Gentlemen,

This is what may be the last post I publish for some time.

I had a conversation with a friend today, a friend who had discovered my blog via the Youtube video with my face in it that reached 200,000 hit recently.

He said some things that hit home with me.

The majority of what I have been writing about and discussing on my blog has fallen into two categories. The first, has been descriptions of my dating experience. The second, has been advice that I offer to others about dating and having success with women.

My friend, after reading most of what I’ve written in the last couple months, asked me some pointed questions as we talked and I realized something. I couldn’t honestly advocate the things I write about here to other men.

I don’t actually know any of my readers, with the exception of a few acquaintances. As a result, what I post almost doesn’t feel real, as if the people reading it aren’t someone else’s sons.

I’ve made some discussion of my decision to remain a virgin, because I’m reluctant to actually fully submerse myself in the sub-culture that I write about. This is, because I don’t actually view making a mission out of seducing women a positive way for a man to spend his time. I’ve fallen in with this kind of lifestyle out of curiosity more than anything else, but it isn’t something that I ever really aspired to achieve.

I ended up where I am now as a result of a number of small steps away from being the sort of person I would want others to see me as. It was never the goal, but once here, I couldn’t help but to somewhat embrace it. Not fully of course, I didn’t want to plunge in with both feet, but I couldn’t fully resist the appeal of such a lifestyle.

My friend asked me about the events of New Year’s Eve that I wrote about and whether or not I could encourage my son, if I had one, to make the same decisions.

I realized that I could not.

I’m not comfortable endorsing this kind of behaviour, because I don’t see any really positive outcome coming from it. While I certain would encourage young men to build confidence and satisfaction in life, I wouldn’t want my future son to achieve it in the way that I have.

When I look at it in that light, I realize that what I’ve been writing here has not been positive and helpful. I’ve been building a bridge to no where.

And I can’t do this any more.

I go to church just about every Sunday and the lifestyle I’ve been describing on my blog is not one that is compatible with being involved in a community that has the belief systems that churches have.

I’ve realized that I won’t ever be 100% comfortable with fully endorsing the playboy lifestyle for myself. If I had to choose, I’d prefer to live the lifestyle that I could promote to my children, if I ever have any.

You can’t move forward in life if are sitting on a fence between two diametrically opposed lifestyles. You can’t really succeed at one when you are being pulled in the opposite direction by the other.

I’ve allowed myself to live like this for a while now under the justification that it is a good learning experience.

My friend’s advice was to pick one lifestyle and become very good at doing it. Being good at both just isn’t possible.

A man cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).

So I need to say goodbye to my readers for now. I may write again in the future, but if I am going to offer advice to other people, it needs to be advice that will lead to consequences for other people that I can support. I haven’t been doing that and I need to stop. It just isn’t honest.

There are things that I could be sharing that I would be comfortable with my son reading. I’ve chosen to write about the sort of things that would attract a quick blog readership instead, because I wanted to feel like a playboy, a leader of men.

I can’t continue to do this. My conversation with my friend today gave me a new perspective on some of the worries I’ve had since last summer.

I’ve dated enough women already to become comfortable with them. Any continued efforts with women that I see no long term potential in would be taking place simply to feed my ego and so that I could brag about it later online.

That self improvement process has served its purpose and then some. Right now, I need to start working on a new self-improvement project. I need to find the real me and settle it once and for all. I’m tired of living two separate lives and it’s starting to catch up to me.

To, my regular readership, thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I’ve decided to take down most of the content that I’ve written because I don’t want to be responsible any more for how it will affect other people. I’ll start writing again when I am ready to share content that is what I believe to be fully positive and that I can be sure I want to be sharing with other people.

But first I need to sort out what my beliefs really are.

Its OK to ask questions. But writing a blog like this about my experiences is not the same as asking questions. But I’ve been doing much more than asking questions. I’ve been advocating a lifestyle that I’m beginning to feel ashamed to endorse. I need to do better than this.

Yours,

C.T. West

Dear Ma’am,

I’m pretty sure that you know who I am, as we recently met informally at an event where Warren Farrell was speaking. Just in case it has slipped your mind, we have our own Youtube video.

If you are reading this, I’d like to start out by saying the following: while it is hard for me to believe that you want it, I want you to know that you have my forgiveness. I don’t doubt for one moment that you meant everything that you said to me that night. I have no doubt that you intended to be as hurtful as possible. I’m not giving you a pass by assuming that you were having a bad moment or that you were overcome by emotion and said something you didn’t mean.

I know you meant what you said and that you probably still do. But, I forgive you regardless. I’m not a very forgiving person. There are some people in my past who have done horrible things to me that I would rather forget about than forgive.

But towards you, it is hard to have negative emotions. You may have wished to do me harm. You may have wanted to hurt my feelings, to elicit an angry response. But I don’t think you succeeded, at least, I don’t feel hurt. A few angry words thrown my way isn’t a huge concern to me, so this time forgiveness comes not as a choice, but rather because I can’t help myself.

So please understand this: I harbour no ill will towards you. If we were to meet again today, I’d do everything in my power to treat you with respect, deserved or not.  I’d be willing to offer you a clean slate and would hope that you would extend to me the same courtesy.

Now, with reference to the words you shouted at me that November 16 night, I have a few things I would like to share with you about myself.

I’m 26 years old. I’ve spent my adult years living for extended periods of time in four different countries. In the moments before you assaulted me, I made friends with an East-Asian man and communicated with him in his own native tongue. I’ve made a lifestyle out of becoming better at understanding myself and others. I move internationally every eight months on average. I currently live in Toronto.

I love learning. I try to do something a little out of the ordinary every single weekend. Three weeks ago, that meant going to Warren Farrell’s lecture on a whim. I saw a poster on Queen St. advertising his presentation the day before the event.

Recently, I began to write a blog where encouraging young men to do the following:

  • Become comfortable interacting with women.
  • Make good choices and spend the years between ages 22 to 28 planning a life where they will be able to contribute positively to the world they live in.
  • Respect the potential value and risks that come with sexual unions.
  • Understand who they are.
  • Make relationship and dating decisions out of value-based choices, not fear or desperation.
  • Think long and hard about whether marriage is for them and what would be the best time and place for them to take on such a big commitment.
  • To not live in fear of new information, but rather, to seek out reliable data and information on which to base their major life decisions.

Some of the content on my website may appear unkind. It is not my goal to be unkind. Some of what I write may be offensive to some. It is not my goal to offend anyone. It is my goal to not shy away from the truth, to be honest with young men in a way others have not, and above all, to have a sense of humour and be able to laugh at myself. Some of what I write is just an attempt at humour. Some of it is serious. I understand that for some people, it may sometimes be hard to tell the difference. If you are wonder

I try my best to live what I preach. I feel justified encourage other men to respect the risks that come with sexual contact with another person.  At an earlier time in my life, with my first girlfriend pressuring me to have sex with her, I made the very difficult decision to wait to experience intercourse with someone who I felt comfortable being physically, psychologically and emotionally bonded to. I’ve kept this difficult promise to myself for years now and I can assure you that I’ve never raped anyone.

I live a very simple lifestyle. Because I relocate so often, I don’t own very many possessions. My personal wardrobe is the only part of my life that suggests any level of domestic comfort. I don’t own furniture that I wouldn’t be comfortable leaving behind at a moments notice and I can’t stop myself from living out of a suitcase as a matter of habit.

My life philosophy is unique and as such I highly suspect that our political and social views are diametrically opposed and there isn’t much either of us can do about that. However, if you are game, I would be open to hearing you out. What you said to me on that Friday night lacked value as dialogue. I learned nothing from it that I did not already know. But, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that there is something that you can teach me.

So, if you’d like, we can go Dutch on a pair of coffees the next time I have a free Friday night. I’m not looking for a debate or an argument. I just want to hear what you would have said to me if the November 16 incident hadn’t been so emotionally charged and out-of-the-ordinary. I don’t expect anything in return. You don’t have to hear me out, unless absolutely you want to.

I have only three requests: this meeting would occur in a public place where I wouldn’t need to fear for my safety. You don’t have a good track record in making me feel safe at this point. Second, while you are welcome to bring another person with you if for some reason you are worried about your safety, I would request that we get our own table and that this conversation be just between the two of us. Third, the conversation would absolutely have to remain civil. I don’t use profanity, ever. I’d have to ask you to do the same this time around.

There are some individuals working very hard right now to establish your identity and publicly out you. I have no interest in doing this to you. Whether or not you “deserve” this is not for me to decide. While I recognize that your actions on November 16th may have real world consequences, I have zero interest in punishing you. I don’t need to know your real name and I’ll certainly do everything in my control to protect your privacy.

If your rant at the Warren Farrell protest is as much as you care to say to me, then let’s not bother. But if you believe that the words and actions that went public on Youtube are not characteristic of who you really are, I’ll give you the opportunity to prove it to me. I have plenty of reason to judge you for what you did, but I’d be the first to admit that a one-minute interaction with a stranger isn’t a fair assessment of how they really live their life and how they normally treat people.

So, while you probably don’t deserve it, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and a second chance to make a first impression. You don’t have my respect in the least at the present, but I am open to giving you a chance to earn it.

Email me if you are interested. 22to28@gmail.com.

Regards,

C.T. West

Gentlemen,

I’d like to showcase a few more reactions that I’ve copied off of Youtube that respond to the video that I linked to in the last article. I’m sharing these out of some very legitimate concern for the Manosphere community and MRAs.

MrZadzookies commented that the video is

“INTERESTING……If this Farrell is so bad why is the school letting him speak and isn’t it harassment what that last woman is doing to that student who wants to hear for himself what this farrell person is about?
She should be expelled permanently.”

My understanding is that many of the protesters may well not be students of the University of Toronto at all. Many have graduated, have never actually gone to university or actually attend the nearby Ryerson University. Some of those present were what the police described later as professional activists, so don’t assume that everyone at UofT is crazy.

As far as permanent expulsion goes, I don’t think that I’d like to see that come about. We all make mistakes and many people  never learn from the ones that they make, but I for one do not want to be a part of a society where people are punished for the stupid things they do that are not in fact criminal.

Her treatment of me was not kind, but I highly doubt that it was legitimately criminal. I don’t like the idea of her being punished by UofT (were she a student) any more than I like the idea of young men being punished by academic institutions for rapes that they may or may not of committed.

Judicial institutions exist for a reason, let them work, and if you aren’t satisfied with the results, take legitimate democratic action to change the system in a more just version of itself. Otherwise, we are no better than an angry mob of people barricading an entrance with our bodies just because we wanted to.

As for those that did certainly break the law that night, I’m disappointed that no charges were laid, but I also didn’t take the time to contact my MP, so I can’t really pretend to be outraged when I couldn’t be bothered to make a simple phone call to my federal representative.

862matstar stopped by to state that

“If someone was calling me ‘fucking scum’ i would have hit them around the head after they said it a couple of times. “

Alternamaton agreed, saying

“I’m pretty sure that America’s founding fathers would not have considered getting up in someone’s face and shouting, “Fuck you! You’re fucking scum!” to be “free speech”. Look at George Washington: that guy was no joke. Get in his face and start cursing him out and you’d go down hard. I’m sure he’d be classy and only hit you the one time, but he wouldn’t just sit there and take it.”

as did 0010soccerdude10

“That dude who was listening to the woman calling him scum should have punched her. If it was another man saying those sort of things surely he would have hit him.”

and the angelofdeath156.

“That girl at 4:00, I would have broken her nose for calling me all those names. How rude!”

And just to add fuel to the fire, consider dororono‘s little contribution.

“I would rape the girl at the end of the video with a rake.”

Now, I am not going to suggest for a second that any of these comments don’t fall firmly under free speech as it is currently defined (although the last quoted comment may cross a line). My issue with these sorts of comments is that it makes me sad to see others recommending a violent response.

A violent answer to a violent protest, for any reason other than unavoidable self-defence, is absolutely the wrong choice. I’m not going to argue the violence never solves anything….it solved WWII. But those necessities are far and few between for those of us currently living in Canada.  If all I have to do to do my part in preserving a civil society is ignore a woman throwing a few petty words my way, I consider it a good deal. My have responsibilities to myself, yes, but also responsibilities as a citizen. In this case, there was no real harm down to me, my ego has never been better, so I was glad to have the opportunity to bring a little slice of peace to a fragile situation.

whoo689 comes in a little more evenly with

“It must’ve took a lot in him to keep that guy from PUNCHING HER LIGHTS OUT! I don’t encourage domestic violence, but… seriously, lady. Just back off! How can you DARE judge someone just for SEEING ONE SPEAKER?? YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW THE GUY!”

Atavist89 feels similarly, stating

“4:00 That poor guy is struggling not to punch her! So would I.”

I’ve got to say, punching her or responding physically was the last thing on my mind. I had trained police officers a few few away with me who had far more training and use-of-force equipment than I and I trusted them to help me if it became dangerous for me to be there…which they did.

When I read comments like the last two that I’ve quoted, I really hope that there are people like me out there whose immediate reaction in circumstances like these isn’t to respond physically.

I’ve been in two or three particularly scary situations before that absolutely dwarf this situation in the risk that I felt. One involved an SUV, road rage and me on a motorbike carrying one passenger. The driver of the SUV cut me off, forced me off the road, all the while with his wife hanging out the passenger window letting loose a blue streak of obscenities. I was pinned down and couldn’t get away from them. The man approached me from behind hit me, just hard enough to be sure that he had my attention, and proceeded to shout at me in language that I was only semi-fluent in. I didn’t understand a word he was saying.

Now, keep in mind, I have several years of experience in judo and this guy was half my size. I would have been within my rights to respond violently and few would have blamed me. Instead, I kept my cool and apologized the best that I could (I had no idea why this vehicle was chasing me in the first place) and eventually he and his wife got tired of assaulting a even-tempered foreigner. I wrote the license plate down as they took off and never regretted keeping my cool in this situation that very well could have turned deadly.

So, I can assure all who read this, the situation at UofT was not friendly, but I hardly felt threatened. It was, if anything, a nice chill break from what I usually do on a Friday night. All in all, I was happy to be there.

Violence is occasionally necessary, but rarely with armed police officers standing inches away, intent on protecting your safety, should the need arise. If physical violence had suddenly been directed towards me, my plan was to drop, cover up my vital organs and let the police do their job. Let’s just be glad that it never came to that.

There were, however, some responses that put a smile on my face.

For example, morganne23 chimed in to say

“F***ing scum” wow… classy. Way to get your point across in a classy manner. I am a woman, and I wouldn’t listen to that kind of crap. This is so ridiculous, I’m sorry, but it sounds ignorant the way the protesters are handling themselves.

87MrMason added

“I commend the man who was verbally attacked by the pitiful little cowardly feminist for not taking it’s head off!”

 Genderratic paid me a much appreciated compliment

“…the guy in the video handled this like a boss. He held his head high and walked past her sneering.”

as did justsomefellow2

“The guy at 4:02 should be proud of himself. He handled the hatred, anger, violence, and vile comments well.”

Comments like those make me proud to be who I am.

And in case the idea crossed your mind, let’s not do what TomHasVideo suggests,

“The woman at 3:57 seems to be featured as one of the worst here throughout the video. WE NEED TO FIND WHO SHE IS AND PUBLISH HER DETAILS.”

We’ve got better things to do with our time.

If you are a young man, use your time to build a future that you can share with others you care about.

If you are an older guy, find a young man and mentor him. Show him the ropes and teach him to keep his head up no matter how anyone insults him. That’s what my father did for me.

Yours,

C.T. West

Part I | Part II

Continued From Part I

I went back today, to the site of the riot that occurred now more than two weeks ago. The area where it all went down was smaller than I remembered. I had been a lot closer to the fight between police and protesters than I had thought. The block of cement that I had taken shelter behind when the stand-off escalated into arrests was smaller than it had seemed at the time. I remembered how much safer I had felt behind it, but I was surprised now to have felt that way, its size seeming almost insignificant.

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There was very little coverage of the event, the protest or the riot in the media. I heard more recently that the reason for this was not that the media was looking for a story (several of reporters with recognizable credentials had been present), but rather that they couldn’t figure out what the heck the protestors were protesting about. There was a lack in linearity to any conversations attempted. You can’t write a news story about anger.

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I got the impression myself that feminism, as a movement, is running out of enemies. Western society has been HEAVILY affected by the feminism imperative. I’ve personally studied the history of feminism at the university level, so I know for a fact that most of the recommendations of the feminism movement from the 70’s and the 80’s have entered into political policy. Their movement has arguably been as successful as it could have been.

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And yet, so much anger, even with the number of potential targets still shrinking every day.

So, it was understandable that Dr. Warren Farrell, who has only been subjected to picketers once in his professional career, would be the enemy of an angry, violent, out of control mob.

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It’s a tragedy of free speech gone wrong when a young man like myself can’t attempt to attend a lecture about a topic of personal interest without being designated “fucking scumbag” by a group of woman and their male supporters, who of course hold a monopoly on judgement just because they say they do.

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The Western world has reached a crisis. With all the focus being moved from children to girls, slowly and steadily, there is little left for boys. Yet, the demands of our capitalist system requiring constant progress, there is no choice, but to move forward. And yet boys, who will eventually become the members of society with the most energy and disposability to contribute to society’s progress are experiencing a consistent elimination of every motivation they have to contribute to society, something must change, not for men’s sake, but for women’s.

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I wouldn’t call this Dr. Farrell’s mission. I’ll let him to speak to what his mission is himself, but I would say that what he is attempting to achieve is aligned with what I seek. I wish for a society that is the best that it could be for all. When I see boys and men committing the vast majority of suicide, having the most trouble in school and failing to become constructive members of society, it scares me.

I do not believe that men and women are the same. I believe that there are inherent difference between them and these differences, if properly utilized will contribute to a better society. I look around me and I see a society where men no longer know what is expected of them, what their role is.

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As I recounted the details of the riot to Warren Farrell later that night (Note: I had not met him or communicated with him previous to this event) over a pint of Samuel Adams, I couldn’t help but feel sad. He was friendly and caring to everyone he interact with during his lecture and after. I enjoyed his company and admired his intelligence. And yet, it saddened me to speak with him.

I realized that the average member of our current civilization is unqualified to join the discussion. Dr. Farrell’s research, observations and concerns go right over their heads. The police had an unruly, violent mob on its hands because some people had made the mistake of completely misunderstanding his work, his writing and his words.

His previous statements about date rape had enraged them, because instead of asking themselves what he was attempting to communicate (a message that seems obvious and logical to me), they instead operated from a perspective where without uncertainty it is true that women do not lie about rape, that there could never be any confusion about when a rape has occurred, that the only victims of rape are women and the only perpetrators are men.

Like I said, I don’t think that it is fair to define Warren Farrell’s mission for him, but I’ll tell you mine. I can’t hope to appeal to the masses. On the other hand, I believe that there are some young men, who like me, are seeking and open to truth. I’ll talk to them.I’ll share what I’ve learned. But I’m not going to argue with people who have already made up their minds.

And for that, I’m scum.

Yours,

C.T. West

 

Gentlemen,

“You’re scum. You’re fucking scum,” the young woman screamed in my face from just a few inches away. Spittle escaped her enraged lips, sprinkling my jacket.

Dr. Warren Farrell is someone who I have a great deal of respect in. There are relatively few leaders within the Men’s Rights Movement worth noting, but of the few that there are, Farrell is at the top of the heap. He got his start as a feminist leader and his credentials are solid.

Farrell served in the leadership of NOW (National Organization of Woman) as a champion of second wave feminism until the organization began to develop policies that Farrell saw as anti-male.

He’s written five ground-breaking books, all developed from the basis of a world-view that is grounded in statistics and fact.

His dedication if anything, is to equality. While Marc Rudov seems to be in it mostly for the money (he is hilarious, however), Farrell appears to very much follow his heart.

Which brings me back to how I am a fucking scumbag.

Let me be clear: I’ve been called mean names plenty of times in my life, even by women. This, however, was the first time that I was verbally assaulted by a young, attractive woman inches away from a police barricade. And why was I inches away from a police barricade being spat upon by a fanatical young women?

Simple. Because, like Farrell, I follow my heart. And in following my heart, I was attempt to boy to the god of greater learning by attending a lecture being given on a Friday night by Dr. Warren Farrell himself.

Personally, I’ve always though Farrell to be fairly balanced in his approach. He is thoughtful. He bases his statements and views on completed research and demonstrated fact.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I approached the J.J.R. MacLead Auditorium at the University of Toronto and found the immediate area over-run by at least one-hundred protesters.

Several dozen had physically barricaded the entrance with their bodies and what appeared to be some contraptions made out of lengths of wood and rope. Others picketed the area with signs stating “Warren Farrell supports rape culture.”

“Fuck Warren Farrell, fuck Warren Farrell!” they chanted, again and again.

A row of five UofT Police Special Constables patrolled the area near the door. They weren’t making a move to do anything other than keep the peace as best as the y could. They weren’t going to be much of a match for one-hundred protesters.

I approached one of the officers and asked, “I’m here to attend the lecture. How can I get inside?”

“You won’t be able to right now. For your safety, just stay clear of this area by the door and we’ll get you inside when there is an opportunity.”

I thanked her and retreated about twenty feet. Soon I met others who were waiting to get inside. I talked to a few of them.  They were polite, but I noticed that we were all a little hesitant to share too much about ourselves. How could we know if who we were talking to was secretly a reporter from a left wing blog. The presence of so many unfriendly look protesters suggested that prudence was in order. If we said too much, would our photographs end up on some website assassinating our character?

One of those I met,  a Chinese man who introduced him as a pastor was a little taken aback when I spoke to him in Chinese, but I quickly gained his trust and he opened up to me. He worked with high school students, he said. His son was 17 and hated school. He was only motivated to play video games. This man, who I’ll refer to as Pastor Li, just wanted to learn. I had seen him talking with several of the protesters, asking them what exactly it was that they were protesting.

Although I discovered Farrell during a long period of time spent in China and thus haven’t had the opportunity to access and read any of his books yet, I’d familiarized myself as best as possible with his positions on-line.

Judging by their hastily drawn up signs, these protesters seemed to think that he was supportive of rape. Had he really even suggested that?

A little Internet research clued me into the basis of some of their claims. Farrell discussed the complexity of date rape accusations in his book, The Myth of Male Power.

“If a man ignoring a woman’s verbal ‘no’ is committing date rape, then a woman who says `no’ with her verbal language but ‘yes’ with her body language is committing date fraud. And a woman who continues to be sexual even after she says ‘no’ is committing date lying… we have forgotten that before we began calling this date rape and date fraud, we called it exciting.”

Taken by themselves, these carefully selected quotations help me understand how one might see where those who view Farrell as controversial are coming from. Taken in the context of what he wrote in his book as an entirety, he has clearly never suggested that rape is in any way OK. When I asked him about it, Farrell told me that he regards date rape as even more serious than stranger rape, because in addition to it being a violent crime, there is a loss of trust as well.

My research follow the protest that I witnessed has indicted to me that feminist groups appeared to have taken discussions that Farrell has had regarding university research projects that he has completed and wildly misinterpreted statements made during candid conversations about what the results indicated. Their anger at him stems to from statements he has made about his personal beliefs, but rather explanations of the results of academic research into, for example, the participants of incest.

He has been criticised of course for using the term “participants” instead of “victims” and “perpetrators” when referring to cases of incest. Anyone trained in conducting research knows, of course, that you are supposed to enter into the process as little bias as is humanly possible. Using non-neutral terms, such as “victim” is naturally biased, so for research purposes, I can see why the more neutral term “participants” is preferable when trying to develop an accurate calculation of the harm imparted by incest and in attempted to produce meaningful solutions to correcting the harm produced by cased of incest. To make the world a better place, you first need to understand what is that you are dealing with.

I’m unconvinced that Farrell has even made any statements condoning rape or incest, only that he has made every effort to understand the world for what is truly is, even if that means approaching research work as a professional, which demands that one temporarily let go of pre-conceived notions, even about something that may seems as cut and dry about father-daughter incest. It is the professional’s responsibility as a researcher to do so when creating studies intended to produce reliable results.

I could get into more detail regarding the claims made against Dr. Farrell and the fact-based responses to these claims, but in my mind, I find it unnecessary. Anyone who has taken the time to actually study  Farrell’s work would understand him as a man who is extremely dedicated to doing good and understanding others. When I spoke to him about later about the Friday night event, Dr. Farrell told me about the one time prior where a lecture he was given had been picketed. He had simply invited the protesters to hear him out. By the end of the lecture, they were fans.

That’s not how this Friday night ended, however. These protesters were not simple picketers. When a member of the event staff attempted to leave the building, he was physically attacked. It took two or three other staff members to rescue him when he quickly thought better about attempting to exit when he was immediately set upon by the protesters blocking the door. I watched as they struggled to close the door behind them after dragging their colleague to safety back inside. The protesters wanted inside now.

Finally, after an hour long stand off between those attempting to attend the event and those who refused to allow them, two dozen members of the Toronto Police Service arrived on bicycle to re-enforce the five or six University Police constables struggling to keep the peace.

They arranged their bicycles in a semi-circle around the building entrance and forced the protesters to the side. The protesters fought back, trying to force back the police, striking them. One was arrested. (He was later released without charges).

Now that the police held control of the entrance, I approached one of them, asking when I’d be able to gain access for the event. He said that he wasn’t sure. He told me to wait. I asked if there was somewhere less dangerous that I could safely wait. He said no. I should just stay where I was.

One of the protesters decided to help me out. She approached me aggressively, swearing in my face, calling me a scumbag for no other reason than that I appeared to be asking to go inside.

I adapted as peaceful a tone as I could and answered her, “I’m just here to learn. I’m not interested in choosing sides at the present. I just want to hear the guy out.”

“You’ll pay ten dollars just to hear him out?” she sneered, her spittle still flying in my direction.

“Yes, I said. I consider knowledge and learning valuable. I don’t mind spending a little pocket money to acquire some,” I responded, hoping to diffuse her attack by being as reasonable as possible.

Her assault paused for a moment. My calmness appeared to have left her disarmed for a few short seconds. But then she regathered her attack and began to scream in my face again. I was still a scumbag.

I looked back at the officer that I had just spoken to. He and two other officers were focused intently on me and the young woman, watching carefully.

“Sir, I’m being harassed just for being here. Is there somewhere safe where I can wait to go inside for the lecture,” I repeated my earlier request.

Over my shoulder I could see other protesters moving closer. There eyes suggested that they were tiring of talk. I suddenly felt very unsafe, despite the presence of several armed police officers a few feet away from me. A female officer moved up to police bicycle barricade, reaching past it to grabbed my arm. She pulled me away from the circle of angry looking protesters closing in on me.

“Let’s get you inside,” she stated evenly, stepping between me and the approaching protesters.

Two other officers took my arms gently and pulled me towards the door. It opened and then closed behind me. I was inside.

Continued in Part II

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