Christchurch council bowing to thugs veto

A women’s group has been blocked from holding an event at Christchurch City Libraries to discuss the proposed law changes. Speak Up For Women want to discuss the BDMRR Bill that would let anyone change the sex on their birth certificate by a simple declaration. They are concerned this could be open to abuse, such as male prisoners who could fill out a declaration and then be entitled to be transferred to a women’s prison.

The venue was booked in early May, the group says. Three weeks later, they received an email from Library management saying that the Library was refusing the booking, as “the subject matter of this event may be in conflict with Christchurch City Libraries’ Customer Code of Conduct, particularly our commitment to providing “a safe and welcoming environment.” Below is an email to Lucy, one of the handful of complainants who approached the Council.

Lucy wrote to the Council complaining about Speak Up For Women and posted the reply on Twitter
Here’s Lucy with some content redacted by Redline

Christchurch Council made its decision arbitrarily, without discussing the matter with SUFW.

“Christchurch City Libraries has sent a clear message that their customers can’t talk about legislation or politics here. The people of Christchurch deserve their right to freedom of assembly and speech to be recognised and respected in the libraries that belong to them” Speak Up For Women spokesperson Georgina Blackmore says.

Ms Blackmore says, “Interfering with democracy and thwarting the rights of the people of Christchurch is the real offense happening here. The beliefs of a small handful of people are now held in higher regard than the Bill of Rights. The people of Christchurch should be deeply concerned.”

“We have encountered this kind of thing before, where a few political opponents target a venue to stop us from being able to meet and talk there. We challenge the Library to produce evidence of anything our organisation has said or done that could possibly conflict with their Code of Conduct.

“It is shocking that activists are able to exert such control over central and local government organisations. They mischaracterise us and our reasons for wanting to have these discussions when really we are just women who want to discuss how this Bill would impact women and girls.”

6 comments

  1. Jeanette Fitzsimons used to be able to use the old library lecture room if I remember correctly.
    Library has been a place for thinking people, and such people are always getting involved in issues, that is being political.

    Say I wanted to screen and discuss this video by Zach Bush on chemical farming and children’s development. Could it be rejected on the grounds of too political, meaning against the establishing oligarchic world order whose takeover is rapidly advancing?

  2. If people put up with this, anyone can be banned. Where are the limits? I realise the veterans of the Women’s Liberation movement and their younger allies offend some people, but is it acceptable to actually cancel them? What New Zealanders are doing, when they say this is OK, is that they support censorship of the political opinions of other New Zealanders. The last group to get that in New Zealand in a targeted way were the NZ Communist party. Grim times than and grim times now.

    • Yes, I can’t recall anything like this since state censorship during the 1951 lockout

  3. It concerns me that the reform of the Births Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Act is so sensitive that aspects of it’s reform and reflecting on international trends is so controversial that a public event to discuss issues arising from the proposed reform is shut down.
    Are we living in North Korea? Why has discussion has been closed down so swiftly? This censorship is so far from just
    Shame on you Christchurch Libraries, no longer a venue through which patrons can access information, no longer an institution that supports informed decision making.

  4. Obviously Sean, presumably a man, is not for “a welcoming and safe environment for all”, NOT welcoming to feminists who wish to protect women’s rights but is keen to ban them, so he is telling fibs when he says the library is. The library officially is opposing free speech. Speak Up’s claim that Lucy and her dick are male is supported by a majority of NZers and we are NOT bigots but pro-gay and pro-women’s rights. Let’s see if the forces of the left will stand up, because most of them are finding ways, or certainly looking for them, of ducking the issue.
    Phil

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