On Friday, a group of pro-Hamas protesters occupied the lobby of the New York Times office and chanted their slogans, to protest the newspaper’s pro-Israel stance. Watch it here.It's easy to diminish this. What's black and white, and red all over? Why, The New York Times, famous for its left-wing bias, pomposity and these days as the seed-bed of 'woke.' And it still hasn't returned the Pulitzer Prize it received in the 1930s for Walter Durante's infamously mendacious whitewashing of the Holodomor. Couldn't happen to nicer people, right?Wrong. Recognize what's going on here. It was amateur hour to be sure, but this was still press intimidation. And much as we roll our eyes at the Gray Lady's relentless and ill-willed (and woke) attempts to retell America's story, the role of a free and unfettered press is so foundational to the way we do politics in both Canada and the US, that whatever one thinks about Israel and Gaza — or the New York Times — one has to stand in solidarity with any newspaper, when it is faced by direct action thuggery. And with journalists too, by the way. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 67 media workers and journalists were killed on the job last year, the majority in reprisal for what they had reported.And, let's not forget that in Canada, we have press-freedom problems of our own, but from our federal government, not just from the left's useful idiots. As former CRTC commissioner and Calgary Herald publisher Peter Menzies commented last month, "While dictators everywhere suppress dissent by throttling the chokepoint of Internet access, Canada unfortunately leads the so-called “free” world in regulating online communication."Canadian free-speech hero Joseph Howe, whose gallant defence of a citizen's right to criticise the government is one of the things they seldom teach in Canadian schools any more, must be looking down from Heaven's high bower with horror and dismay... A government that tries to control public expression, and a people that welcomes it.Rest assured, people animated by a desire to forcefully shut down one side of an argument are no respecters of anybody's opinion with which they disagree. To put it another way, you wouldn't want to be governed by the kind of people who do sit-ins at newspapers, vandalize art galleries or let's say, protest climate change by jumping up on your roof with solar panels. (In Alberta and Saskatchewan, we now know that for a certainty.)So, this once, we're in sympathy with the New York Times. It took 400 difficult years to establish the Anglo-American tradition of a free press. Let's hang on to it.