Every week Justin Trudeau and his Liberals infringe on our freedom of speech a little bit more. From pressuring social media companies to censor conservatives, to slowly turning “Islamophobia” into a crime, to bringing back the section 13 censorship provision of the Canadian Human Rights Act, it just keeps getting worse.
So I nearly spat out my coffee when I learned that Chrystia Freeland, part of Trudeau’s cabinet, was co-hosting a media freedom conference this week in London, England, along with her UK counterpart, Jeremy Hunt.
What a laugh! Hunt is part of the UK government that is throwing a citizen journalist named Tommy Robinson into prison this very week, for the “crime” of reporting outside a rape trial.
As you know, free speech has been a central issue for us at The Rebel. So when we heard about this conference, Sheila Gunn Reid and I applied to attend as accredited journalists.
Would we be allowed in? Both the Canadian and UK governments hate us — and Chrystia Freeland really hates us. Her office literally asked the United Nations to refuse to allow us to attend big UN conferences on global warming and immigration, just to punish us for having the wrong point of view.
HERE'S OUR PLAN TO COVER IT:
To our surprise, Sheila and I were both accredited — they let us know at the last minute! So we’ll both be in the conference, starting TODAY, along with a cameraman. I think we might be the only independent media they let in — I see stories in the UK press about other reporters who were banned!
I don’t know what to expect — but I do know that the conference organizers promised a chance to ask Freeland some questions.
What do you think — do you think Freeland will actually let us ask her questions? And will she answer?
We’re about to find out! (We'll upload all of our videos from the conference to this page.)
HOW YOU CAN HELP US:
If you can, please chip in to help us with our travel costs. Unlike the CBC state broadcaster, we don’t get $1.5 billion/year from Justin Trudeau. We rely 100% on viewers like you. Whether it’s $10 or $100, it all helps — I estimate the travel costs of Sheila, me and our cameraman to be about $4,500. Please click here to help if you can!
Obviously, we will do our best to grill politicians about their censorship plans. But we’ll also report to you about what our competitors in the mainstream media itself say. I’m not going in with any preconceptions; but let me just say, it wouldn’t surprise me if many mainstream media actually wanted citizen journalist upstarts to be banned and censored!
If you can help cover our travel costs — please do. Just click here help us out.
July 12, 2019: To his surprise, on the second day of the Defend Media Freedom Conference in London, UK, Ezra was invited to be part of a panel of young journalists!
July 11, 2019: We made some strange friends and allies at the Defend Media Freedom Conference after Chrystia Freeland's staffer announced that only The Rebel and Andrew Lawton would not be allowed to attend a scrum.
July 11, 2019: As they attempted to cover a meeting at the Defend Media Freedom Conference, Andrew Lawton and Sheila Gunn Reid were quickly confronted by a staffer who told them that no media representatives were allowed at the event — imagine that!
July 11, 2019: It's the morning of our second day at the Defend Media Freedom Conference, but where is everyone?
July 11, 2019: At a panel at the Defend Media Freedom Conference in London, UK, Ezra challenged Pakistan's Foreign Minister on the issue of enforcing blasphemy laws.
July 11, 2019: Late last year, a number of users around the world received warnings from Twitter that their tweets were violating Pakistani law. Ezra was one of them.
Today during a panel at the Defend Media Freedom Conference in London, UK, he challenged Pakistan's Foreign Minister about this censorship, presumably in the name of enforcing blasphemy laws.
July 11, 2019: Since you, our viewers, have donated to send us to the Defend Media Freedom Conference in London, Sheila Gunn Reid wanted to show you what the event space looks like beyond the security fencing.
July 10, 2019: Earlier today, Ezra Levant added the message "Free Tommy Robinson" to a mural-in-progress at the Defend Media Freedom Conference in London, UK. Wait until you see what happened throughout the day!
July 10, 2019: Ezra Levant asked UN Special Rapporteur on Free Speech David Kaye about government collusion with Silicon Valley companies like Facebook and YouTube, to censor Tommy Robinson and other commentators.
July 10, 2019: Chrystia Freeland has made several appearances at the Defend Media Freedom Conference, but unless you had a pre-approved question or were Amal Clooney, there wasn't much chance at getting closer.
July 10, 2019: On the first day of the Defend Media Freedom Conference in London, UK, Ezra challenged panellists Nishant Lalwani (Director of Investments, Independent Media for a company that is part of The Omidyar Group) and Maria Ressa (CEO of Rappler.com). He questioned how unbiased this conference can be, given that the man behind it is billionaire media tycoon Pierre Omidyar, and they are on his payroll.
July 10, 2019: Here at the Defend Media Freedom Conference, Andrew Lawton and Sheila Gunn Reid both stood up to ask questions circling around the definition of “hate speech” in light of recent United Nations machinations against it.
July 10, 2019: On the first day of the Defend Media Freedom Conference in London, UK, we're invited to help paint a mural celebrating free speech. So Ezra painted a message on it — let's see how long it lasts!
July 10, 2019: On the first day of the Defend Media Freedom Conference in London, UK, Ezra ran into Tom Gibson of the Committee to Protect Journalists and asked him if his organization was supporting Tommy Robinson, who was just found guilty of contempt of court, or as I call it, "committing journalism."
July 10, 2019: The Rebel is at the Defend Media Freedom Conference in London where the Canadian and UK governments are co-hosting an event allegedly dedicated to free speech and the safety of journalists worldwide.
Among the displays is a wall dedicated to censorship and political cartoons, but the absence of the infamous Danish Mohammed cartoon gives the display a different feeling.