Melanie Patten, Canadian Press, Jan. 16. 2007
Shouting “Nazis aren’t welcome here,” a mob of protesters shoved a self-described “race realist” from a Halifax hotel conference room Tuesday night where he was about to give a controversial speech.
A couple of dozen people prevented Jared Taylor, who critics have described as a white supremacist, from speaking. Taylor, who argues against the mixing of races, insists he’s not a racist and doesn’t espouse hatred.
Jared Taylor, a self-described race realist, is surrounded by protesters in Halifax, N.S. on Tuesday. (CP/Andrew Vaughan)
“Shame on you,” a young woman shouted at Taylor, a director at the National Policy Institute, a self-described U.S. research group that promotes the separation of the races.
“If you’re trying to separate yourself from diversity, separate yourself from people of race, then you are completely ignoring people of colour,” the woman continued.
“There is no difference between a white supremacist and a white separatist.”
The incident occurred at the Lord Nelson Hotel, where Taylor had booked a room to speak before sending out notices to the media.
The protesters, most of them young and white, surrounded Taylor, destroyed his pamphlets, and replaced them with posters that read: “Racist scum.”
Two police officers eventually escorted most of them from the hotel. There were no arrests.
A smiling Taylor later posed for photographers, holding the poster.
Hotel management, who said they were unaware the room had been booked by Taylor, told him to cancel the event and offered him a refund.
It appeared only a handful of people actually showed up to hear the speech, including a black university student.
Efrem Gebrehiwet said that while he believes Taylor is “repugnant,” he should have been given a fair opportunity to speak — and be challenged.
“I think we should have been given a chance to shut down his opinions ourselves,” Gebrehiwet said as he stood among shreds of Taylor’s torn-up pamphlets.
Taylor was originally supposed to appear at Dalhousie University for a debate with David Divine, the Halifax school’s chair of black Canadian studies.
The university called off the event after concerns were raised about Taylor’s beliefs.
Taylor said he was surprised by the demonstration.
“I fully expected to make my remarks,” he said outside the conference room.
“I’ve spoken at many universities, many public meetings. Never, ever, have I been prevented from speaking.”