MEDIA RELEASE 28 May 2021
Christchurch City Library ban of feminist group illegal
The Free Speech Union is writing a ‘please explain’ to Christchurch City Council and its libraries after the feminist group ‘Speak-up for Women’ was banned from holding an event to discuss a controversial piece of legislation relating to sex identification.
“This decision totally ignores the Court of Appeal’s decision issued last month confirming that council-owned venues must uphold free speech,” says Dr David Cumin, a spokesperson for the Union.
“A few complaints, presumably by political opponents of the group, doesn’t justify a de-platforming. This isn’t even some controversial overseas speaker – this was to be a discussion about a piece of legislation before the New Zealand Parliament. De-platforming these debates undermines the very heart of democratic participation – precisely the events civil venues were built for.”
“We will be offering assistance to the Speak Up for Women group. We need to defend tolerance, freedom of speech and to disagree, without rule by the mob and de-platforming of uncomfortable topics.”