The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/c/christie.doug/botting-returns-award

Subject: EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE Re: Gary Botting Friday April 19,1996 

On Friday April 19th, Victoria Lawyer Gary Botting returned an award 
that he received from Doug Christie and his Canadian Free Speech 
League, together with letters of explanation, as part of an effort 
to disassociate himself from Ernst Zundel. 

Botting said Zundel is unfairly using a taped interview Zundel made 
with Botting in 1986 as part of a program to try to legitimize 
Holocaust Denial, and therefore anti-Semitism, and therefore racism. 
Botting said video copies of the interview are being offered for sale 
on Zundel's internet site, and if the practice isn't stopped, he will 
pursue legal action against Zundel.

Here is the complete text of one of the letters attached to the 
plaque that was shoved through the letter slot of Christie's downtown 
office kiosk.

  Mr. Douglas Christie
  810 Coutney St,
  Victoria, B.C.                      April 19, 1996

Dear Sir,

Re: The Canadian Free Speech League and 
    The George Orwell Free Speech Award

  As I mentioned in my letter you regarding Ernst Zundel, it is clear 
to me that your Canadian Free Speech League is merely a front for an 
anti-semitic, Pro-Nazi agenda. I have little doubt, in retrospect, 
that this has always been the case. Your organization is 
authoritarian and not in the least open to free speech: I sincerely 
doubt that you know what free speech really means. Certainly it does 
not appear to mean to you what it means to me, namely, a liberal 
marketplace of ideas where a variety of opinions are aired without 
fear of censure.

   In the Canadian Free Speech League, the only opinions truly allowed 
are those which conform to your own. And those opinions, as you well 
know, are antisemitic and almost blatantly pro-Nazi. It is no 
coincidence that both you and Ernst Zundel usually celebrate your 
birthdays on April 20, Hitler's Birthday. It is no coincidence that 
most of the Canadian Free Speech League annual awards ceremonies have 
been held as close to that date as possible.

   This connection with Nazism is in itself a travesty of free speech. 
To link the name of George Orwell with a pro-Nazi agenda is a travesty, 
for George Orwell was as outspoken against Nazism and antisemitism as 
any public voice in the second world war.

   The award is also a travesty, in retrospect, to my own integrity 
as an individual who in 1985 genuinely if naively fought for the 
right for free speech. The George Orwell Free Speech award was 
presented to me by you in 1986 for "outstanding courage in challenging 
censorship and historical orthodoxy". If I showed courage , I now 
realize that it was misplaced and misdirected. Believe me, it takes 
more courage to admit that I was duped ten years ago.

   Accordingly, I am returning the 1986 George Orwell Free Speech 
Award to you as Counsel of the Canadian Free Speech League.


Gary Botting, Barrister

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