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 EzraLevant.com, "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.)

Shakedown also highlights some other HRC cases even more absurd than either Steyn's or Levant's, believe it or not: the McDonald's employee who won the "right" not to wash her hands after using the restroom; the male-to-female transsexual demanding the "right" to counsel rape victims who wanted nothing to do with him; the medical marijuana user fighting for his "right" to smoke pot on another man's property; the stand-up comic charged with "homophobia" for shouting down a drunken heckler.

And as he's done from the beginning of his own ordeal, Ezra Levant also publicizes some of the HRC's lesser-known targets -- those who weren't fortunate enough to possess Levant's Rolodex of powerful friends, law school degree, gift for gab, media savvy, or boundless energy.

For decades, the favorite target for Human Rights Commission investigations was the one group of people no decent Canadian would ever want to be forced to defend: neo-Nazis.

Now there are more Nazis in the average Hogan's Heroes rerun than in all of peaceful, multicultural, tolerant Canada, but their supposed threat to national security has been the excuse used by Canadian leftists for decades to justify the ongoing existence of the Human Rights Commissions.

This leads to some of the most twisted and explosive information in Shakedown.

Ezra Levant writes:

In the 1960s, the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) paid John Garrity, a small-time mercenary, to build up the fledgling Canadian Nazi Party. ... Garrity's mission was justified as an attempt to learn more about neo-Nazism. Garrity -- and the CJC's money -- built the Canadian Nazi Party into a media sensation. There's something wrong with an anti-hate industry that is so devoid of targets that its leaders have to bankroll and promote their enemies just to justify their own existence.

It's hard to believe, but it's true: as reported previously at Pajamas Media, agents of the Canadian Human Rights Commissions, including at least one police officer, regularly pose as Nazis on white supremacist websites, goad members into making racist and homophobic comments by posting bigoted statements of their own, and then ... turn around and charge the site owners with "publishing hate speech."

As Ezra Levant told Pajamas Media in a recent interview:

The CHRC is Canada's largest disseminator of anti-Semitic, anti-black, and anti-gay bigotry. I just don't see how any government other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's could accept the fact that staff from their "human rights" agency has actually joined various neo-Nazi organizations and made literally hundreds of bigoted comments.

At one point, Ezra Levant visits white supremacist websites to see what they're saying about this Jewish guy in the news, who's fighting for their right to free speech, too:

The bigots at VNN and Stormfront are unsure how to deal with that fact. It just doesn't compute.

"Not every single Jew on planet earth is bad, some do good things," wrote "Bill." ... Unfortunately, "Alex Linder," the site's administrator, wouldn't tolerate such deviance. "There is no bravery involved at all," he wrote. "[Levant] relies on his Jewiness for protection."

Ezra adds, "I confess it: My Jewiness is like a forcefield!"

As for the well-paid, would-be Simon Wiesenthals who staff the Human Rights Commissions, Ezra told Pajamas Media that he "found that they were actually everything they claimed to be against -- everything they accused me of being. I wasn't the extremist radical; they were. I wasn't the one abridging ‘human rights'; they were. I wasn't the fringe element who needed political ‘reeducation' about our country's values; they were."

One "hate speech" investigator, Levant discovered, "was a former cop kicked off her police force for corruption. An Alberta HRC lawyer was a Muslim supremacist. A CHRC manager actually said that free speech was an ‘American' idea, so he didn't care about trampling on it. And HRCs everywhere are the political dumping grounds for extremist politicians who couldn't cut it in real elections."

Ezra Levant knows his successful revolution wouldn't have been possible even five years ago, before YouTube, PayPal, and blogs. In Shakedown, Ezra Levant credits his many allies in the international blogosphere -- complete strangers for the most part -- with helping "denormalize" the previously unquestioned existence of these extra-legal kangaroo courts. Thanks to all that bad publicity and subsequent pressure from across the political spectrum, the nation's Human Rights Commissions may not be long for this world.

For anyone interested in the battle against Islamic lawfare, political correctness, and state-sponsored censorship, Shakedown is a must-read. Prepare to be outraged, amused, and ultimately inspired.