Dr. Peterson and Professor Bruce Pardy addressed a packed lecture hall at Queen’s University on the subject of free speech. Their presentation was entitled “The Rising Tide of Compelled Speech in Canada.”
Early in the lecture, two women invaded the building and walked across the stage holding a banner reading “Freedom to smash bigotry.” In the balcony at the back of the hall, a male student shouted abuse at the stage. All three students were roundly booed by the audience, which was sprayed with an unidentified liquid by the women when they left they hall.
Outside, a mob of dozens shouted slogans and obscenities and banged on the doors and windows of Grant Hall. They kept up the racket for the 90-minute length of the forum, stopping briefly only after a woman broke one of the stained glass windows of the historic Victorian Romanesque-style building.
“Mark my words, that’s the sound of the barbarians pounding at the gates,” Peterson told the audience.
The mob blocked the front and back doors of the hall with trash and recycling bins, forcing the audience to leave via an adjacent hall, where they ran a gauntlet of protesters screaming “Shame on you.” One woman quipped, “Lock them in and burn it down” to the cheers of the other protestors.
Police were called to the scene.
Afterward, Peterson posted several clips of the protest on Twitter, telling a follower that the speaking engagement was “absolutely surreal.”
“The mob neglected to bring torches and pitchforks, but the sentiment was there: ‘Lock them in and burn it down,’” he wrote.
Peterson identified one protestor in particular as the worst of the disrupters.
“This individual (Jonathan Shepherd) was the worst of them all at Queen’s, accosting us afterward on our way to the parking lot, commandeering the event at the beginning, yelling in the forum, cursing and swearing … Turns out he has a history of these things.”
The student-activist told the Queen’s University Journal that he was impressed by the turnout.
“There is a lot of commitment out here for trans rights and for shutting down the conspiratorial hate speech (sic) of Jordan Peterson,” he told the Journal. “The protest has been successful in letting people know that even if we didn’t stop him from taking, we’ve let it be known that we are opposed to him speaking.”