As a Waterloo alumnus, I remember the good old days when UW was a bastion of political apathy. Sure, we didn’t give a crap, but at least we didn’t have to occupy stages to tell everyone. It seems that in the 13 years since I graduated, K-W has become a bastion of radical nuttery.
After cancelling her appearance due to vocal protests, the University of Waterloo has apologized to an author and the audience that had gathered to hear her speak in the Humanities Theatre last Friday.
Journalist and columnist Christie Blatchford cancelled her scheduled appearance on Friday night, where she had planned to discuss her new book Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy and How the Law Failed All of Us by vocal protests. She had been invited to speak on campus by the university bookstore.
Blatchford’s book chronicles government action during 2006 protests in Caledonia, Ontario. First Nation protesters had demonstrated against efforts by a corporate land developer to build on land that the protestors claimed they are entitled to due to rights laid out in treaties with government. Members of KW Anti-Racist Action (ARA) took the stage following a teach-in that was held regarding the topics surrounding the book.
So the WatCops couldn’t handle three ignorant waifs? Please. These people thought it made sense to cry “racist” to protest an author presenting a thesis that the government has failed to treat all its citizens equally. I’m sure a couple of security guards with grade 12 educations could have thrown them into utter confusion.
And while we’re at it, let’s also weep for the state of graduate education:
[Protestor Dan] Kellar said he took a role in protesting against Blatchford’s appearance in the academic setting of UW, as he feels she is a non-academic figure. “This is an academic setting and she has no place coming here to talk in an un-academic fashion,” he said.
As opposed to the eminently “academic” action of occupying a stage in protest to stifle the free exchange of ideas, that is. Oh, brother.