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Weaponizing Words -- The dilemmas of free speech

Free Speech - Conditions Apply

Weaponizing Words – The Dilemmas of Free Speech, explores the complexities of free speech and what the limits are, or should be, in this era where hate speech is on the rise. How do we limit speech which harms others without handing over the tools to our legislators and law enforcers who could use limitations on free speech to crack down on legitimate dissent?

This talk was recorded in Vancouver on June 27 and was sponsored by Simon Fraser University's Institute for the Humanities on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. 

The panel features:

Samir Gandesha - Associate Professor in the Department of the Humanities and the Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University. He specializes in modern European thought and culture, with a particular emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. His work has appeared in Political Theory, New German Critique, Constellations Logos, Kant Studien, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Topia, the European Legacy, the European Journal of Social Theory, Art Papers, the Cambridge Companion to Adorno and Herbert Marcuse: A Critical Reader as well as in several other edited books. He is co-editor with Lars Rensmann of Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations (Stanford, 2012). He is co-editor (with Johan Hartle) of Spell of Capital: Reification and Spectacle (University of Amsterdam Press, 2017) and Aesthetic Marx (Bloomsbury Press, 2017) also with Johan Hartle. He has also contributed to openDemocracy, Canadian Dimension, the Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail. In the Spring of 2017, he was the Liu Boming Visiting Scholar in Philosophy at the University of Nanjing and Visiting Lecturer at Suzhou University of Science and Technology in China.

Morgane Oger - Executive Director of the Morgane Oger Foundation, which works to narrow the gap between human rights laws as they are written and as they are experienced by Canadians. Morgane Oger was the BC NDP candidate in the then BC Liberal stronghold of Vancouver-False Creek during the 2017 General Election. Working across party lines, Oger has become recognized as an effective community organizer and educator, changing hearts and minds to help win significant change on issues focused around equality, LGBTQ2+ inclusion, and accessible education. Oger has helped shape Canada’s human rights law, write police policies, improve healthcare delivery, pen policy for K-12 education, prevent extrajudicial deportations overseas, protect trans youth in schools, and formulate national transgender policy. Previously on the City of Vancouver LGBTQ2+ advisory committee and on the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council where she served as Chair, Oger volunteers on the Vancouver Police Department LGBTQ2+ advisory group, with Women Against Violence Against Women, and mentors aspiring young politicians with intersectional experiences.

Josh Paterson - lawyer and the Executive Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA). Josh got his start acting as the Director of the Freedom of Expression, Equality and Dignity Project at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in Toronto. After moving to Vancouver in the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, he joined a busy union-side labour and human rights practice, and spent much of his time working on one of BC’s largest racial discrimination cases in history. Josh’s career as a lawyer has focused on protecting some of the most marginalized people from human rights violations, civil liberties restrictions, discrimination and environmental injustice. He has worked for several years as a lawyer for First Nations in their fights to protect their constitutional rights and their inherent legal authority. His work has included law reform and policy advocacy, public education, community organizing, government relations and litigation. Josh holds law and master’s degrees from the University of Toronto, and clerked at Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice.

Moderator:  Hilda Fernandez Alvarez.

Thanks to Tania Ehret and Alexandra Valahu for recording this event for rabble.

Image – Flickr -  Free Speech by Newtown Graffiti 

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