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‘Burn them all down’ head of BC civil liberties group resigns

When Harsha Walia sent out the tweet two weeks ago she claimed she had been misquoted and taken out of context by the Western Standard.

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The head of the BC Civil Liberties Association who said “burn them all” in relation to Catholic churches in Canada has resigned.

And the BCCLA said the controversy over the statement was only as bad as it was because the head is an ethnic citizen.

When Harsha Walia sent out the tweet two weeks ago she claimed she had been misquoted and taken out of context by the Western Standard.

“Words matter. Context matters. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association supports the cherished right to free expression, and as an organization we want our messages to be clear. A tweet by our executive director on her personal account failed in that regard,” the BCCLA said in a statement Friday night after accepting Walia’s resignation.

“Using a particular turn of phrase in that context left some people with the wrong impression about the values and principles to which we adhere.

“We regret the misunderstanding that was caused by the tweet and apologize for the harm the words caused.

“Further, we acknowledge the anger, frustration, and sadness many people feel after the confirmation of over 1,000 unmarked graves of Indigenous children at various residential school sites. We share those emotions and share in the desire to dismantle the colonial systems that commit genocide.

“During the aftermath of the tweet, we encountered a wave of hateful commentary, fueled by the fact that our executive director is a racialized woman leader. Our executive director and staff were exposed to inexcusable racism and misogyny and threats to physical and mental safety. We did not engage with those voices and are prioritizing the health and safety of staff. We have also taken time to gather feedback within our organization and with our community partners. These events have been difficult, but we are emerging stronger and more committed to our work. We are back with the same fearless truth-telling that our supporters and detractors know us for.”

According to its website, the BCCLA fights in the courts for “equality rights in relation to mental health, disability, gender, youth, immigration, refugees, race, poverty, LGBTQ2S+ rights, and more. We know looking through an inter-sectional lens is the only way to fight inequality and injustice. We fight overt and systemic discrimination, and seek to promote fairness and equality in Canada.”

Attacking religious buildings is normally classified as a hate crime in Canada.

Walia’s call to burn churches caused a firestorm of social media anger.

After the June 30 tweet, the BCCLA initially stood by Walia.

BCCLA President David Fai said Walia made the “personal” comment and didn’t mean “Burn them all down” literally.

“We are confident her comments were not to be taken literally but were a recognition that the system that created residential schools is so flawed that we need ‘to burn it all down’ and start over,” tweeted Fai.

A day later, indigenous Alberta lawyer Naomi Sayers said she would help burn down churches and be glad to defend anyone charged with arson after setting fire to a church.

A spree of arson and other acts of destruction have been occurring against Christian churches, focused mostly on indigenous Catholic congregations. The acts range from petty vandalism to lighting fires in or around the churches, destroying many.

As of publication, there have been more than 30 attacks against churches – including at least five completely destroyed by fires, at least three damaged by fires, and more than 15 vandalized to varying degrees.

The spree began when several hundred graves were discovered on the grounds of residential school is BC and Saskatchewan.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Claudette Leece

    July 19, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    West coast not only have they known about them, but they don’t even know if they are children. Ground penal rating doesn’t show that, it only shows something in the shape of a grave. There’s no proof even that they all came from the schools, and many passed from disease, but if you say they were murdered babies like the Manitoba chief is spouting off, much bigger affect. Many quotes from these fn chiefs at the begging government were totally differant than what’s being played but god forbid anyone miss out in abusing an already terrible situation. Read up on teddy bears and how they came to be, shows Trudeau’s handlers are almost as stupid as Trudeau

  2. Claudette Leece

    July 19, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    GS Uddin that’s not free speech, that’s hate speech, had that been a white woman, saying that to a Muslim god forbid world would of ended. Funny thing that family that was hit by a car in London ON, the school gave two scholarships, one to Woman only, and the other in the males name for anyone, now who’s being racist against a sex.

  3. mary lyn hannah

    July 19, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    Under section 319(1) pf of the criminal code. Everyone who by communicating statements in a public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of peace is guilty of a. an indictable offence punishable by up to two years imprisonment, or b. a summary conviction offence.

  4. K

    July 19, 2021 at 11:50 am

    She got off easy. Absolute filth.

  5. Claude Casavant

    July 19, 2021 at 9:00 am

    Harsha Walia Should be charged with a HATE Crime. With her one face she says “Burn Them All Down” against Christians. With her other face she says “Islamaphobia is a crime and increasing!” She pokes the Piranha and then whines if it bites back. Imagine, the backlash, if a Christian said Burn down all the Mosques, Temples, Sweat Lodges, etc.,etc.,etc. How does a divisive, uneducated, “Racist” like this get a job with a supposedly CIVIL LIBERTIES (?) Association?

  6. luigi

    July 18, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    One the numerous woke minions has gotten a taste of her being a soapbox mouthpiece.
    There’s a god in the heavens after all.

  7. Left Coast

    July 18, 2021 at 10:01 am

    @ Uddin . . .

    You’re makin stuff up again man . . .

    Free Speech can offend anyone my clueless friend . . . but especially frauds & liars!

    Then there’s “Hate” groups like the Rev Farrakhan & his group.

  8. Dave Symington

    July 18, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Walia should have been “fired” from her position!

  9. John Martens

    July 18, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Amen Steven

  10. GS Uddin

    July 17, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    Cancel culture from the right? I thought Cons believed in free speech?
    Oh yeah only when it offends Muslims, lefties and other minorities.
    She said nothing wrong. I read much worse on right wing websites! Blah!

  11. Westcanguy

    July 17, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    Several unmarked graves were discovered??? Please, Indian bands and the feds have known about these for many years.

  12. Steven

    July 17, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Wow !! What an out of touch with reality organization the BC Civil Liberties Association is. Playing the “only as bad as it was because the head is an ethnic citizen” card as a cover for Harsha Walia controversy over her statement.

    I wonder it the BCCLA understands lefty cancel culture can turn on it’s own? I wonder if the BCCLA understands that burning of churches isn’t helping reconciliation & did the BCCLA ever stop to think the burning of churches on First Nations land would cause more harm then good?

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Truckers: ‘We are not separatists or terrorists’

The organization announced the number of heavy trucks-alone- going to Ottawa is close to 50,000, a large increase from the original expected 1,600 trucks.

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Truckers on the Freedom Convoy are rejecting characterizations they are “separatists” and “terrorists.”

“A small team of Alberta truckers, their family members and friends, came to the decision that the Government of Canada has crossed a line with implementing COVID-19 vaccine passports and vaccine mandates. As of today, we now have the support of millions of Canadians from across the country,” group organizers said in a press release.

Demands from the Freedom Convoy to the federal government are:

  • Terminate all vaccine passports, including inter-Canada passport systems.
  • Eliminate mandatory programs of vaccination and contact tracing.
  • Respect the rights of those who wish to remain unvaccinated.
  • Cease the divisive rhetoric attacking Canadians who disagree with government mandates.
  • Cease limiting debate through coercive measures with the goal of censoring those who have varying or incorrect opinions.

“A unified and free Canada can be our future, and it starts now with reminding the government they serve the people,” stated the truckers.

“We have an opportunity for all of us to come together irrespective of our differences and do what is needed to ensure our freedoms are protected now and for future generations.

Statements claiming the convoy participants are ‘separatists’ or ‘terrorists’ are “categorically false and an attempt to smear” the movement, organizers said.

“It is saddening this kind of rhetoric is coming from Prime Minister Trudeau and his government. Instead of protecting our basic freedoms outlined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Justin and his government seek to do the opposite. He is continually issuing defamatory comments and maligning large segments of the population. If history has taught us anything, these are actions that cannot be ignored. We are peaceful, hard-working Canadians who love our country and want the betterment for all Canadians.”

The organizers said due to the mass support of the movement, they can no longer guarantee the average Canadian will not be disrupted by the protest.

“For that, we are truly sorry, and we will do our very best to limit the disruptions to your lives. We ask that Canadians remember we are fighting for everyone’s freedoms and it’s the political class that has abandoned us all,” said the release.

The organization announced the number of heavy trucks going to Ottawa is close to 50,000, a large increase from the original expected 1,600 trucks. One driver going the opposite direction told the Western Standard he measured the convoy at 100-km long as it approached Winnipeg.

Some supporters are unable to commit to the whole trip, but are finding ways to still participate.

“A lot of vehicles just join the parade while it’s close to their homes and then peel off later, so it’s dynamic,” Martin Halvorson, a driver in the convoy, told the Western Standard.

“The amount of people is unknown because we are not counting … The numbers are big,” convoy organizer, Andy Draaistra, told the Western Standard.

“All the support is unbelievable, we hope the overpasses will hold the tons of people,” said Draaistra.

via risex100, Twitter
Via Basia Porter, Twitter

The protest is against federal COVID-19 mandates and is scheduled to arrive in Ottawa January 30 and then hold a mass demonstration the next day, Monday, when Parliament reumes.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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China changes Fight Club ending to cops busting anarchists

Multiple scenes from the original cut were deleted and a new ending was added.

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The classic film Fight Club has been changed for viewers in China, with a ‘happy ending’ that complies with domestic censorship rules.

An altered version of the 1999 film was released on streaming platform Tencent Video in China over the weekend.

Multiple scenes from the original cut were deleted and a new ending was added.

Many in China had seen the original film pirated online and were surprised when streaming the newly released version.

Instead of buildings exploding at the end, the version shows authorities step in and win. 

Original closing scene of Fight Club

In the closing scenes of the original the narrator kills off his imaginary alter ego Tyler Durden and then watches multiple buildings explode with Marla Singer, suggesting his character’s plan to bring down modern civilization is underway.

In the censored version released in China, the narrator still kills off Durden, but the exploding buildings scene is replaced with a written message on black screen.

“The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding.”

As well as Tyler, figment of the narrator’s imagination was sent to a ‘lunatic asylum’ for psychological treatment and later discharged.

Revised ending to Fight Club

China is home to some of the strictest rules regarding censorship, and only a handful of foreign films are released each year.

In the past Hollywood has created alternative cuts in order to comply with Chinese censorship rules, in hopes to access millions of viewers in the country.

It is unclear if the cut was made by western movie producers, or the Chinese government.

Tencent did not comment on the matter.

Authorities under President Xi Jinping have been working to eliminate society of influences classified as unhealthy, including within movies, television, computer games.

This effort was also extended to cracking down on the country’s local celebrities for perceived immoral behaviour.

The Cyberspace Administration of China announced earlier this week an organized month-long ‘clean’ web campaign to create a ‘civilized and healthy’ online atmosphere.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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Butt launches Twitter tirade on Scheer for supporting truckers

“It’s a truly depressing turn for our politics to take in Canada. Have we paid no attention to what happened to US politics, and how it happened?”

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The former top aide to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has launched a Twitter broadside against former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer after he supported the truckers’ convoy rolling across Canada to protest vaccine mandates.

“Thank you Truckers! Trudeau is attacking personal liberty and threatening everyone’s ability to get groceries because of his overreach on vaccine mandates. He is the biggest threat to freedom in Canada,” Scheer tweeted.

Scheer tweet

That was enough to set Butts off.

“A breathtakingly irresponsible thing for a former Leader of the Opposition to say. Calling the prime minister — any prime minister — the biggest threat to Canadian liberty? This isn’t a dog whistle. It’s a welcome mat,” he tweeted.

“Politics is a rough business and not for the thin of skin or faint of heart. But the people in these enormously important offices have to respect those offices, even if they don’t like each other.”

Butts tweet

In a later tweet, Butts said: “Have been thinking about Mr Scheer’s comments all day. It’s a truly depressing turn for our politics to take in Canada. Have we paid no attention to what happened to US politics, and how it happened? I almost wish I were a Conservative, so I could fight for my party’s soul.”

On the weekend, Butts took a run at organizer Tamara Lich in an attempt to cast doubt on the integrity of Convoy For Freedom 2022.

“An Alberta separatist has collected almost a million bucks on a GoFundMe page to ‘support’ trucker protests. Where will the money go?” asked Butts in a tweet. 

More than $4.5 million has been raised to date as thousands of truckers are expected to descend on Ottawa this weekend.

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