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Leftist Lawmaker Claimed a Conservative Protester Punched Him - Then Video Came Out and He Changed His Tune

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It seems that, after only a few years, Canada has caught up to the U.S. in one respect: Americans’ northern neighbors may now have their very own Jussie Smollett.

Mind you, this being Canada, he’s a bit more modest than Mr. Smollett. Joel Harden is a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, representing the district of Ottawa Centre for the Ontario New Democratic Party, the most left-wing of Canada’s three major political parties. He isn’t an actor and he wasn’t going to get a Subway sandwich at 2 a.m. — although, considering it’s Canada, it would probably be a Tim Hortons.

And he wasn’t angry that his fakery wasn’t caught on camera the same way that Smollett’s wasn’t. Instead, the issue for Harden is that he was caught on video — just not how he wanted to be.

According to Yahoo News Canada, the legislator said he attended a hometown “rally on Friday morning to support queer and trans youth, and potentially de-escalate any violent situation as events have been targeted by anti-‘gender ideology’ activists in the past.”

“We held a part of the street far away from schools as we did not want to be protesting in front of schools, so we gathered near where they said they would gather,” Harden said. “I felt like something really bad was going to happen.”

And, wouldn’t you know it? According to Harden, something did: He claimed he was attacked by a conservative.

“I felt a punch in the back and then a rabbit-punch to the face,” Harden said, according to Yahoo News Canada. “It happened in a split-second.”

In response to a poster calling the protesters a “far-right mob” that was “chanting nonsense,” Harden responded with a selfie showing an abrasion under one eye and writing that the protesters were also “punching people in the face.

“But I’ll take a punch for queer and trans youth any day,” he added.

According to Canada’s Global News, five people were arrested at the protest — which was over the usual controversies regarding sexual and gender identity being pushed on schoolchildren — but it was unclear what they were arrested for or which side they were on.

One thing that was clear though, was that, for an event where every second person seemed to be aiming a smartphone camera at everyone else, there was no footage of Harden being “rabbit-punched,” as he claimed he had been.

There was, however, footage of interest regarding Mr. Harden and what might have really caused the injury:

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Why, it’s almost like Harden’s own bullhorn had struck his face as he was hectoring the crowd — at the exact same place where he supposedly received an abrasion from a rabbit-punching anti-gender-ideologist:

Huh! Isn’t that something?

Suffice it to say that, met with that evidence, social media users began calling on leaders of Harden’s party leaders to disavow him for what appeared to be an obvious lie — and criticizing many of them backing him for his dubious story without any concrete evidence, the same way that sympathy was uncritically extended to Smollett after his unfortunate excursion into “MAGA country“:

So — wouldn’t you know it? — Harden’s story has changed now.

He says he wasn’t exactly punched in the face. Instead, he now claims that the bullhorn he was holding was pushed into his face by a blow from a stranger.

Should this politician resign?

“Update: last Friday, I broke up several altercations or near altercations that got started by anti-trans protesters,” Harden wrote in a tweet-thread about the protest. “In one of these occasions, a woman was grabbing another woman by the hair. I put my body between them and separated them.”

“After separating them, I looked over my shoulder and was punched. I was holding a megaphone against my face. The blow glanced off the megaphone and my face was cut. The woman left and the altercation ended,” he continued.

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“I do not want this woman charged. I would rather talk to her about why she needed to be violent, and why she needed to protest outside public schools,” he continued.

“If she is reading this statement, that offer still holds. Please get in touch with me.”

Unsurprisingly, no video has emerged to support this account. Do not expect it to be forthcoming.

Nowhere at an event with enough cameras to constitute a veritable panopticon can we see Harden having an altercation with a woman foaming at the mouth over “gender ideology” and causing him to injure himself with his bullhorn. But he still insists it happened. I’m halfway shocked he didn’t accuse her of shouting, “This is Libs of TikTok country, eh!” during the “attack.”

What we do have is video of a clumsy Harden hitting himself in the face with his megaphone due to his own clumsiness. Period.

Perhaps this guy is telling the truth this time around. My guess, however, is that Canada has their own very Canadian Jussie Smollett: Modest, almost entirely unknown, and lying about profoundly small stakes.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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