toronto bohemian who probably would have defined himself as a male feminist. His previous interaction with the women who were planning to ruin this programmer-guy’s career amounted to having offered to make free promotional art for the “Women in Toronto Politics” feminist group they were members of!

    But he didn’t agree with Guthrie’s doxxing plan, and said so. And of course the outraged feminists decided to be outraged with his daring to disagree with them. They argued with him until they started to look bad and then blocked him, which is standard operating procedure for Twitter regressive-leftists. But he kept on commenting about them in other places, and this annoyed Guthrie and Reilly enough that they forgot all about programmer-guy and conspired to destroy Elliott’s life instead.

    With the help of high-placed connections they had with the local police and crown prosecutor, they charged him with online harassment and had him arrested. The prosecutor (Marnie Goldenberg) tried to have him kept imprisoned for the length of the trial (which, thanks to the prosecution’s intentional delaying tactics, ended up lasting three years!). Fortunately, the judge allowed bail, but the prosecutor demanded an injunction prohibiting Elliott from using the internet. Since his job depended on this, he suddenly found himself unable to make an income. He had to cash in his retirement, and by the end of the case would be $90,000 in debt.

    If Elliott had been found guilty, he would have been sentenced between six months and ten years in prison. Now, it’s important to note that no one at all was claiming that Elliott at any time threatened these women’s lives or made any other kind of violent threats. Nor did he send them anything that would amount to sexual harassment, nor were these women making any claim that he did.

    The only thing they were accusing him of was repeatedly disagreeing with them on the internet. They wanted to set a precedent in Canadian law that would make arguing into a potentially criminal offense.

    Along the way they did some other pretty terrible things. They used their media connections to demonize him all over the news and online – where he could no longer defend himself. They defaced his art display in a coffee shop. They falsely accused him of soliciting an underage girl, and knowingly made this false accusation to the police.

    This is from the court transcript:

    Q. But by the time you met Detective Bangild, you already testified to this, you were aware that she was either 18 or 19, agree?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Right. Good. So not really trying to help out Mr. Elliott when you’re not mentioning the fact it’s actually an adult, right?

    A. My position wasn’t really that I wanted … I was not trying to help Mr. Elliott.

    Q. Right.

    A. He was stalking me. So no, I wasn’t trying to help me. I wasn’t trying to harm him unduly, but I was not trying to help him and I was not trying to … yeah.

    Q. Right. In your view handing tweets alleging Mr. Elliott’s a pedophile without correcting the officers receiving them, is not trying to harm Mr. Elliott, right?

    A. Wasn’t trying to harm him, no.

    And when it was starting to be apparent that the trial might not go their way, they managed to delay the case over and over again. At first, the case was supposed to get resolved in July, but they managed to push it to October. Then in October, the prosecutor actually managed to get it delayed again by bursting into tears in open court. Yeah, this prosecutor is a real champion of strong women. Way to teach young girls that if you’re wrong, you can still get your way by breaking out the tears and acting hysterical.

    In the end, the judge cleared Mr. Elliott. This means that, at least for now, Canada will not start to lock up people who disagree with feminists online. But there was no guarantee that this was going to be the result. We were very lucky that the judge was apparently competent enough to actually examine all the facts; that he had some idea of what Twitter was about. These feminists and their supporters kept trying to pretend that arguing with someone on Twitter is just like breaking into someone’s house to scream at them. But it’s nothing like that at all. Twitter isn’t your “house”. Twitter (and all internet media) is like the open forum. It’s the new version of the city square. It’s not a private place where you have some guarantee of emotional security from feeling bad. It’s the public marketplace of ideas.

    Canada doesn’t have a First Amendment guaranteeing Free Speech over other rights, the way that the United States does. It actually has a pretty awful record of protecting speech, which it treats as a right that can theoretically be put in a lower priority than other rights and freedoms. That’s why Canadian political writer Ezra Levant was brought up against an Orwellian “human rights commission” in 2006 for having dared to publish the Mohammed cartoons. And why in a really surreal twist, they’ve gone after him AGAIN; this time for the human rights crime of having criticized the Commission itself!

    So my headline here is no joke. There are enough regressive leftists who hate me and would abuse the law to get revenge for my moderate success, be it in the field of online journalism or RPG game design, that had the Twitter trial ended in a conviction I would have needed to become a political refugee down here. I would not have been safe ever going back home because stepping on Canadian soil would have put me at risk of being sent to prison for having disagreed with the leftist narrative.

    I’ve never harassed anyone, never sent threats or any kind of repugnant sexual insults. I’m not even all that conservative in many ways. I’m a Libertarian, which means that a lot of Republicans would probably think I’m a stinking commie on most social issues. I’ve supported LGBT rights for pretty much my whole adult life, and was in favor of gay marriage for years and years that Hillary Clinton was strongly against it. I’m strongly free-market, but on social issues here on EveryJoe I think only Ed the Sock is more liberal than I am.

    But because like most Libertarians I’m a strong defender of free speech, and a strong opponent of collectivist thought-police, there’s a big part of the modern left (that doesn’t believe in free speech anymore who would like to put me in jail. And Canada almost let them.

    But this isn’t really the end of the problem. Alinsky Rules means that the Regressive Left is just going to keep trying. Maybe next time they’ll get lucky with a biased judge and then that’ll be the end of political freedom of expression in Canada. And you can bet they’ll be pushing for the same all over the world. They already went in front of the U.N. to demand the internet be censored.

    Even if you live in the U.S. you shouldn’t feel safe. You have the First Amendment, which is part of what makes your Constitution the greatest in the history of the world. But Regressive Leftists think the First Amendment should be abolished. And you can bet that sooner or later, a Twitter Trial case will be coming to the USA too.

    As for Gregory Elliott, he’s a free man – and back on Twitter. But he’s also got a crippling legal debt, while his false accusers (the only people who were REALLY engaged in online harassment in this case) got off free. A fundraiser has been set up by the Elliott family to help him with his legal debts; please consider contributing to help this guy rebuild his life that was so unfairly destroyed.

    Photo via Wikiversity

    Kasimir Urbanski doesn’t write on a specific subject; he’s EveryJoe’s resident maniac-at-large. A recovering Humanities academic and world-traveler, he now lives in South America and is a researcher of fringe religion, eastern philosophy, and esoteric consciousness-expansion. In his spare time he writes tabletop RPGs, and blogs about them at therpgpundit.blogspot.com. Follow Kasimir on Twitter @KasimirUrbanski.

    Read more from Urbanski by clicking through the gallery below.


    Gun Control

    Read about what other countries can teach us about the gun control debate.

    Photo by Elrepho385/Getty Images

    Election 2016

    Find out about how Trump's fake Christianity might help him win the election.

    Photo by Branden Camp/Getty Images

    Censorship

    Believe it or not, millennials are begging the government to censor them, and all of us.

    Photo by Ferenc Gerak / Getty Images

    Climate Change

    Find out more about the history of climate change and what you can REALLY learn from it.

    Photo by Getty Images

    Socialism

    A primer on how to rate your socialist craphole.

    Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

    Right vs Left

    Never mind why the Right stands up against censorship, why doesn't the Left?

    Photo by Nomadsoul1 / Getty Images

    Censorship

    Fundamentally, the claim that only government can censor is a cheap way to weasel out of admitting that you’re pro-censorship.

    Photo by StockWithMe / Getty Images

    Comedy

    Liberals claim they are funnier than their conservative counterparts, but is that really true?

    Photo by Brad Barket / Getty Images

    Election 2016

    Could Bernie Sanders really be President? Sure, if he runs against Alf.

    The Left

    Kasimir Urbanski explores why the Left likes to make up conservatives.

    Government

    Urbanski discusses the game-changer that could make the left-right fights meaningless.

    The Future

    What will the robot-driven future economy mean for you?

    Religious Offense

    Urbanski sounds off about the hypocrisy of the New York Times.

    Personal Rights

    Urbanski asks the question, Who do you think should be in charge of your own body and mind?

    University Censorship

    The next generation of academics, and journalists, are being indoctrinated into not even knowing what free speech means.

    U.S. Conservatism Needs a Divorce

    Read Part I, Part II and Part III of this series addressing the need for free-thinking conservatives to split from the politicized Religious Right.

    Urbanski Explains Islam

    When it comes to understanding Islam, the Left and the Right both get it wrong.

    Free Speech

    Kasimir Urbanski discusses why it has to be free speech, every time.

    Looking Ahead

    The new year is upon us. Will 2015 look to the stars, or back to the cave?

    Urbanski Saves Christmas

    Christmastime comes with all the usual seasonal zaniness of the Culture Wars, but Kasimir Urbanski is here to save the holiday and unite us all.

    The Infection of Postmodernism

    In his first "Riposte Modernism" column, Kasimir Urbanski talks about the nemesis of modern civilization.
    Use Arrow Keys (← →) to Browse

    Be Sociable, Share!

      Related Posts

      • calbeck

        I’m proud to be a member of GamerGate, and one of those who donated to assist Mr. Elliott’s legal defense.

        GG has been collectively demonized in the same way Greg was individually demonized. I’ve yet to meet anyone in it who wants women out of video games. To the contrary, many opponents of the movement want women in games censored in much the same way little old ladies of the 1950s would yell about “Hollywood trash”.

        We’re standing up against censorship, against corruption, against bullying. That’s why we supported, and continue to support, Greg A. Elliott.

      • jeriko71

        Easily the best news of 2016. Common sense 1 – Hateful feminists 0. Happy to have contributed, and best of luck in the future Greg A. Elliot.

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          For sure, best of luck to him. And a win for us. But we can’t assume its over.

        • jeriko71

          Oh, I’m positive it isn’t over. But hopefully this was the tipping point,

          and people get fed up with these radical hatemobs that plague humanity, and puts them in their rightful place. A padded “safespace”, with lots of jazz hands, and angst dampening medication. I see the glass as half full. :)

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          Let’s hope. But I think at best, this is just the “end of the beginning”.

      • http://www.briangarst.com/ Brian Garst

        Happy to see you wrote about this. A very important case.

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          It certainly is.

      • Dominic John Chan Maca

        Almost a Pyrrhic victory at the cost of one man’s life.
        Feminist and SJWs really ruin the lives they touch.

      • Shlomo Goldbergstein

        >a very well-known non-Canadian feminist had advocated for the censorship of video games claiming they are harmful to women.

        Anita is Canadian fam.

      • Kasimir Urbanski

        It’s been pointed out that the “non-Canadian feminist” advocate of censoring video games (Anita Sarkeesian) is in fact Canadian in origin. Please note this correction.

      • skeptic17

        Sooner or later people become tired of being jerked around. When they have had enough, they revolt. The next few years should prove quite interesting when the stuff hits the fan and people decide to take action toward all this nonsense pc bs that we have had to endure for what seems like forever. What concerns me is the back;ash against these morons may end up being overkill. On the other, that may not be a bad idea.

      Be Sociable, Share!