Around Town

Showdown on Broadview Avenue

October 2021 – Tip of the hat to the large and diverse group of counter-protesters, including students, parents and politicians, who showed up October 19th to register their displeasure with anti-trans crusader Chris Elston, who was picketing the two schools on Broadview Avenue (Nepean High School and Broadview Public School). Elston has been travelling across the country and been greeted similarly elsewhere. He likes to provoke, film people’s reactions, and then play the innocent. His strategy is as much to enrage and motivate others who think like him as it is to protest. (Indeed, ultra right wing Rebel News portrayed his Montreal appearance as, “Montreal thugs attack activist who opposes puberty blockers for kids.”) It’s not just trans folks and their supporters who are his targets. He was arrested in Vancouver for “causing a disturbance” after police warned him several times to stop “antagonizing” protesters gathered in solidarity with Mi’kmaq fishermen. Like all transphobes, Elston claims he is not one, but as Nepean High School student Nerisse Kazmierski astutely observed, “He claims that trans lives matter and then shows a complete and utter disrespect for all of their autonomy and their actual thoughts.” More on the CBC Ottawa site, as well as many others. The attention seeking part of his strategy is quite successful. Fortunately, so far the anti-trans part isn’t.