@amy_wood via Twitter

A coffee shop in Toronto has landed itself in the middle of an online battle after putting up artwork with quotes from an artist accused of harassing women on Twitter.

"The court of public opinion means nothing to me, and even less to itself," one poster reads, signed by artist Gregory Alan Elliott, and hanging in I Deal Coffee's Kensington Market branch. "A lie must be told but a truth must remain unspoken," says another.

Elliott was charged with three counts of criminal harassment against three women on Twitter in 2012.

"Mr. Elliot sent copious amounts of obsessive, harassing tweets where he tweeted 'at' the complainants, mentioned their handles, mentioned the hashtags created by Ms. Guthrie, sent subtweets at the complainants, monitored their feeds, etc. He did this knowing that they blocked him and that they did not want contact with him,” the women's lawyer, Marnie Goldenberg, wrote in her arguments.


Metro Toronto notes that this case is probably the first example of alleged criminal harassment on Twitter in Canada. The trial is ongoing; Elliott is awaiting a verdict.

Locals noticed the artwork hanging in the cafe earlier this week and called on the cafe to take it down.

FYI Toronto folks: I Deal Coffee is proudly displaying art by a person who is currently on trial for stalking & harassing two women

— poutine spice (@bernitarebeiro) October 21, 2015

too bad there aren't any other local artists to support who haven't been criminally charged by police for stalking & harassing women I guess

— poutine spice (@bernitarebeiro) October 21, 2015


The cafe posted this response on their Facebook page this week:


Which proved unsatisfactory to many of the locals who had complained in the first place. "What a weak response ideal. Take some responsibility and address the situation. You have the work of a mysogynist hanging in your cafe and you have chosen to support this desicion. That's bullshit. What a disappointment," wrote one commenter.

One of the women who says she was harassed by Elliott also responded to the cafe's statement:




But the cafe has also seen support for leaving the artwork up, with some taking the opportunity to make their wider views on feminism known:

"Umm.. you do realize he has done nothing more than be a smart-assed twitter troll .. and no evidence has been put forward otherwise to prove misogyny. if i were the fairy god-mother, i'd snap my fingers and send all you hater feminists to a refugee camp in syria for a week, and maybe then you may respect due process, art & free speech, beautiful coffee and community y'all are taking for granted," wrote one supporter, in defense of both Elliott and the cafe.



The back and forth seems like it's not dying down any time soon, but the cafe appears to be sticking to its guns in keeping the artwork up.