My closing argument
As a lawyer I've made plenty of closing arguments before, but not for myself. Before the interrogation began I hadn't thought about making one -- it wasn't the right forum. I had written my opening comments about the illegitimacy of the commission, but in those I never really addressed my own particular case and the specific question of whether I should be convicted or acquitted.
Before the interrogation I spoke with my lawyer, Tom Ross. He outlined the obvious alternatives as to how to approach answering Officer McGovern's questions. The first option would be to try to actually win the case within the rules of the system, by coming across as reasonable as possible. Tom thought that we might have a chance, since our publication of the cartoons was so bland, and obviously done in good faith. If we came across as agreeable and submissive, he thought we might win -- and that Officer McGovern would recommend that the complaint be dropped. (Note in this video clip, however, that she claims she recommended that Rev. Stephen Boissoin be acquitted, but the tribunal went ahead and tried and convicted him anways.)
But Tom has known me long enough to know that I would not choose submission -- or dhimmitude, as Syed Soharwardy would call it. So I chose the other option: a principled articulation of freedom of speech, a defiance of Islamic fascism, and a rejection of the unconstitutional pretentions of the human rights commission itself. In other words, Tom knew we weren't going to win, but we'd fight a good fight. (He also knew that from that moment on, he'd have a tough time getting a word in edge-wise!)
As the 90-minute interrogation proceeded, it became obvious to me that it would be morally inconsistent to end by asking for an acquittal, or any other "mercy" from the government. The logical conclusion of denying the legitimacy of the commission was to demand its worst. The point of civil disobedience is not to get off scot-free, but to willingly accept the punishments of an unjust system, to shame that system into reform.
Here's how I phrased it.