Vancouver talk derailed as free speech versus hate speech conflict escalates

VANCOUVER—An event featuring controversial far-right speakers is now in limbo as a conflict between two UBC student groups this week continues to escalate, prompting the planned venue to pull out Wednesday morning.

The event was planned by the UBC Free Speech Club, which has gained attention since its inception in 2016 for bringing in far-right speakers. Friday’s headliners were to be Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, who have been widely condemned as racists, fascists and white nationalists.

Max Pechstein – Poster for periodical An die Laterne (To the Lamp Post) – 1919
Pechstein, one of the most politically engaged artists of the early postwar period, made this poster to advertise the short-lived journal An die Laterne (To the lamp post), which promoted the incumbent Social Democratic Party. Its image of clenched-fisted, flag-carrying protestors—probably communists—marching past a man hanged from a lamppost was a warning against the mob violence and anarchy that threatened to destabilize the fledgling Weimar Republic.

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