The Queen's University Talk: The Rising Tide of Compelled Speech

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I was invited to Queen's University March 5 to give the inaugural lecture/discussion of the Liberty Lecture series, funded by Faculty of Law alumnus, Gregory Piasetzki (LLB 1980).

Dr. Bruce Pardy (https://law.queensu.ca/faculty-research/faculty-directory/pardy) and I discussed the increasingly frequent requirements for compelled speech that characterize the Canadian sociopolitical landscape.

The entire event was, in a word, surreal. Initial controversy over its acceptability rose to the point where the Dean of the Law School William Flanagan and Principal of Queen’s Daniel Woolf wrote missives in defence of free speech (the former: http://bit.ly/2EQJDm3; the latter: http://bit.ly/2tJB8VB). The Queen's University "Human Rights Office" posted a link to the Levana Gender Advocacy Centre and Education on Queer Issues Project "active support" efforts during this event at their “Trans-Positive and People of Colour Positive Chill-In” in Dunning Hall, room 11, where there was coloring pages, music, food, and discussion.

The 900 or so people who attended (who comported themselves admirably and thoughtfully throughout) were subject to a continual 90-minute barrage of noise generated by the protestors, who leaped up on the stained glass windows lining the hall and banged continually on them, breaking one. Inside, we could see shadowy figures dimly outlined through the colored glass. The outside doors were barricaded. One protestor was caught on film saying "Lock them in and burn it down." The din was substantial and ominous, although it is much attenuated in this video, due to the nature of the microphones used, which were designed to pick up speech close at hand.

The protestor who broke the window was arrested, but not before she bit a policeman, attempted to kick the back window out of a police cruiser, and was found to be in possession of a garrotte, a particularly brutal weapon with no defensive utility whatsoever (http://bit.ly/2HoTDAu). The man who cursed so profoundly and eloquently near the beginning of the lecture accosted me and my crew after the talk, and yelled and cursed and threatened at close quarters during our 200-yard walk from the venue to the parkade.

No one who was at this event will forget it.

Not good. Not good at all.

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    Popular Comments:

Walfredo . 2019-01-18
How in the world were they allowed to beat on the windows for so long?
121 2 . Reply
ARVID LYSTNUR . 2019-01-18
Just what was it that those creeps sprayed into the audience.
Why didn’t the security have these people arrested and investigated for biological terror?
121 2 . Reply
Азамат . 2019-01-18
I would like to see Professor Peterson's lectures in Russian, with a professional translation. We have video translations, but very few.
121 2 . Reply
Dr. Daniel P. David, PhD . 2019-01-17
As a progressive I am sympathetic to the sensitive issues that progressives champion for equality, yet I continue to applaud Dr. Peterson's corrective stance with the extremes of the far left and far right. We need healthy progressives in balance with healthy conservatives to take up the issues and find some common ground for solving our collective problems. Let's get rid of the far right and left and return to what is balanced and rational.
121 2 . Reply
Matt Obermiller . 2019-01-17
What's wrong with Queen's college that they permitted howling morons to try to interrupt a high level speaker and the associated probing discussion? I thought Queen's college was a classy, high level institution?
121 2 . Reply
Garyl Hester . 2019-01-16
If those protesters actually broke those windows, they'd run to avoid accountability. That says it all about the truth of their convictions.
121 2 . Reply
jason willett . 2019-01-16
Dr. Peterson, you are my hero!!!
121 2 . Reply
jackobryant . 2019-01-15
I remember the riots in Vancouver after their hockey team lost. It wasn't the fans protesting, it was a group of people looking for anarchy.
121 2 . Reply
jackobryant . 2019-01-15
I'm going to write a letter to queens university asking them why they aloud those monkeys to stay on campus. I used to say proudly that my older brother did engineering at queens.
121 2 . Reply
Andre Comtois . 2019-01-15
The Japanese Internment Camps in the United States during World War II are a perfect example of what happens when identity politics are not challenged.
121 2 . Reply
Tim Bedley . 2019-01-13
“...behavior would be out of place at a 4 year old’s birthday party.” Classic Peterson.
121 2 . Reply
Tim Bedley . 2019-01-13
10:49 if you want to skip to where Peterson starts talking.
121 2 . Reply
barb roth . 2019-01-11
The dislikes or thumbs down for this video must be the friends of the banging windows
121 2 . Reply
Queboy BiIly . 2019-01-09
Im speechless. Those people at the end are a direct treat to human civilisation. I dont get it. Whats wrong with them. What the hell is going on in those university.
121 2 . Reply
IBTypeR . 2019-01-07
Those protesters man ... my cringe levels may never reset to normal
121 2 . Reply
Brendan Day . 2019-01-07
Punishment for misgendering ..
121 2 . Reply
Peter Clark . 2019-01-07
There is one equality that is essential and that is political. The sole promise of democracy. For various reasons, mostly historical, it hasn't happened. If you can believe that humans can achieve their potential then that would make it a basic requirement. Here is a workable model to tap our possible future.
First (pinned) post and its primary comments (II - VII) for the gist of the idea. (10 minutes reading)
121 2 . Reply
Stephen Strange . 2019-01-07
Here's something I can't figure out, no matter who the speaker is. My question is why do the protestors get away with acting as they do? I'm an old guy who certainly has no desire to see the images of police battling protestors like we had in the 60's. Free speech is free speech and those protesting have a right to do so. Everyone has that right.

But, what you don't have the right to do is disrupt someone else's activities, or threaten them or destroy property. Especially in this case. I'm guessing the building is pretty old as are those windows. Shouldn't the people banging on it be arrested for that or breaking a window? Its not legal to intentionally harass people, is it? And what about those garbage cans being put in front of the doors? Isn't that a safety or fire hazard? I didn't see anyone getting in trouble for that.

And that sort of pass is handed out, to the people who act like this, all the time.
121 2 . Reply
Michael Ferguson . 2019-01-06
How do you participate in those protest and not have a light bulb go off that you are wrong. That your methods are wrong. And that you are simply refusing to participate in civil dialogue that can sometimes be uncomfortable, but better than violent protest?
121 2 . Reply
Orkan Kurt . 2019-01-06
This behavior is what happens when EVERYONE get's to go to higher educations. They do not belong there, look at the aggressive behavior. Clear indication of not being able to win an argument with ARGUMENTS.
121 2 . Reply
Azsouth OfLotro . 2019-01-05
campus security? those people where banging on stain-glass with objects, could have easily broken something, where was the security that the law professor praised at the beginning of the presentation?

EDIT: they did break the windows lol
121 2 . Reply
Ruben T . 2019-01-03
121 2 . Reply
SomeDude . 2019-01-02
Disappointing that Professor Peterson does not answer to the woman that truth is absolute, not an opinion.
121 2 . Reply
misterlyle . 2019-01-01
Global News reports that the 38 year old woman who broke the stained glass window is not a student, fled the scene but was soon arrested:

"According to police, the suspect, who is not a student, broke the window while standing on a ledge banging on it. She then fled but was picked up not far from the demonstration by plainclothes officers. Once handcuffed, police say the woman became violent and began kicking at one officer. Police say the suspect also tried to kick out the window of a police cruiser."

121 2 . Reply
Luna Gamer . 2018-12-31
Wow - protesters at the end think they're doing a great job, but have no idea the discussion inside is about free speech and that includes speaking out about haters. Destruction of property and delight in moving trash cans - the crowd outside is so oblivious and ignorant while the people inside are having meaningful discussions. Thanks for posting this video!
121 2 . Reply
thefungarian . 2018-12-31
The problem (one of many) with those idiot protesters is that they don't believe enough in their own convictions, so they try to shut down the conversation.
I bet many of them simply get off on being disruptive, to make up for their own dreary, unfulfilled lives.
121 2 . Reply
Anna Guimarães . 2018-12-30
Those last minutes are actually frightening. If you think that these people are not even listening to what they claim to protest against, you see how miseducated they are. And mostly how indoctrinated and confused they are. You can't fight something, someone or an argument if you don't understand it. If you don't, at least, know what it means. If you refuse to listen what your "enemy" is saying, how are you supposed to say anything different?
121 2 . Reply
Viking72 . 2018-12-30
My son never thru such a horrible temper tantrum. It's sad that children have a better grip on reality then these supposed adults.
121 2 . Reply
Gerard Carty . 2018-12-29
Those idiot students who disrupted and caused public disorder should have been arrested and also be barred from the university and struck out of their courses. Hypocrites they are freedom of speech but but only if They approve...reminds me of a famous book by George Orwell ..Animal Farm quote ‘’all animals are equal but some are more equal than others”....Idiots
121 2 . Reply
Chris Winston . 2018-12-23
The zombie apocalypse has commenced.
121 2 . Reply
Roberto Alexandre . 2018-12-23
How can hate be legislated (by thinking new terms will change age old human nature) or controled if it can occur (given the right catalysts) in most people? To be imune or resistent to it...well, that's a possibility some remarkable individuals through the ages have shown us and should be the core of any individual who sets up the quality of his emotions, thoughts and relationships as the primary values in life.

Indeed, if our visceral part (as these protesters show) is still dominant (it could have been worse...but should have been better) their justification was hating "hate speech". But how could that be said of Dr. Peterson's talk (much wisdom and clear thinking in the whole event, including the questions). It seems the protesters hate the image they have made of Peterson without delving in his ideas on this issue. Why not engage in an intelligent discussion of the ideas presented, rather than chanting a catch phrase about white supremacy? Actually, its the supremacy of the human variety of primates...and these aren't always nor predominantly "white" around the world. Ideological thinking is like a hypnotic transe, but the actual brain capable of free thinking (which normally means thinking against these ready made slogans and simplistic categories) seems to be in a coma: body functions, however, remain unimpaired for foot stomping, yelling, window banging, zoo noises and moving the garbage cans to block the exit (what does that accomplish?) Certainly, these protesters proved Peterson's point about how these militant identity politics (always an us-against-them proposition that must construct an enemy - sounds very much like... sexed up fascism) can resurrect tribalism. All in all, a splendid encounter and a fine presentation of ideas to consider that really go beyond the simplified view of the individual from the right, left, this or that ideological lens.
121 2 . Reply
6foot3two25 . 2018-12-21
Where were the police while this was going on?
121 2 . Reply
Staff To Me . 2018-12-20
Its just sad when certain individuals tries to infrige on a scholars right to express his views..shame on you! Shame on you!
121 2 . Reply
Rudy Deckers . 2018-12-20
Those who claim they have respect, don't know what it means... thus the current state of that church :-)
121 2 . Reply
spychecker . 2018-12-20
there is this scene in 1984 where where they show the people a video from goldstein, the enemy of big brother, where he states he wants peace and freedom. the people, instead of listening make noise screaming how much they hate goldstein. not because they disagree, but because goldstein is right and they're afraid he will change their mind.
this scene kept repeating in my head whenever the noise these protesters were making became too distracting.
121 2 . Reply
Paul Manning . 2018-12-20
I am not to be addressed as a "he" or a "she" nor do I agree to the words "Her" or "Him". Just to let you all know I am now to be referred to as an 'attack helicopter', so you'd better get used to it! Of course I am being extremely sarcastic as you may see. However, my words highlight the absurdity of the Marxist leftist extreme positions, who insist on wanting to push their false crazy gender ideas, it's as if they want to dictate to the rest of the world how we, yes WE! Should use the language we were born with and start to make a change to the actual meaning of words we want to use day to day, like we should,by law, go along with their fantasy.

So, to let you idiots know, I am NOT, and I refuse to defer to your stupid nihilistic ideas of your own gender positions, with your description of your self made gender changes, I say Tough on you! If you were born a male, to me YOU ARE A MALE! If you were born a female, then to me you are indeed a female! So suck it up and live with it! I am not going to change my language in reference to you just because you demand that I do so. If you want to refer to yourself as existing as a cow or a horse, then do so, that is your stupid right to do so, but as for me you are either a man or a woman, and you ARE a 'she' or a 'he'. You see I believe that mother nature knows better than you and I think, in fact I am sure, that I will go along with her wisdom on the subject of sex! So Suck it up!

As for "political correctness" I spit on it! And I spit on all the politicians that are bringing in new laws in a cowardly effort to appease those that want us to change our vocabularies and our sense of what is right and what is linguistically correct for us. If you politicians, especially you Canadian ones, don't have the sense to see that what you are doing is destroying all sense of morality in us as a society, that you are debasing us with your pathetic totalitarian orders to get us to see real genders as none existent and as a some sort of babbled idea of what makes us human, a man or a woman, then you can go and stick your laws way up your damn ass! I am a free human being, I am also a man, I do not insist that I am referred to as a "Man", but then again I insist that YOU stop trying to get other people to refer to me as "none gender!"

You politicians need to allow us to be free, it is not your place to make laws that make us bound, with legality, to force us to do away with gender, AS WE ourselves SEE GENDER! If you do that, then you will have become Mad Men! Or would that be Mad women? For to me there are only 2 genders that exist on this planet Earth. If there ARE some other genders that mother nature didn't tell us about living HERE on Earth.... Then fucking prove it! Or shut the fuck up! (Excuse my language,but this issue makes me seethe with rage
121 2 . Reply
Dandridge Cole . 2018-12-20
Has anyone else ever noticed that his initials are the same as the initials for Peanut Butter and Jelly, but in reverse?!?!?! Illuminati confirmed.
121 2 . Reply
Austin Little . 2018-12-20
I hope you brought butter...
121 2 . Reply
Mauricio Lamas . 2018-12-19
These handicapped and mentally ill protesters are the reason to support abortion.
121 2 . Reply
Max Power . 2018-12-18
These protestors at the end are Turkeys voting for Christmas.
121 2 . Reply
liuton2005 . 2018-12-18
JBP started low but he got better and better in public speech and public debate. He's at a level that is really outstanding now.
121 2 . Reply
SophyaAgain . 2018-12-18
Holy shit . . What's wrong with these girls? That's an epidemic and it's worse than mad cow disease. . . ooops I mean contagious diseases . . . Sad and scary.
121 2 . Reply
vboch1 . 2018-12-16
The Queen's University hierarchy were not cowards for allowing the window banging to go on. They were not cowards, because they truly aided and agreed with their shameful conduct. The protestors were carrying out what the school officials were to COWARDLY to do themselves. Oh-Oh. I guess they were cowards after all.
121 2 . Reply
rkazinczy robert . 2018-12-16
"So what you are saying is" huh that was brave and funny.
121 2 . Reply
Jack Hembree . 2018-12-15
Reading the 12 now but just getting around to watching this video. This us JP at his best.
121 2 . Reply
amy lai . 2018-12-15
two of the coolest persons in Canadian academia
121 2 . Reply
Anne Lewis . 2018-12-14
The irony of having ‘no to hate’ banners and being so hateful
121 2 . Reply
NaingCM . 2018-12-14
Don't despair. Chin Up.
121 2 . Reply
JG Alegria . 2018-12-14
"there is no 'Trans Community'" brilliant. The whole idea that "communities" of oppressed groups or societal members exist is essential for liberal left ideology. It and PC speech and policy pivots on the very belief in the existence of cohesive communities you can consult as to how they ought to [all] be treated and what concessions they need in order to have equal access or rights or whatever.
121 2 . Reply
John Doe . 2018-12-14
isn't there a minimum age for students to attend college?
121 2 . Reply