“We Have Come to Question whether Academic Freedom and Due Process Apply at the University of Lethbridge”: Letter from 29 U of L Professors to Dr. Mike Mahon, 20 Jan. 2017

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-1-01-56-pm

20 January, 2017

Dr. Michael Mahon President & Vice Chancellor University of Lethbridge;

We the undersigned write to express our dismay over how your concerns about some of Dr. Anthony Hall’s YouTube posts and social media comments have been handled by you and your administration. Further, and more concretely, we write to express our conviction that the University of Lethbridge is obliged to pay Dr. Anthony Hall back pay (and benefits and University Pension Contributions) for every day that he was suspended without pay since October 4, 2016 and to urge you to ensure that the University acts on this obligation immediately.

On October 13, 2016, you informed the University community that you had suspended Dr. Anthony Hall “from duties and privileges without pay.” In that letter, you stated that the reason for suspending him without pay was “focused on [Dr. Hall’s] YouTube based videos and comments in social media that have been characterized as being anti-Semitic, supportive of holocaust denial and engagement in conspiracy theories,” adding that “we have a concern that Dr. Hall has contravened section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Act, and that he has created an environment that is discriminatory for students and his faculty colleagues whose personal backgrounds, research topics or beliefs are at odds with Dr. Hall’s stated views.”

Your October 4, 2016 letter to Dr. Hall states that the suspension without pay would apply “pending the University’s review of this situation” and adds that “[t]he suspension is being implemented as a precautionary, not disciplinary, measure and will remain in effect until the University has concluded its review of this matter.”

However, we do not understand how Dr. Hall could legitimately be suspended without pay. We accept that you and the Board of Governors had concerns about Dr. Hall’s YouTube videos and wished to conduct an investigation into them. But suspending Dr. Hall without pay at the outset of an investigation put the cart before the horse, punishing him before the investigation has taken place. In the meanwhile, we accept that suspension could be justified if the concerns raised were grave enough. But due process would require that the obviously punitive measure of suspension without pay be imposed only once an investigation, reaching the conclusion that Dr. Hall had indeed violated the terms of his employment, had been completed. And any such investigation would have to include adequate opportunity for Dr. Hall to respond to the accusations against him.

We also have concerns about the nature of the ongoing investigation. In your recent January 17, 2017 letter to the University of Lethbridge community, you state “[a]t the time of the suspension, the University began an external assessment of Dr. Hall’s social media and other activities to determine if a complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission would be warranted and justifiable.”

First, it is unclear to us whether this external assessment is the same as the University’s own “review of this matter.” Second, we are also puzzled by your account of the findings of the external assessment concluded on or before December 15th. You write, “[f]rom the findings of that assessment, the Board moved to proceed with a complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission against Dr. Hall for publishing statements, alone and in collaboration with others that could be considered hateful, contemptuous and discriminatory. During the duration of this adjudication, Dr. Hall will remain suspended. However, given our understanding of the potential length of time that this process could take, we do believe that continuing to withhold Dr. Hall’s pay would be punitive and therefore inappropriate.”

 

You go on to say that you and the Board have decided “to proceed with a complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission against Dr. Hall for publishing statements, alone and in collaboration with others that could be considered hateful, contemptuous and discriminatory”. Further, you stated on October 13 that “[t]his action is not focused on Dr. Hall’s published scholarship,” but that “[i]t is focused on his YouTube based videos and comments in social media that have been characterized as being anti-Semitic, supportive of holocaust denial and engagement in conspiracy theories.” Does this mean that the complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission concerns Dr. Hall’s YouTube videos and his social media ‘publications’?

Third, whichever publications you have in mind, we are concerned by the vagueness of the language here. What, exactly, does it mean to say that these publications “could be considered hateful, contemptuous and discriminatory”? If any publication that might be described in this way could be used as grounds for suspension without pay, we are very worried. Many kinds of statements and views can be considered hateful and/or contemptuous and/or discriminatory. If, for example, Prof. M put a video on YouTube in which Prof. M calls Toronto Maple Leaf fans ‘idiots,’ has s/he “publish[ed] statements … that could be considered hateful, contemptuous and discriminatory”? In general it seems that any rude and insulting statements could be considered hateful, contemptuous and discriminatory. But in our view, and, we hope, in yours, not all such statements would warrant suspension, let alone suspension without pay.

Fourth, in contrast to the treatment Dr. Hall has been subjected to, University of Lethbridge Professor Nicholas Hanson was charged with sexual assault by the Lethbridge Police Service on May 12, 2016, and on May 13, 2016, you informed the University community that Professor Hanson’s “suspension is with pay pending the outcomes of the LPS investigation.” The suspension with pay of Professor Hanson seems appropriate given that Professor Hanson was charged and that it would take some time before that matter was fully investigated and properly resolved. But while due process was running its course, Professor Hanson has been rightly paid his full salary. In comparison, Dr. Hall’s suspension without pay seems entirely inappropriate and unjustified: you initiated an investigation into complaints about Dr. Hall’s YouTube and social media statements, but while that investigation was underway, Dr. Hall’s salary was withheld. While you and the University investigated Dr. Hall, he is surely presumptively innocent of wrong- doing, and so should have continued to receive his full salary and benefits unless and until the investigation had been concluded and it was clearly established that Dr. Hall violated his terms of employment.

Another fifth question arises from your statement in your December 19, 2016 letter to Dr. Hall, that “[t]he suspension is an administrative, not disciplinary, measure.” In our view suspending someone without pay is clearly and undeniably a punitive act. Your letter of January 17, 2017 muddies the water still further. You state that “given our understanding of the potential length of time that this process could take, we do believe that continuing to withhold Dr. Hall’s pay would be punitive and therefore inappropriate.” How could continuing to withhold Dr. Hall’s pay be punitive if withholding his pay for 2 months is not? Of course we agree that continuing to withhold Dr. Hall’s pay would be punitive– what we do not and cannot understand is how withholding Dr. Hall’s pay and benefits for the first months of his suspension could fail to be punitive.

Sixth and finally, on December 5, 2016, CAUT informed you that its delegates had unanimously passed the following resolution:

That CAUT condemn the actions of the University of Lethbridge administration in suspending Professor Tony Hall without due process, and that CAUT take all necessary measures to pressure the administration to immediately resolve the matter.

The CAUT letter adds:

In suspending Professor Hall without pay and without any formal findings of misconduct against him, your Administration has violated all principles of due process and natural justice. By refusing to recognize the grievance filed by the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association or their right to pursue the matter to arbitration, you are denying both Professor Hall and the association of their legal rights.

We agree with CAUT that Dr. Hall’s suspension was without due process: in your October 13, 2016 letter you note that “Section 22(3) [of the Post Secondary Learning Act of the Province of Alberta] states that, “Subject to any existing agreement, a president may, in the president’s discretion, suspend from duty and privileges any member of the academic staff at the university and shall forthwith report the president’s action and the reasons for it (a) to the board, and (b) to the executive committee of the general faculties council.” It seems clear to us that “subject to an existing agreement” implies that an existing agreement, such as the University of Lethbridge Faculty Handbook, takes precedence, and that any application of Section 22(3) of the PSLA must ensure that Faculty Handbook procedures governing investigations, discipline, academic freedom, discrimination, are applied first, and applied correctly. So in our view, your suspension of Dr. Hall clearly violated this condition on the application of Section 22(3) by ignoring the Handbook agreement, including the disciplinary procedures of Handbook Article 25.

Your apparent disregard for the Faculty Handbook, together with the Board of Governors’ decision to support your action against Dr. Hall, worries us deeply. As a consequence of these events, we have come to question whether academic freedom and due process apply at the University of Lethbridge. If the President, with the Board’s support, can suspend any faculty member without pay while merely awaiting the results of an investigation into a possible contravention of section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Act together with concerns that the faculty member may have created an environment that is discriminatory for students and his faculty colleagues “whose personal backgrounds, research topics or beliefs are at odds with the faculty member’s views,” then, with regret, we would have to conclude that the CAUT has very good reason to censure the University of Lethbridge, thereby removing our University from the category of respectable Canadian Universities at which due process and academic freedom are respected. We hope that you will ensure that Dr. Hall is immediately compensated for the salary and benefits that are owed to him due to his suspension without pay, and make clear to the University community, and to the wider world, that you respect due process and the provisions of the Faculty Handbook.

We ask you to present our concerns, as expressed in this letter, to the Board, as provided under Article 11.03.3.

Sincerely yours,

29 U of L professors all named in the original

__________________________________________________________

Academic Freedom Suspended at the University of Lethbridge

 

Lead Up to Prof. Hall’s

Suspension Without Pay, Oct. 3 and 4, 2016

 Timeframe 

 

late August 2015

Amanda Hohmann of B’nai Brith tries to get a book promotion event in Edmonton with Dr. Kevin Barrett and Prof. Tony Hall shut down.  see Barrett ed., We Are No Charlie Hebdo (Lone Rock Wisconsin: Sifting and Winnowing Press, 2015)

B’nai Brith are probably responsible for sending in the Edmonton police “hate speech” unit who monitored the Edmonton event when it took place.

http://nonalignedmedia.com/2015/08/harpers-hate-speech-contaminating-canada/

19 June, 2016  

J.W. Schnarr published “Conspiracy Theories” in Lethbridge Herald. Mr. Schnarr signals a particular interest in planting “Holocaust Denier” meme, although he associates Drs. Barrett and Fetzer with the weaponized phrase, not Hall directly

www.pressreader.com/canada/lethbridge-herald/20160620/281479275706585

(note: the original Lethbridge Herald post has been made to disappear from the Internet)

Days later: Barrett and Hall Do a “No Lies Radio” Special Report on the Schnarr Smear Piece

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCZs7GLo34c

Same timeframe in late June: Hall contributes to video put together by the Committee for “Open Debate on the Holocaust.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OAlBWA2Jvc

Late July

Prof. Hall meets with V-P Academic Andy Hakin and Arts and Science Dean Craig Cooper to discuss the Lethbridge Herald article, “Conspiracy Theories,” by J.W. Schnarr. Prof. Hall brings forward his suspicion that the B’nai Brith may be behind the article. He alerts his colleagues that the B’nai Brith may be about to intervene more directly at the University of Lethbridge. Prof. Hall’s indicates he is aware of displeasure in some quarters concerning his controversial academic work on 9/11, engineered false flag events, and Israel-Palestinian controversies. Dr. Hakin dismisses Prof. Hall’s concerns indicating the Lethbridge Herald was probably trying to stir up controversy to sell more newspapers.

Early August

According to the Jewish Telegraph Agency, “The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and the Calgary Jewish Federation communicated their “concerns” about Dr. Hall to the University of Lethbridge Administration in early August.­ The JTA is cited in

http://virtualjerusalem.com/jewish_news.php?Itemid=23669

“Shimon Koffler Fogel, the CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, would laud the suspension shortly after it took place. Quoting Fogel The Tower reported “The administration has taken the right approach and worked within the parameters of its labour guidelines to remove Dr. Hall from the privileged position he abused for too long,” he said in a statement.

http://www.thetower.org/4014-canadian-university-suspends-professor-who-denied-holocaust-accused-israel-of-planning-911/

Shimon Koffler Fogel is the CEO of the CJIA, the organization that, as asserted by Prof. David Noble, established the larger framework within which older organizations like the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Canadian branch of the worldwide Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith were situated.

https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-new-israel-lobby-in-action-david-noble

August 2016 

Expecting some sort of B’nai Brith follow up to the “Conspiracy Theories” article by J.W. Schnarr and the August 2015 effort to shut down the book promotion event, Dr. Hall wrote, “Zionist Thought Police Wreak Havoc on Campus.” He sent links to V-P Academic Andy Hakin and Dean Craig Cooper before the Sept. 26 meeting with the hope of preparing U of L administrators for a possible onslaught to come. Prof. Hall’s research made him aware that the most well planned smear assaults from Zionist sources generally come with the new term in September.

http://ahtribune.com/in-depth/1147-thought-police.html

August 26

Unknown to Prof. Hall, a repulsive Facebook post urging on a horrific mass slaughter of Jews was made to appear on, and then disappear, from Prof. Hall’s Facebook Wall. Throughout this very sophisticated operation Prof. Hall was unaware of the machinations aimed a destroying his reputation. He did not invite and did not sanction the offending post. In fact he condemned publicly as soon as he became aware of it in mid-September.

(at 35:30 minutes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dPkl0GddmA

On August 26 Facebook began its campaign by urging B’nai Brith members to intervene with Facebook to demand the removal of the offending post. Simultaneous the Zionist organization initiated its ruthless disinformation and smear campaign condemning Prof. Hall. Accusations were quickly spread around the Internet spreading the malicious lie that the repulsive text somehow reflected Prof. Hall opinion.

http://www.bnaibrith.ca/_kill_all_jews_now_is_an_acceptable_message_facebook_says

http://everydayantisemitism.com/2016/08/29/facebook-allows-kill-all-jews-post-on-wall-of-canadian-professor/

In the smear and disinformation campaign B’nai Brith officials adeptly conflated the content of two digital items, one that does reflect Prof. Hall’s views and one that runs absolutely counter to his principles. The horrific text of the offending Facebook item reads as follows

“There was never a Holocaust, but there should have been and, rest assured, there WILL be, as you serpentine kikes richly deserve one. I will not rest until every single filthy parasitic kike is rounded up and slaughtered like the vermin they are. The White man has had more than enough of International Jewry and we are fully prepared to smite the parasite for the millionth time. The greedy, hook nosed kikes know that there days are numbered and, unlike in the past, they now have nowhere to run. This time, there will be no kikes left alive to spread around the planet like cockroaches. We will get them ALL into the oven and their putrid memory will finally be erased from the planet once and for all. Like all parasites the Jew will continue to reproduce until every last one has been wiped out. This is why it is crucial that all kikes are ruthlessly and mercilessly butchered for the good of us all. KILL ALL JEWS NOW! EVERY LAST ONE!” Ben “Tel Aviv Terror” Garrison

This wording violates all the principles that Prof. Hall has affirmed throughout his career as first and foremost a historian of Indigenous-colonial relations. Again, as soon as he saw the offending item in mid-Sept. Prof. Hall condemned the content of the offending Facebook post in the Sept. 16 edition of False Flag Weekly News (minutes 36 to 40)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dPkl0GddmA

The item that does reflect Prof. Hall’s views is the video where he calls for “open debate” on the holocaust and every other subject, but especially those most vital to the formulation of public policy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OAlBWA2Jv

This engineered conflation of the video’s message with the vicious content of the offending Facebook post resulted in those attempting to smear Prof. Hall referring to him for the first time in his 35-year professorial career as a “holocaust denier.”

August 29

 Over a photograph of Prof. Hall proclaiming “Calgary Police Investigating Antisemitic Post on Facebook,” B’nai Brith personnel continue their smear of Professor Hall. The highlighting of a police investigation that the B’nai Brith instigated was well calculated to raise the ante of defamation. The smear of Prof. Hall was augmented even while Internet announcement indicated for the first time that Prof. Hall did not post the offending item on his own Facebook Wall. The person said by the B’nai Brith to have made the post was Glen Davidson, also of Lethbridge. Glen Davidson subsequently told Prof. Hall that he did not in fact post the reprehensible item.

http://www.bnaibrith.ca/calgary_police_investigating_antisemitic_post_on_facebook

 August 25 to 30

In late August of 2016 Prof. Hall and Dr. Barrett were guests in the home of Jeremy Rothe-Kushel and his wife Laurie Perhall in Lawrence Kanas. The timing of the B’nai Brith/Facebook operation precisely coincided with the period when Prof. Hall was visiting Lawrence. This timing is indeed cause for suspicion.

Rothe-Kushel is Jewish and has worked closely over a number of years with Prof. Hall and Dr. Barrett on the academic issue of false flag terrorism beginning with the events of 9/11. Currently Rothe-Kushel is a key figure standing up against the police crackdown on free speech in public libraries and other public institutions including universities. The collaboration between Barrett, Hall and Rothe-Kushel on this subject was part of the reason that drew the three public intellectuals together in Lawrence.

Hall, Barrett and Kushel mounted a series of public presentations at the Lawrence Public Library. On August 26 Barrett and Hall also co-hosted False Flag Weekly News in public library of Lawrence Kansas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfI0jGnSyv4

Mid-September

Prof. Hall first becomes aware of offending post when he happened on an website named Israelycool moderated by “Aussie Dave.” The post was composed of a number of screen shots including the one with the miniature text attributed to Ben ‘TelAviv Terror’ Garrison. In his first encounter with the Israelycool post Prof. Hall’s attention was mostly directed towards the astonishing text of a letter written by University of Lethbridge President, Dr. Mike Mahon. Dr. Hall was shocked to see Dr. Mahon address major policy issues concerning the relationship between hate speech and academic freedom is a letter addressed to “J.P.”

http://www.israellycool.com/2016/08/30/anti-zionist-not-antisemite-of-the-day-anthony-james-hall-university-of-lethbridge/

Hall’s curiosity was sufficiently aroused to picks up the digital trail of the busy B’nai Brith smear campaign that began on August 26 and continues yet. (Note: The August 26 post has been removed from the B’nai Brith cache at

http://www.bnaibrith.ca/tags/anthony_hall

See

http://www.bnaibrith.ca/_kill_all_jews_now_is_an_acceptable_message_facebook_says

http://www.bnaibrith.ca/calgary_police_investigating_antisemitic_post_on_facebook

http://www.bnaibrith.ca/alberta_professor_blames_9_11_on_israel_supports_open_debate_on_holocaust

http://www.bnaibrith.ca/website_says_antisemitic_professor_has_been_asked_to_step_down

http://www.bnaibrith.ca/holocaust_denying_professor_anthony_hall

http://www.bnaibrith.ca/proof_positive_professor_anthony_hall_teaches_holocaust_denial_and_jewish_conspiracies

http://www.bnaibrith.ca/lethbridge_university

September 15. 

In cheering triumphantly York University’s firing of Nikolaos Balaskas, a long-time lab technician in York’s Department of Astronomy and Physics, B’nai Brith asks the University of Lethbridge to take similar action with respect to Prof. Hall

Excerpt

“Unfortunately not every administration is prepared to act with such decisiveness, as the ongoing saga surrounding Professor Anthony Hall at Lethbridge University shows. I hope that the administration in Lethbridge can use the excellent example set by York University on this matter, and take appropriate steps to ensure that their students are not similarly subjected to hatred and antisemitism on campus.”

http://www.bnaibrith.ca/b_nai_brith_complaint_leads_to_dismissal_of_york_university_staff_member

http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/canadas-bnai-brith-celebrates-sacking-york-u-lab-technician/

16 September.

Dr. Hall Goes into high speed in his effort to capture and explain what he sees as a crime against the academy. He encourages others to write about what is taking place. See

http://ahtribune.com/in-depth/1210-israeli-canadian-thought-police.html

A cache of articles is produced by Prof. Hall and friends in late 2016 about the smear/suspension episode.

http://ahtribune.com/world/americas/academic-freedom.html

26 Sept. 

Hall meets with U of L administrators. Hall leaves the meeting he called when he is rebuffed in his efforts to propose a joint defensive strategy against B’nai Brith’s smear campaign beginning with the maliciously planted and engineered Facebook post.

September 30

B’nai Brith spokesman Ryan Bellerose is the guest of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio show “The Eyeopener.” Bellerose is given free reign by host David Gray to attack Prof. Hall in a presentation built around the maliciously engineered and planted Facebook post that appeared on Prof. Hall’s Facebook wall. The unsolicited item apparently appeared and disappeared on Prof. Hall’s Facebook wall for a few hours on Aug. 26. The smear was hosted on the airwaves of Canada’s public broadcaster even though a clip was played from the Sept 16 edition of False Flag Weekly News.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2695653641

Oct. 3. David Gray conducts an Eyeopener Inquisitor-Style interview with Prof Hall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVRBalLWZQ4

Oct. 2 to Oct. 9

Jeremy Rothe-Kushel comes from Lawrence Kansas to visit Prof. Hall throughout what proves to be a very difficult week. Mr. Rothe-Kushel freely and courageously brings his perspectives as a Jewish man of conscience to his assessment of the events of 9/11 and other episodes of false flag terrorism. Currently the Lawrence Kansas resident is deeply involved in a legal case that highlights how free speech even in public libraries is under assault. The clamp downs on free speech in public institutions like libraries and universities is the issue that brought Dr. Barrett to convene with Mr. Rothe-Kushel and others in Lawrence and in Kansas City Missouri.

http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/10/14/kansas-city-librarian-arrest-for-defending-free-speech/On

Oct. 3 the CBC reneged on an earlier commitment it would include Mr. Rothe-Kushel in the taping of the Calgary Eyeopener interview conducted by David Gray. During the time he spent in Lethbridge, Mr. Rothe-Kushel also visited the offices of the Lethbridge Herald where he was rudely and dismissively treated by the staff including reporter J. W. Schnarr. It was Mr. Schnarr who commenced the local media smear and disinformation campaign against Dr. Hall beginning on June 19, 2016. Mr. Schnarr flatly refused Mr. Rothe-Kushel’s offers to bring his own perspective to the telling of story whose most intense phrase began when Drs. Barrett and Hall were visiting Mr. Rothe-Kushel’s home in Lawrence Kansas.

In the course of his visit, Mr. Rothe-Kushel captured video clips of what transpired including the item below filmed moments after Dr. Hall learned of his suspension without pay and without any due process of arbitration within the specified terms of the collective agreement between the Faculty Association and the University administration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4JKdO1zW24

After he was refused a role in the Eyeopener interview, Mr. Rothe-Kushel captured the following unedited recording

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVRBalLWZQ4

The tone of the interview is totally different than that of the

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2695653641

Oct. 3, Oct. 4

Prof. Hall is suspended without pay and without any due process of third-party arbitration. The assertion is made that Prof. Hall may have violated section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Act for

“Inferring that Israelis, and hence Jewish individuals, were responsible for the terror attacks on the World Trade Centre (sic) on September 11, 2001”

img_1747-1

IMG_1744.jpg

caut-to-mahon-lethbridge-re-motion-passed-at-caut-council-re-tony-hall-2016-12-052-1screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-8-14-28-pm

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 4.38.02 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 4.38.20 PM.png

 

safs-letter-hrc-1

ulfa-communication-about-suspension-jan-2017-1