Subject: Christie/CFSL/Library/UVIC GOLEM NOTE: REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION THE MARTLET ( University of Victoria Campus newspaper) Thursday, January 9. 1997 page 7 OPINION / EDITORIAL Christie asks Marlet to Retract Editorial Victoria lawyer Doug Christie has given The Martlet a 30- day deadline to apologize for editorial comments made in the Nov. 7 edition. Christie took exception to the Martlet's calling Christie's Canadian Free Speech League "extremist thugs" who used the Victoria Public Library as a "venue to spread hate." In a letter addressed to the Martlet, Christie writes, " I am giving you an opportunity within the next thirty days to write a retraction of those remarks and an apology for any suggestions that myself and the persons in attendance on behalf of the Canadian Free Speech League were engaged in the promotion of hatred." In the letter, Christie also advises the Martlet to "seek legal advice on this point." However, after consulting with legal counsel, Martlet managing editor Jess Howard and Editor-in Chief Andrew Lupton have decided against running an apology, saying the comments fall within the boundaries of fair comment. "The Martlet stands behind its comments about Christie and his Free Speech League," said Lupton. Another attendee at the October 26 meeting included Tony McAleer. McAleer operated a telephone chat line line that carried hate messages until a human rights tribunal pulled the plug. Christie's client list also includes Ernst Zundel, who in 1985 was found guilty of wilfully causing harm to racial harmony after publishing a booklet that claimed the Holocaust was a Jewish hoax. The Victoria lawyer has defended other Holocaust deniers such as Malcolm Ross, who books allege the Nazi slaughter of Jews during the Second World War was exaggerated. When contacted by The Martlet, Christie refused to comment about the letter. "I think you're a juvenile and that's all I'm going to say about it," Christie said. Christie has a history of launching libel suits, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. In 1984, Christie was awarded $30,000 in damages for comments published by columnist John Geiger in the Edmonton Sun. In his article, Geiger called Christie and Western Canada Concept Party supporters members of a "lunatic fringe" and an "Alberta version of the Ku Klux Klan." In 1985 Christie launched an unsuccessful libel suit against CKNW radio host Gary Bannerman after the open-line host said: "Doug Christie has aligned himself so many times with these perverted monsters that he has to be viewed as one himself, in my view." A jury found that Bannerman's words were defamatory but constituted fair comment and were used without malice. "I find it ironic that on one hand, Chistie claims to be such a staunch defender of free speech, then calls for a retraction when a journalist writes something he doesn't like," Lupton said. - 30 - THE MARTLET Thursday November 7, 1996 Page 8 Editorial Kristallnacht: Light A Candle To Remember Fires burned during the Night of Broken Glass 58 years ago and candles will burn in Victoria windows tonight to remember. Tonight, the Jewish (interfaith) community of Victoria will observe the anniversary of Kristallnacht with a public ceremony at the Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue. On the 58th anniversary of one of the most shameful nights in history, we should say once again that we must remember the past or we're doomed to repeat it. It's equally important that we be aware of what is happening in the present to safeguard our society from the dangerous thoughts that prompted the Holocaust. From Victoria, lawyer Doug Christie defends hate-mongers under the auspices of the Free Speech League. Founder of The Western Canada Concept Party, a far right-wing party, Christie has defended such extremists as Jim Keegstra, Ernst Zundel and Robin Blaber. Recently, Christie booked a meeting room in The Victoria Public Library ostensibly in order to promote free speech. Actually, the room was a venu to spread hate being attended by Christie and other extremist thugs. One can imagine the time before the Nazi's rise to power - the meetings in basements and beer halls where hate was spread in the guise of political vision. It's easy to write off a small fringe element today as it must have been to write off a clownish little man from Austria in 1930. Eight years later his government sanctioned the destruction of 1,406 Synagogues and prayer houses and over 7,000 Jewish shops, businesses and homes. The police and fire brigades watched and did nothing under government orders. Certainly we can't deny groups the right to meet. But as long as we are a vigilant society and see hate in the light of the public forum, we will always recognize it for what it is. Without complacency, racism can't grow. Kristallnacht is not only a Jewish commemoration. We all share the responsibility of remembrance. It helps us as Canadians pursue our responsibility as citizens to speak out and act before racism begins to spread according to the Victoria Holocaust Remembrance Society. Events during Kristallnacht days include the candle-burning ceremony, a performance of "God's Country," a docu-drama about the growing white-supremacist movement in North America and a photographic exhibit called "Fires in the Night" open at Hillside Mall from November 3-12. Be sure to burn a candle in your window facing the street tonight. Remember the flames and broken glass that spread across two countries half a century ago as the flame reflects in your unbroken window. - 30 - DOUGLAS H. CHRISTIE Barrister & Solicitor 810 Courtenay Street Victoria, B.C. V8W 1C4 Tel: 250-385-1022 Fax: 250-479-3294 December 12, 1996 Publisher or Editor the MARTLETT Box 3035 Student Union Bldg. - B 011 University of Victoria Victoria, B.C. V8W 3P3 WITHOUT PREJUDICE Dear Publisher or Editor: Re: Issue Volume 36. Number 15 Editorial Regarding your issue, volume 36, Number 15 editorial in which you say: "Recently, Christie booked a meeting room in The Victoria Public Library ostensibly in order to promote free speech. Actually the room was a venue to spread hate being attended by Christie and other extremist thugs." I am giving you an opportunity within the next 30 days to publish a retraction of those remarks, and an apology for any suggestion that myself and the persons in attendance on behalf of The Canadian Free Speech League were engaged in the promotion of hatred. I think you would be wise to seek legal advice on this point, and to consider that there is no evidence whatsoever of the truth of those comments and that they are not likely to be deemed ststaements of opinion to which fair comment might apply. In any event, I look forward to hearing from you within the next 30 days. Yours truly, Douglas H. Christie DHC:ij VIA FAX: 472-4556 and mail - 30 - GOLEM NOTE: We have just received some late news that both Eileen Pressler and Ron Gostick also attended the meeting at the library Oct. 26, 1996 and that Ron Gostick was the recipient of the "George Orwell" award. Source: Doug Collins, North Shore News. More details (and possibly a transcription ) as available.
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