Atheist gets violently assaulted while putting up flyers

Tomcat
Posts: 346
Joined: 2006-10-24
User is offlineOffline
Atheist gets violently assaulted while putting up flyers

 

Press Release From the Freethought Association of Canada

and repost from the Secular Sudent Alliance front page:

Troubling news: our president Justin Trottier, who also directs CFIO, was attacked Tuesday night while out postering with fellow FAC member Peter Aruja. The assailants were apparently provoked by the promotion of a pro-atheist event.

Press release follows; please spread the news. We need to speak up about discrimination!

Young atheist leader assaulted at Ryerson University
Police investigating hate crime provoked by postering for controversial event

In what appears to be the first violent hate crime against an atheist, Justin Trottier,
Director of the Center for Inquiry Ontario and President of the Freethought Association of Canada (a national body composed of secularist student groups including the UofT Secular Alliance and the Freethinker’s Association of Ryerson) was attacked around midnight on March 27 on the campus of Ryerson University. Ryerson security is treating this as a hate crime.

Mr. Trottier and his colleague Peter Aruja were placing posters for upcoming events at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto, featuring physicist Victor Stenger, author of the New York Time’s Best Seller “God: The Failed Hypothesis”, set to take place on April 5. While postering, two assailants took offense to the religious implications of the posters advertising for Stenger’s book. About fifteen minutes later when Trottier and Aruja were in a more secluded area of the university the two reappeared and initiated a verbal argument.

According to Mr. Trottier “The first individual smacked me in the face twice and said “watch your smart mouth.” I said “don’t touch me” at which point he head butted me hard in the face, causing my nose to bleed profusely.”

The attack targeting an individual for his beliefs clearly represents a hate crime and is being treated as such by Ryerson security. This also represents a disturbing trend of targeting individuals who visibly question the legitimacy of religious dogma. Just last week Toronto Police were involved in the highly publicized threats against Mr. Fatah and Mrs. Hassan of the Muslim Canadian Congress. Here the anonymous individual swore to
“slaughter” the two MCC members, in the name of god, for belonging to an “apostate” organization.

The Humanist Association of Canada spokesperson, Pat O’Brien, responded to this shameful incident: “Atheists have never been accorded the same respect as those with religious beliefs even though our position originates in logic and reason, not myth and superstition. This escalation of a systemic, although till now hidden, discrimination is very troubling.”

“I think I discovered the hard way the boundaries of freedom of speech,” said Justin Trottier. “The fact that an atheist should fear for his well being while advertising for a university event that seeks to promote free inquiry is alarming, and though I feared for my life briefly, I’ve never felt as strong about my atheism. My colleagues and I have only strengthened our resolve to forge ahead with our agenda to push for secularism, science and freedom of thought.”

The perpetrators were last seen on the north side of Gerrard St., midway between Church St. and Yonge St., walking northward through a pathway, at about 1am. The first perpetrator was about 6’, black, with short black hair. He was slim build and clean shaven. He was wearing dark jeans and a blue and white hat. He had on prescription glasses. The second perpetrator was of Middle Eastern descent, 5’4”-5’6” with short, curly, black hair. He was clean shaven with a stalky, muscular build. He was wearing a grey golf shirt, with beige pants. He had prescription glasses. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Toronto Police about incident #1255906.

The Enlightenment wounded the beast, but the killing blow has yet to land...


AtheistInWonderland
RRS local affiliate
Posts: 80
Joined: 2006-07-25
User is offlineOffline
Damn. I am sure that there

Damn. I am sure that there were many who wanted to resort to violence against us when we passed out flyers here in the Buybull Belt.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/the_rational_response_squad_radio_show/rational_activism/5679

If you're going to do this type of thing and aren't prepared to handle violent fundies you probably shouldn't go into secluded areas. You would think that it'd be safe in Canada..but I guess not Sad


magilum
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
The worm of religion won't

The worm of religion won't go quietly.


Susan
Susan's picture
Posts: 3561
Joined: 2006-02-12
User is offlineOffline
This was posted here a

This was posted here a couple of days ago.

Unfortunately, no one has posted an update regarding the status of the investigation and whether these jerks have been caught. 

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


thingy
SuperfanGold Member
thingy's picture
Posts: 1022
Joined: 2007-02-07
User is offlineOffline
Over the last few weeks

Over the last few weeks I've been reading The God Delusion to/from work every day.  I've always hidden the book down a bit due to not wanting to cause any stirs and just enjoy it in peace. 

 Since Brian posted this article originally, I've found myself holding the book up high, reading it proudly and trying to get people to be able to see the title etc.  It's also been quite a turning poitn for me in other ways.  In the past I was a passive atheist, but since reading I now look forward to someone mentioning religion.  I have suddenly become very eager to make a stand, to actually do something for atheism, common sense, science, and this world.

So, Brian ... thankyou. Smiling  Thankyou for posting the article, thankyou to all of the Rational Response Squad for this site and its wealth of information, and thankyou to all the members here who post on the forum. 

Organised religion is the ultimate form of blasphemy.
Censored and blacked out for internet access in ANZ!
AU: http://nocleanfeed.com/ | NZ: http://nzblackout.org/


Susan
Susan's picture
Posts: 3561
Joined: 2006-02-12
User is offlineOffline
Rock on, Thingy!  Good for

Rock on, Thingy!  Good for you.


rab
rab's picture
Posts: 273
Joined: 2007-02-18
User is offlineOffline
You're brave thingy! I work

You're brave thingy! I work at a semi-private high school that's quite conservative. Several teachers  there hold bible classes in the afternoon afterschool and want creationism taught in science class.

I was warned by an art teacher that if I got caught reading my copy of "Free Inquiry" I could get into trouble. Being a free thinker himself, he said he wasn't sure about that, but he said I shouldn't take chances. When I read that or my Freedom from Religion newspaper, I always keep the front covers down on the table where no one can read them. The art teacher just happened to be reading over my shoulder one time and asked me if I'd seen Julia Sweeney's "Letting go of God" yet.

It's almost like freethinkers have to go underground in public. 

Support the Separation of Church & State!
Freedom From Religion Foundation


thingy
SuperfanGold Member
thingy's picture
Posts: 1022
Joined: 2007-02-07
User is offlineOffline
I'm in Australia where

I'm in Australia where atheism is a lot more common.  It has been 11 years since I completed highschool and work full time at an advertising agency (in the IT department) so am surrounded by young people with independant thoughts.  It's not so bad for me

Organised religion is the ultimate form of blasphemy.
Censored and blacked out for internet access in ANZ!
AU: http://nocleanfeed.com/ | NZ: http://nzblackout.org/


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10348
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is onlineOnline
I'd love to say I'm

I'd love to say I'm surprised, but Toronto has been going further into the abyss for a good 10 years. I wouldn't live there if you paid me.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.