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