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by Douglass St. ChristianWendy GoldsmithMike RoySteve D’Arcy

Without warning or discussion, local activist Mike Roy received notice that he is banned from UWO property for one year for “participating in a prohibited activity: unauthorized protest”. His “offense”? Participating in several peaceful non-violent demonstrations with Western university students. Free speech at our institutions of higher learning is being muzzled once again.

Mr. Roy, an independent journalist, was not given any warning before he received notice via London City Police that his presence is not welcome on UWO property for one year. No further communication has been initiated by UWO administration to outline his “offence”. His role in the demonstrations was to film and take photographs of students and local activists engaged in peaceful protest. He was not an organizer of any event he attended.

Mike Roy reacts, “This is outrageous and is not what I understand universities to stand for. Free speech and freedom of association and assembly should be paramount in our society and are key factors in our education system. How else can we promote dialogue and discussion about issues that affect us all?” Londoners will recall when esteemed and beloved local poet, Roy MacDonald, was unceremoniously escorted out of UWO’s bookstore for “disturbing customers with his appearance”.

It is quite evident that the University is not a place for freedom of speech. Section 2(b) of the Charter states that "everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:... freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication” Freedom of Speech is a cornerstone of a functioning democracy. The ban, if allowed to stand, will severely hamper Mr. Roy’s work, which includes being a regular contributor to CHRW, the University’s community based radio station.

Stephen D'Arcy, Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Huron University College, described the ban as "outrageous and unacceptable. We can never accept the idea that people can be banned from the campus for expressing opinions or for participating in the public discussion of ideas,” he said. “All members of the university community have to speak out against this."

We call on all students, professors, citizens, organizations, and community groups to demand that this decision be overturned, that Mike Roy’s name be cleared from any wrongdoing, and that freedom of speech be upheld at UWO, London’s institution of higher learning.

Co authored by: Douglass St. Christian, Wendy Goldsmith, Mike Roy, Steve D’Arcy.

-Signatories and comments are welcome below.
-Hard copy will be distributed in London and Toronto. (picture of doc)

Just a note about the protest: about 25 people took part, mostly students. I had tape over my mouth and a camera in each hand... I did not say anything.. **Please read this!** FREE SPEECH AT UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO DENIED: PEACEFUL ACTIVIST BANNED FROM CAMPUS Without warning or discussion, l...
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KatieB (Katie Berger)
toronto west
Member since April 2012


490 words


protest should be by

protest should be by definition 'unauthorized', solidarity.  please contact me to arrange for a telephone interview

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