Today marks the launch of #FreedomOfTweets, a new campaign to support Gregory Alan Elliott, the Toronto artist who has been dragged through the Canadian court system for over three years. Coordinated by Libertarian politician Lauren Southern and Gregory’s son, Clayton Elliott, the campaign aims to raise money for Gregory’s legal fund, ensure his story is accurately represented in the media, and raise public awareness about the state of free speech in Canada and on the web.
In November 2012, Gregory Alan Elliott was arrested and charged with criminal harassment after arguing with feminist activists on Twitter. He did not threaten or endanger anyone. All he did was argue and criticise. As a result of his detention and trial, Gregory has accumulated nearly one hundred thousand dollars in legal fees. His bail conditions also prohibited him from using computers and the internet, forcing him to quit his job as a graphics designer.
Over the course of the trial, it has been repeatedly established that Gregory’s accusers had not been threatened and never had reason to fear for their safety. Gregory has no criminal background, and his critique of the activists was nothing more than a political and moral disagreement. If convicted, he could face up to six months in jail, setting a chilling precedent for free speech on the internet.
Over the next week, we will launch a social media campaign to support Gregory’s legal fund and raise public awareness of his story. On Saturday 21st November, campaign coordinator Lauren Southern will join Breitbart Tech co-editor Milo Yiannopoulos on his YouTube channel for a #FreedomOfTweets livestream. Guests will include Libertarian Party of Canada leader Tim Moen, Canadian-born broadcaster Gavin McInnes, and the political blogger Greg Renouf. The stream begins at 9:00AM PST, and will last until 15:00 PST.
Campaign coordinator Lauren Southern said: “The trial of Gregory Alan Elliott is one of the most important free speech cases in Canada. A man has been put on trial for little more than political disagreement. If Elliott is convicted, everyone in Canada will have cause to be afraid of expressing themselves freely on social media. I hope that supporters of free speech on the web will recognise the importance of this case, and lend their support to Gregory Alan Elliott. Some good can come of this if we show the world that the public will be galvanised when an individual’s free speech is threatened.”