CBC News Treats Fringe Group Of Anti-Israel Occupiers To Free Publicity – Would It do The Same For KKK Protesters?

A group calling themselves Occupy UWaterloo have been illegally camping on the property of the University of Waterloo since May 13, and a recent article and video report for CBC News only added more fuel to the fire by giving the group free and uncritical publicity.

On June 28, CBC reporter Aastha Shetty wrote an article entitled: “University of Waterloo, protestors to undergo mediation talks to to end 7-week encampment.” While the content of the article presented the current state of the encampment and the university’s efforts to remove it, more troubling was the accompanying video segment and its false and inflammatory messages presented without context or challenge.

On June 24, the University of Waterloo belatedly filed a statement of claim with the stated goal of compelling the campus occupiers to break down and leave the encampment. Additionally, the university took the action of suing some of the encampment members, seeking damages of $1.5 million dollars.

To this action, among others, the encampment leaders have taken exception, and in the video segment accompanying the CBC’s article, they expressed their unreserved condemnation of the university’s legal action against them. They miss no opportunity, of course, to fling nonsensical accusations at Israel.

Nick Joseph, an Occupy UWaterloo leader began his remarks by saying, “here we are, after 265 days of genocide.” The United Nations defines genocide as “the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group in whole or in part,” but on June 24, the day that Shetty’s article was published, 299 humanitarian trucks were transferred into Gaza, not exactly the actions Israel would be undertaking if it was attempting what Joseph would have the public believe. In its effort to eradicate Hamas, Israel hampers its own success by carefully minimizing civilian casualties, even as Hamas cowers in the midst of the Gazan population. The claim of genocide is false to the point of foolishness and absurdity.

In the video report, fellow organizer Sarah Ahmed expressed her disbelief that the university would resort to suing its own students, and asked how the University of Waterloo could be asking for more money from poor students “when it’s not even capable of investing its current funds responsibly.”

The characterization of the university’s legal action against protest organizers as a cash grab is disingenuous in the extreme. It is the university, and its stakeholders, including all students, who ultimately bear the costs created as a result of the campus occupation, and if the organizers are not forced to shoulder the costs of their actions, they will surely become the responsibility of the 38,000 students at the University of Waterloo who are not participating in this demonstration.

Joseph went on to say that “through its constant surveillance, mischaracterization, and bad faith, it is clear that the University of Waterloo is vehemently opposed to moving humanity forward.”

For CBC News to parrot the self-aggrandizing drivel of the illegal occupiers is shameful. This fringe group of demonstrators seek to place their efforts in the context of meaningful student protest actions of the last century. Despite the absolute falsehood of their claims, and the noxious antisemitism that has been documented at encampments across the country, CBC News continues to provide a platform for their statements.

If the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) organized a gathering of a few dozen people in which they espoused their hateful views, would CBC News present those views uncritically? Or even at all, let alone with ongoing reporting? CBC News would be well within its editorial scope to avoid platforming such a group, and would certainly never present the KKK’s views without placing them in their hateful context. Why does CBC News provide this type of coverage to the illegal occupiers on campus? What public interest is served when the national broadcaster fails to provide any counterbalance to the protestors’ statements, not even referencing them in the article to which they are appended?

Time and again, CBC News has ignored its responsibility to provide a balanced view of current events, and has presented the most strident anti-Israel claims without a shred of evidence or any opposing viewpoints.

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