A rare victory for free speech in Canada. Gregory Alan Elliott, the Toronto artist who was dragged through an extraordinary 3-year criminal harassment trial after he disagreed with feminists on the internet, has just been acquitted.
Both sides of the online culture wars had their eyes trained on a courtroom in Ontario today, where the long-awaited verdict was just handed down. The case became a major flashpoint between free speech defenders and feminists on the internet. At stake were two separate visions of the internet – one free, and one closely policed by progressive activists.
Elliott was charged with criminal harassment after he tweeted a number of critical messages to feminist activist Stephanie Guthrie in 2012. He has incurred several hundred thousand dollars in debt over the course of the legal battle, and has even had his artwork vandalized by progressive activists.
The case was the first time someone has been charged with harassment for tweets in Canada, and will set a legal precedent. Breitbart Tech viewed the case as a clear-cut free speech issue from the beginning, with our editor recently lending his efforts to support the Elliott family’s legal fundraiser. Dubbed “Freedom of Tweets,” the campaign raised over $50,000 for Elliott’s legal fund.
Speaking to Breitbart Tech on the morning of the trial, Gregory’s son Clayton had a hopeful attitude. “I’m feeling optimistic. I’ve sat through every day in court, I’ve listened to every argument, and even though I’m still amazed it went on this long, it’s hard to imagine him being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
It turns out Clayton was right, and that even in Canada, sanity can prevail. Expect more analysis on this landmark case later today.