Governments Undermine Democracy in the Name of Human Rights

Ezra Levant is the Evel Knievel of the Canadian Right.

Levant was the only individual in the Western world prosecuted for publishing the Danish Mohammed cartoons. His battle with Canada's now-notorious Human Rights Commissions (HRC) cost him $100,000 in legal fees -- and provincial taxpayers involuntarily coughed up another estimated half million bucks to fund his trial for "Islamophobia."

"Using government lawyers and taxpayers' money," he blogged at one point at, "they have been pursuing me, infringing on my natural rights of free speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. According to Access to Information documents, there are 15 bureaucrats working on my file. I'm a major crime scene."

Famously, Levant posted some of that "crime scene evidence" -- his impassioned, defiant opening statement to the HRC tribunal -- on YouTube. Over 600,000 views later, the energetic, eloquent 37-year-old became an international free speech superstar.

After three years, the case was dropped.

However, Levant is now juggling dozens of SLAPP suits and other legal irritations, brought by those determined to keep Canada's $25-million-a-year Human Rights Commissions in business.

But those suits are like the absurdly metastasizing number of cars Evel Knievel was always going to jump next time and the bones he'd already broken (sometimes twice): for Ezra Levant, a born showman, trouble is something to boast about.

He is, quite simply, determined to shut down Canada's kangaroo courts. Period. They've become Levant's Snake River Canyon. Except, this time, it looks like the daredevil will make it to the other side.

Ezra Levant tells his story and lays out his plan for a free speech revolution in his new book Shakedown: How Our Government Is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights, which will be released on March 24.

(The book features a powerful foreword by Mark Steyn, who faced down the same Human Rights Commissions at the same time as Levant and became one of his most vocal supporters.)