33 organizations have signed a letter requesting that Ottawa, Canada, and the host arena cancel a Jordan Peterson event. This is part of Peterson’s international tour.
The event will take place at Canada Tire Centre on Jan. 30, 2023. Activists have called for the cancellation of the show and asked Peterson’s talent representatives, Creative Arts Agency, (CAA), to drop him as a client.
Peterson is largely blamed in the letter for his support of the Canadian freedom convoy/trucker demonstration of 2022. This protest, according to the letter, led to hundreds of calls to the police and the closing down of the bus network for disabled persons.
“Peterson supported the so-called Freedom Convoy despite this scandalous situation,” the letter states. It also criticizes Peterson’s podcast featuring members of the convoy.
Peterson’s ideas, according to the letter, are “misogynistic and homophobic, transphobic and racist” and create a hostile environment, especially towards the trans community.
It also states that the professor’s rhetoric can be “toxic” or “often violent.”
Peterson is also being blamed by the signatories for what they call a series of anti-transgender demonstrations in front of high schools with arguments similar to Peterson’s.
The letter also comments on whether the request by the group for the event to be canceled is similar to censorship. It declares that although Peterson’s words are not hate speech, his rhetoric “veers” towards it and should therefore not be permitted.
Peterson and his supporters will argue that calling for the cancellation or protest of his events amounts to censorship. The letter says that we are not writing this correspondence to disagree with Peterson’s ideas, but because Peterson’s ideas directly jeopardize safety and well-being for marginalized communities, particularly women and transgender individuals.”
“In short, there is a difference between free speech and hate speech. The views of Dr. Peterson clearly veer more towards the latter. The tolerance of differing ideas is about mutual respect and dignity. We believe the views expressed by Peterson and his supporters reflect neither of these values,” the decree adds.
The letter asks all parties to cancel the event if they value the well-being and lives of equity-seeking organizations.
The group asking for censorship includes Planned Parenthood Ottawa and the Democratic Socialists of Canada Ottawa–Gatineau Chapter, Ottawa Dyke March, and the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.