The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/c/christie.doug/press/demands-martlett-retraction


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.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.