Toronto Iran supporters held a candlelight vigil for Qasem Soleimani this week and Rebel Media’s David Menzies was there to report on it.
As Menzies worked through the crowd of about 200 protesters, he began asking pointed questions about the general, Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and sharia law. His questions were obviously designed to provoke and provoke they did.
Early in his video, Menzies begins asking crowd members why they were mourning Soleimani and if they thought he was a terrorist. Most of the responses were typical pro-Iranian fare – the U.S. is the real terrorist, Trump is a murderer, etc. etc. Surprisingly a few people indicated they saw Soleimani as a defender against terrorism in the middle east and ISIS and that the narrative of the slain general was merely propaganda.
In one hilariously “woke” moment a young woman boldly confronted Menzies to tell him her views on Trump as a terrorist. When an older white gentleman interrupted to shoo her away and tell her not to speak to the film crew, Menzies asked why he didn’t want to allow a woman to speak. The man instantly clammed up,
“I have no control over her body at all!”
But it didn’t stay funny for long. Six minutes (6:20) into the video, the Toronto police can be seen asking Menzies to stop using the word “terrorism” while filming. The Rebel Media reporter protested that he has free speech rights under the Canadian constitution. Police responded that such words would be considered “incitement” in the context of the protest and demanded he leave the public square.
“I can’t call a terrorist, a ‘terrorist?’” Menzies asked.
“Not in this sort of environment — no, you can’t,” the officer replied. “That’s going to incite a breach of the peace and that is Canadian law. Am I clear? It’s a breach of the peace. You will be placed under arrest.”
“You’re not to use that word again, in here, in this environment. Do you understand me?”
Later the police can be seen pushing Menzies off the public sidewalk and behind barricades and claiming he called protestors terrorists.
He eventually made his way over to the counter-protest where Canadian-Iranians held signs in support of the U.S. response and ending terrorism. There he met one very agitated Iranian man who claimed that the pro-Soleimani protesters had been abusive towards them, even hitting him over the head. He said that when he approached police about it they waved him away.
“Apparently police, when it comes to our side we say something, police immediately puts hand up on us. But when it goes to them, police doesn’t take side. I don’t know. This has to be asked from the police chief. What you doing?”
Rebel Media isn’t exactly known for their tact. Menzies was surely looking to provoke some passionate reactions, but a review of the entire video will show that indeed he did not call anyone but Soleimani a terrorist. He was also careful to limit his position to the public walkways and streets.
It is interesting when Canadians appeal to free speech, since they most certainly do not enjoy the same type of free as we in America. Menzies’ video is one example of that. The Canadian reputation is one of extreme politeness, a quality Americans often find quaint and even superior to American bravado. However, that “politeness” has enshrined itself into their rule of law and the result is a growing chaos that threatens to end any real influence the Great White North has left as a power on the world stage.