No to hate speech and right-wing fanaticism
Toronto, Canada, Nov. 2, 2018 — Hundreds of demonstrators blocked off the street in front of the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Canada tonight as right-wing imperialist ideologues Steve Bannon and David Frum purported to debate “populism” at the Munk Debates. Ouside protestors shouted “Shame on you” and “No platform for racists” to ticket holders and organizers, while inside demonstrators unfurled a banner interrupting Steve Bannon: “No bigotry. No place for Bannon’s white supremacy.” As usual, police protected the right-wingers and arrested protestors.
ILPS in Canada distributed the following statement:
All out against Bannon and Frum in Toronto
No to hate speech and right-wing fanaticism
On November 2, American political strategists Steve Bannon and David Frum will participate in the Munk Debates at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Despite Bannon and Frum agreeing 100% on expanding US imperialism and its wars of aggression, sanctions and occupations which have led to the death or displacement of millions, they are supposed to debate each other at this event. ILPS in Canada and its member organizations stand in solidarity with the mobilizations in Toronto to condemn the Munk Debates for hosting right-wing fanatics and warmongers. There should be no platform for hate speech here in Canada.
While this event claims to be in the spirit of free speech and defending an open democracy, it is clear that the positions that both Bannon and Frum favour denying free speech and democratic rights for marginalized people. Bannon, as former advisor to US President Trump, was one of the architects of numerous anti-migrant policies, setting the stage for the horrifying images of migrant children in detention, separated from their parents, which shocked the world earlier this year. As a founding executive chairman of Breitbart News, he oversaw a publication that would regularly post articles supporting white supremacy, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and misogyny. Bannon most recently served as political advisor to Hungarian President Viktor Orban and recently-elected Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, both of whom identify with far-right views, made threats against journalists, and have promoted violence against women and migrants.
Frum has a similar track record as advisor to former US President Bush. Credited with inventing the phrase “Axis of Evil” in US foreign policy, Frum was a propagandist in favour of the Iraq War, which ultimately claimed millions of civilians and escalated sectarian tensions in the region. The “Axis of Evil” propaganda has also increased sanctions against any country claiming to oppose US foreign interests, and these sanctions have caused needless suffering in those countries since ordinary people are denied access to vital necessities such as food and medicine. Frum’s recent publications as part of the The Atlanticmagazine also show that despite a few empty words against the rise of “populism”, he still agrees for the most part with the Trump administration’s foreign and domestic policy, particularly against migrants.
The Munk Debates, by amplifying the likes of Bannon and Frum, have shown that they believe that democracy and free speech should be reserved for the elite. Bannon spews hatred against all marginalized people and hate speech should not be normalized as acceptable political opinion. Frum promotes his warmongering, anti-(im)migrant rhetoric while providing cover for the hate speakers. Meanwhile, activists, journalists, and numerous others around the world who stand against fascism and imperialism continue to have their freedom of expression repressed, including some by Peter Munk’s Barrick Gold mining corporation! It is the voices of those who are serious about social, economic and political justice, national liberation, as well as genuine democracy that should be amplified instead of those such as Bannon and Frum who represent competing factions of the increasingly deadly imperialist elite.
All out for the mobilizations in Toronto on November 2, 5pm at Roy Thompson Hall against the Munk Debates.
Stop the US war machine!
No platform for hate speech!
For more on the Aurea Foundation that is behind the Munk Debates and also funds Canada’s biggest right-wing think tanks see: https://pressprogress.ca/the-group-behind-steve-bannons-toronto-event-also-funds-canadas-biggest-right-wing-think-tanks/