Who is really paying for SLAPP court cases against New Media?

It takes a lot of money to pursue a court case against someone; in fact, very deep pockets are required. You have to ask how is it that a person with little wealth can spend years pursuing a New Media journalist through the court system like has been done to Rebel Media’s Ezra Levant? SLAPP?lawsuits like the one against Ezra are a front for the real intentions and motivations of those who fund them.

A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech.

The typical SLAPP plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. In some cases, repeated frivolous litigation against a defendant may raise the cost of directors and officers liability insurance for that party, interfering with an organization’s ability to operate.A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat.

There is a difficulty in that plaintiffs do not present themselves to the Court admitting that their intent is to censor, intimidate or silence their critics…

-Wiki

Ezra who is Jewish and is the face of popular Canadian new Media outlet The Rebel Media, has been dragged through the court system for seven years by a young man who has no obvious source of wealth. This young man after forcing Ezra to undergo a trial for defamation in 2014 has finally won a court judgement against him. Ezra’s crime? He described ?Khurrum Awan, the former youth president of the Canadian Islamic Congress as anti-Semitic because the Canadian Islamic Congress are an anti-Semitic group and he worked for them. The CIC was led by a notorious anti-Semite, named Mohamed Elmasry. Elmasry went on TV to declare that any adult in Israel is a legitimate target for terrorism.

This week the Ontario Court of Appeal came out with their?ruling.The three-judge panel upheld the trial decision against Ezra, and the?$80,000 judgement, plus the $70,000 cost penalty, plus $15,000 more for the appeal. So in total $165,000 dollars. All this despite the fact that the so-called defamation caused the Muslim activist no financial harm at all. He even admitted this to the court. He didn’t lose one single dollar because of Ezra’s comments, yet he spent thousands of dollars and seven years suing him.

Who do you really think was behind the court case and who do you really think funded Khurrum Awan’s lawyer? This was undoubtedly not about defamation but a SLAPP funded by an activist Muslim organisation against a New Media organisation that fearlessly speaks up for freedom of speech and is unafraid to criticise Islam.

The CIC that Khurrum Awan was the Youth President of has publicly called for the legalisation of anti-Semitic terrorist groups.?Let that sink in for one moment as you contemplate the punishment inflicted on Ezra for expressing his opinion about a man who worked for that organisation.

And yet the judge ruled that it is defamatory to call the former youth president of an anti-Semitic organization, anti-Semitic. Because he denied it in court, and said he never knew about his organization?s infamous misconduct.

This is a shocking case of libel chill that should concern anyone who is worried about radical Islam, the right to criticize it, and the right to call out anti-Semitism in the public square.

If this judgment stands, anyone who dares to challenge members of Muslim extremist groups on the basis of their affiliation with such groups is at risk of costly lawsuits ? and all the member of the anti-Semitic group needs to do is to deny that they share the beliefs of their organizations that they work hard to promote, or say they had no clue their anti-Semitic group was anti-Semitic.

-ezralevant.com

The comments Ezra made seven years ago were written on his personal Blog so he is having to foot the bill of $165,000 personally. He is not the only face of a New Media organisation to be attacked with a SLAPP. Whaleoil’s Cameron Slater is currently fighting three court cases that appear on the surface to be about defamation but in fact are about silencing criticism. One of the cases is funded by Colin Craig who as a millionaire has deep pockets but who we comprehensively beat this month when he?was declared a vexatious litigant repeatedly by the judge. The defamation case continues though and the costs associated with defending it are immense.

One of the other cases is from three academics, none of who have deep pockets personally. We have to ask who is funding their SLAPP against Whaleoil. Who is really behind this lawsuit? Like the case of Khurrum Awan against Ezra Levant, what organisation with deep pockets is providing the money in the background to try to silence Whaleoil? More importantly, why is it financially in their interests to do so? Again, the bills associated with a simple defence are eye-watering. But if Whaleoil does not fight these SLAPP suits then the troughers and the politicians using them will have won. Ezra Levant is not quitting and neither is Cameron Slater. Ezra is paying $10,000 in order to?apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada as the right to appeal is not automatic in Canada.

 

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