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Facing pushback, Ryerson University cancels panel discussion on campus free speech

面对非议,瑞尔森大学取消小组讨论校园言论自由



【日期】2017年8月16日

Ryerson University has canceled a panel discussion called “The Stifling of Free Speech on University Campuses” following pushback from activists who said the event was giving a platform to fascists.

瑞尔森大学最近取消了一个名为“大学被扼杀言论自由”的小组讨论活动。一些活动者认为该活动为法西斯主义者们提供了一个表达的平台,表示抗议。

The event, which was set for August 22, was slated to feature controversial speakers including University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson, who rose to prominence after refusing to use students’ preferred pronouns, and journalist Faith Goldy, who works for the far-right Rebel Media. Behavioural scientist Gad Saad and psychologist Oren Amitay rounded out the roster.

这个活动原定于八月22日举行,并邀请了一些受争议的知名人物前来演讲,其中包括多伦多大学的心理学教授Jordan Peterson,因公开反对中性人称谓而备受关注的、以及为右翼反对派媒体工作的记者Faith Goldy。行为学家Gad Saad和心理学家Oren Amitay也在邀请名单之上。



Jordan Peterson speaks to a group at the Carleton Place Arena on Thursday, June 15, 2017. Darren Brown / Ottawa Citizen/Ottawa Sun

2017.6.15,Jordan Peterson在卡尔顿竞技场发表演讲。

Ryerson Communications Director Michael Forbes cited safety concerns as the reason the event was shut down.

瑞尔盛大学的联络主管Michael Forbes称,该活动由于安全问题取消。

“After a thorough security review, the University has concluded that Ryerson is not equipped to provide the necessary level of public safety for the event to go forward,” he wrote in an emailed statement. “In light of recent events, Ryerson University is prioritizing campus safety.”

他在邮件中写道,“在进行了彻底的安全审查后,校方认为无法为该活动提供必要的公共安全保障。”“鉴于最近发生的一些事件,瑞尔森大学决定以校园安全为先。”

Christeen Elizabeth, one of the organizers of a planned rally against the event — “No Fascists in Our City!”, the Facebook event page for which originally featured a header photo of a crossed-out swastika, before the photo was changed Wednesday — said it was important to speak out against what she sees as violence against oppressed groups.

计划对该讨论会进行抗议活动的其中一位组织者,Christeen Elizabeth表示,“我们的城市不允许法西斯存在!“他们FaceBook的页面上以一个打了叉的万字旗作为头像,后来在周三换掉了它。Elizabeth在页面上声称,把所见的对被压迫群体施加的暴力公布出来,意义重大。

“Transphobia is violence, Islamophobia is violence. Violence is contextual,” she said. “We can’t be complicit in this.”

“对变性者、穆斯林的歧视是一种暴力行为。而暴力会产生连锁反应,”她说。“我们不应参与其中。”

Elizabeth said activists inundated Ryerson with calls and emails protesting the panel. She said she also collaborated with the school’s student union, who added to the pressure.

伊丽莎白表示,活动者们对讨论小组的抗议电话和邮件像海潮一样淹没了Ryerson。她还与参与施压的学校学生会合作。

It's a time to bloody well hope that everyone takes a deep breath and walks backwards a little bit from the edge of the abyss

在事态变得不可收拾之前,现在是让每个人都冷静下来各退一步的时候了。

Peterson said the cancellation is “an indication of the crazy absurdity that characterizes the current political situation. There’s an element of surrealism to it.”

另一方面,Peterson则认为讨论活动的取消“表明了当前政治形势的疯狂荒谬”,超现实得如同小说情节一般。

But he has increased sympathy for a safety argument, he said, given the “inflamed rhetoric” the protesters used.

但他又表示鉴于抗议者们使用了“愤怒的言辞”,他对“安全问题”的说法可以理解。

“I think there’s no excuse for what they’re doing, with the Nazi symbolism. It’s very, very dangerous to engage in that kind of casual vilification,” he said.

“我认为他们的行为根本无法解释,这样随便地污蔑他人为“纳粹”是很危险的做法”他说。

The group organizing the panel was thinking of delaying the event themselves because of the recent violence at the white supremacist march in Charlottesville.

因为最近在夏洛茨维尔由白人至上主义者引发的一系列暴力事件,讨论小组也正在考虑推迟自己的活动。

“We’re drifting into a scenario of increased polarization, and it’s not an advisable time to contribute to that, wittingly or unwittingly,” Peterson said.

“我们的社会正在加剧两极分化,不管你是有意还是无意,在这种时候给局势加火添油非常不理智。”彼得森说。

Elizabeth said she might have been a bit hasty to put the word “fascism” in the event title, but defended its use.

伊丽莎白亦不讳言,用“法西斯主义”这个词来形容这次活动可能过于轻率,但仍然为之辩护。

“The seeds of fascism, that’s how they start. It starts with this ‘othering’ of people,” she said. “Regardless of whether or not they themselves are preaching strict fascist ideology, who are they preaching to?”

“法西斯主义的种子,就是从排斥特定人群开始生根发芽,”她说。“无论他们是不是在宣传严格意义上的法西斯思想,他们是在向谁宣传呢?”

Elizabeth said she has received death threats as a result of protesting the panel. She sent a screenshot of one of them to the National Post, which said, “Im coming after your kids you bitch. You just wait.” She said her step-mother has received similar threats.

伊丽莎白说表示因组织这次抗议活动,她受到了死亡威胁。在她给国家邮报发送的一张截图上写着:“我要干掉你的孩子,碧池!”。她的继母也受到了类似的威胁。

“It really just goes to show what kind of calibre of people they are that they would do something like that,” Elizabeth said.

伊丽莎白说:“这就清楚地表明了他们是什么人,会做什么事。”。

The seeds of fascism, that's how they start. It starts with this 'othering' of people

法西斯主义的种子就是从排斥特定人群开始生根发芽

What happens next, Peterson said, “depends on how rapidly the positive feedback loop between extremists on both ends of the political spectrum expands, and how effectively sensible people in the middle are at dampening it.

Peterson说:“接下来会发生什么,要看两派极端分子间不断增加强度的循环对抗扩大的速度有多快,以及中立派的智者们能否有效地将其抑制。

“It’s like people are batting back and forth a bomb that gets bigger every time someone hits it,” he said. “They’re not attending to the fact that with each mischaracterization they alienate a larger part of the population. It’s a very bad idea.”

“就好像两个人用炸弹来打网球,每次有人击中它的时候,炸弹就会变得更大。他们不承认,每个污名化对手的行为会使他们离真正的民众意见越来越远。这实在不可取。”

Peterson repeatedly echoed U.S. President Donald Trump’s assertion that ideologues on both sides were responsible for violence.

Peterson多次引用美国总统唐纳德·特朗普的说法,称意识形态对立的双方都应为引起的暴力事件负责。

“It’s a time to bloody well hope that everyone takes a deep breath and walks backwards a little bit from the edge of the abyss,” he said, but noted that now was not the time to discuss the “sins of the radical left.”

“在事态变得不可收拾之前,现在是让每个人都冷静下来各退一步的时候了。要讨论‘激进左派的罪恶’的话,现在并不是时候。”

“The time right now is for denunciation of what occurred in Charlottesville,” he said.

“当务之急应该是去谴责夏洛茨维尔发生的事情,”他说.

Though the panel is no more, Elizabeth is still planning a rally. She said she’s reaching out to labour groups and looking to change the tone from anti-fascism to pro-diversity — “sort of celebrating the people that this forum panel was targeting.”

尽管讨论小组已经不复存在,伊丽莎白仍在筹划一次集会。她说,她正在与劳工组织接触,并打算将集会主题从反法西斯改为促进多元化——“可以说是被讨论组所针对的人们举行的庆祝”。

Peterson said he’ll talk with the other would-be panelists about potentially using another venue, though he’s still not sure the timing is right for the talk.

而另一方面,尽管不能确定举行讨论的时机是否恰当,彼得森说他将和其他可能的小组成员商量能否使用另一个场所举行讨论。

“We’re going to figure out what we can do that’s least harmful,” he said.”Let’s start with that.”

“我们要找出我们能做的什么是最无害的,”他说,“从这个开始。”