‘Free speech’ group raises $50,000 to challenge Auckland Council

The free speech versus alleged potential hate speech or inflammatory speech continues after the cancellation of a speaking event where two Canadians that almost al New Zealanders had never heard of suddenly became the centre of controversial attention.

Previous posts on this:

A group that has also provoked controversy has successfully raised $50,000, aiming to take the Auckland Council to court for banning Southern and Molyneux from using a council owned venue.

Free speech coalition:

Defending free speech means defending the rights of people with views you might find objectionable..

We are a group of New Zealanders concerned with the decision by Auckland Council and Mayor Goff to ban Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux from using Council-owned venues to speak on August 3. The ban sets a dangerous precedent for anyone who wants to express, or hear, controversial views.

We are raising funds to bring judicial review proceedings against Auckland Council, who we believe are likely in breach of the Bill of Rights Act and the Human Rights Act.

Update: We have now hit the $50k initial goal, so will be proceeding with legal action! Every dollar donated will now go into the legal fund – to defend free speech in New Zealand. If we can afford it, we’ll use the extra money to hire fancy lawyers to take on the Council’s big legal guns.

Newshub:  Don Brash’s free speech group raises $50k to sue Auckland Council

Don Brash says Auckland Mayor Phil Goff’s decision not to let far-right speakers use council venues was wrong, and is part of a group that’s raised $50,000 to take the council to court.

He says he’s not familiar with Mr Molyneux or Ms Southern, who have been accused of hate speech for their views on Islam, feminism and gender.

“I don’t know what their views are, I’ve never heard them speak, I’ve never heard anything they’ve written”.

“Presumably they cannot say, ‘Please go and kill somebody’ because that would be illegal. But if they say ‘we don’t like particular groups’, well that’s free speech. I think they should be allowed to say that.”

Dr Brash says he’s wary of condemning certain opinions as hate speech.

“It is a perfectly accurate statement to say that in the Koran, gays are to be executed – simply stating that as fact should surely be allowed,” he explained.

“It’s quite a different thing to say therefore we should do something awful to Muslims. They’re two different things.”

It has been posited that the $50k should be spent on an alternate venue, but there is wider important issue at stake here, in a world (especially online world):

  • growing increasingly intolerant of speech that people disagree with
  • growing increasingly toxic and abusive

Both are abuses of free speech.

One example of the stupid levels debate gets too, but with a good response:

That’s pretty much my position – I had never heard of the Canadians and wouldn’t pay money to hear them speak, but I think the Goff/council banning of them from using council venues is bad for an elected mayor and a public body.

This is becoming a common ‘unless you have supported every cause I agree with you should shut up’ type of put down.

I have supported Renae against Bob Jones, as well supporting the right of people to speak at Auckland council venues.

I think that challenging the Goff/council ban on speech could be an important stand to take.

58 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  July 11, 2018

    interesting…already lined up with a padded bill,no doubt.’ hire fancy lawyers ‘.

  2. MaureenW

     /  July 11, 2018

    So this is what goes down if you happen to piss off the NZ Federation of Islam Associations. Do Muslims now define what is free-speech in NZ?

    From Radio NZ article ..
    “The Islamic community voiced their opposition to the visit last month.

    New Zealand Federation of Islam Associations president Hazim Arafeh said it had written letters to the Immigration Minister, Minister for Ethnic Communities and the Human Rights Commission asking for Lauren Southern to be denied entry.

    “[She] abuses her right of freedom of speech. She’s just going to give a talk in which she’s just going to insult all of us,” Mr Arafeh said.

    “I don’t think insulting Muslims comes under free speech, that’s an abuse of freedom of speech.

    “I’m talking on behalf of 50,000 to 60,000 Muslims in New Zealand who are going to face a very hard time by all the comments she is going to make.”

    A petition with more than 1500 signatures has also been launched on change.org appealing to the Immigration Minister to deny Lauren Southern entry.”

    • Grimm

       /  July 11, 2018

      Insulting Muslims is a pretty low bar. Lauren probably has a driver’s license. That would do it.

    • Corky

       /  July 11, 2018

      Muslims are giving us a fair warning. Do as we say, or Europe as it now is, is your destiny.

    • “Do Muslims now define what is free-speech in NZ?”

      Well, they do everywhere else in the West, although your phrase should read “Permitted Speech”, as there is nothing free about what Muslims define. With the aid of witless Lefty goons they have destroyed Free Speech in Britain, Europe, Scandinavia and Canada, are working hard at doing the same in the US and Aus and have now decided their numbers are sufficient to start throwing their weight around here.

      There are two fundamental clues as to how Muslims achieve this, despite their stupefyingly low IQs (64 to 82) – caused by excessive in-breeding and non-existent education.

      The first is that they are brainwashed from birth into a blind allegiance to Islam, to the exclusion of all else – country, community, neighbours, even family. They are mindlessly obedient foot-soldiers in Islam’s ruthless urge to cover the world with itself, killing anyone in the way. The fact that many Muslims appear passive deludes fools into believing that the whole collective is also passive.

      The second is that Western societies have been fatally weakened spiritually by the onslaught of materialistic, relativistic Liberal/Fascism. They now believe in anything, and thus nothing. So they blindly accept Islam’s jackboot stamping on their faces, in the ludicrous belief that they are being wonderful and inclusive. And viciously attack anyone who questions such idiocy.

      The only way to deal with Islam is to ruthlessly ban it, with severe penalties for infraction. Every Imam must be deported, every mosque and madrassa destroyed, and all traces of its vile ideology removed from your culture. There is no need for a pogrom on Muslims, it is Islam that is the threat. Islam is a virulent disease that will spiritually destroy us all – as it already has 1.6 billion Muslims – if we are too weak and stupid to cleanse our society of it.

    • Gezza

       /  July 11, 2018

      From the Islamic Federation’s petition to refuse them visas:

      Laurence Southern is a Canadian born far right political activist. She has blasphememous views on Islam where she has used terms like “‘Allah is gay God”. She also has very strong anti-cultural / multi-racialism views.

      blasphemy
      ˈblasfəmi/
      noun: blasphemy; plural noun: blasphemies
      the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.”he was detained on charges of blasphemy”
      synonyms: profanity, profaneness, sacrilege, irreligiousness, irreverence, taking the Lord’s name in vain, swearing, curse, cursing, impiety, impiousness, ungodliness, unholiness, desecration, disrespect; formal imprecation; archaic execration”he was condemned for his blasphemy”





      Fuck their religion. And the two equally false nonsense Abrahamic religions it’s derived from. Every person should be taught in detail about their history & conflicting ridiculous claims & complete lack of evidence & logic for the truth & immorality of the rules regulations punishments & evil aspects of all of them.

      Blasphemy is essential to do this. Blasphemy is free speech.

      • Gezza

         /  July 11, 2018

        I should clarify my last sentence. What I mean, is that just doing this – just pointing out everything that is morally wrong, pointless pagan ritual, scientifically wrong, & blatantly contradictory & nonsensical IS, to them, blasphemy. And nothing must prevent anyone from doing this.

        • Traveller

           /  July 12, 2018

          Yep, yep and yep..blasphemy. Let them know we’re not bound by their beliefs.

  3. Corky

     /  July 11, 2018

    The Project did a number on this issue last night. Unable to bring themselves to invite a hardline Rightie on, they instead invited Chris Trotter and a Muslim representative. One project member started by calling Southern and Molyneux ‘losers.’ Yep, that’s the state of journalism in this country. To be fair, they aren’t journalists, just liberal twats. But you’d imagine they could at least play at having some journalistic ethics.

    So Chris give a decent interview. He overspoke the Muslim guy who was either being hesitant, or was out of his depth. It was all a little too much for the Project Snowflakes who ended the interview by saying ‘it’s all so complicated’.

    No, it’s not. Free speech SHOULD mean freedom to say what you want. It stops being free speech when you or others ACT on anti societal sentiments voiced during your free speech.

    So simple…not.

    • MaureenW

       /  July 11, 2018

      Yes I saw it too – thought Chris Trotter presented really well. As for The Project, pathetic – good-bye.

      • artcroft

         /  July 11, 2018

        The Project come up with some good topics to discuss but their method is to be brief and amusing (rather hit and miss in this aspect). As a result nothing is ever gained from watching.

        • Gezza

           /  July 11, 2018

          Corky hits the nail on the head about the parlous state of tv jounalism or tv interviews, even on programs like The Nation, & Q&A.

          The presenters have little or only a superficial knowledge of these two & what they say, almost like the sum total of their knowlege before they host the discussion is a quick read of a Wikipedia article & maybe a couple of the Wiki links.

          The audience knows even less. The interviewees know about the same amount as the presenters & all of them are operating off hearsay or a very limited understanding of the topics under discussion.

          In all likelihood, nobody involved, or watching, learns or believes anything new or different that changes their existing beliefs, preconceptions or suspicions. The entire show is a waste of time.

          To understand what these two believe and say, & why – especially Molyneux, who does 90 minute long non-stop soliloquies & online phone-ins – as well as books – you have to spend hours watching & listening, & then you still have to personally evaluate what exactly is he saying, what is reliable fact, has his cited research been refuted, is it valid, what is he saying that is his own opinion being seamlessly injected & presented as fact, how much of it is true (because much is), if it’s true for places he’s talking about (Canada & the US) are things exactly the same here, how much of it is based on extrapolating out his own childhood experience as true for all or many predominantly young men, etc.

          It takes hours to establish some of this, if you have an open mind & want to do even a little research of things he says.

          I’ve now listened to about 8 hours of the gu – & I want to do more, when I have the time, because his broadcasts are very long. For example, after the first 3 hours I concluded he’s misogynistic. After 8 hours, including listening to him counsel broken, low-intellect, confused, inarticulate, young white American fathers who’ve hesitantly taken forever (they’re pretty dumb, you can see why they ring him for advice) to reveal that they had weak fathers, dominating, physically &/or abusive mothers – & now their own children to similarly dominating & abusive, manipulative, fucked up girlfriends or ex-wives – I’ve concluded that he’s not misogynistic.

          He’s anti-the strong, dominating, angry, anti-men, feminist type women who endlessly blame a so-called patriarchal society, & men generall, for every ill in society – without recognising that research show childhood abuse & domestic abuse by women perpetrators is about 50/50 – & that there are thousands of assertive, well balanced men & women who parent well & whose kids grow up fine – & that the effects of this constant feminist anti-men tirade on young men & women reinforces their now screwed-up lives & behaviours, & worldviews & perpetuates the problem, especially as the screwed-up young mothers end up with the kids & the screwed up young men’s lives are wrecked – they are the ones ending up paying to keep their kids & the screwed up women who’ve borne them.

          While I don’t necessarily agree with his style or all his arguments or know yet what to make of why he’s doing what he does (he seems pretty snide & egotistical at times, but that’s possibly just aspects of his personality clashing with mine) personally I would love to see Molyneux &, say, JAG & Golriz Ghahraman, in a head-to-head debate over the patriarchal society & its claimed suppression of women.

          I see Kitty as a feminist. He’d have no problems with her. He’d commend her assertiveness & the way she speaks the truth as she sees it.

          • Blazer

             /  July 11, 2018

            you spent alot of time on that Gezza…btw do you see yourself as a..feminist?

            • Gezza

               /  July 11, 2018

              I’ve spent a lot of time listening to him, Blazer. And listening to these, excruciatingly painful to hear, young guys. Getting out of them what it is they are wanting to know, & what has happened to them, & how confused & lost they are, & how scared they are, is like pulling teeth.

              A feminist? The word now has so many shades of meaning, & is coming to have mainly negative connotations – because angry, anti-men female supremacist types claim they are feminists – that I’d say no – only a woman can really be a feminist.

              I’m a heterosexual man who likes heterosexual women who are confident, open, truthful, & happy with who they are are. My parents were different personalities, some of whose differences are gender-related & others the product of their upbringing & cultural norms of their day. They were complementary, & operated as a team. They unreservedly loved each other & us – as kids & adults – & were never dominating, they communicated differently, but easily & truthfully with each other & us. They treated us as individuals. They weren’t perfect, but they never expected us to be & they knew us well.

              In my marriage to my late wife I picked a beautiful young very femine woman who was similar in personality to my mum. Her parents operated the same way, & so did we. It was a happy marriage.

              I see women as different but equal in every conceivable way & treat them with respect, or at least I hope so. I just expect the same.

            • Blazer

               /  July 11, 2018

              @Gezza… cheers. 🙂

            • Gezza

               /  July 11, 2018

              @ Blazer.
              And you?

            • Blazer

               /  July 11, 2018

              no.

            • Blazer

               /  July 11, 2018

              man/woman complement each other,as nature intended.

          • Gezza

             /  July 11, 2018

            So how do you see women?

          • artcroft

             /  July 11, 2018

            Well done Gezza. Informative post.

          • lurcher1948

             /  July 11, 2018

            What did you just post?????

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  July 11, 2018

          As far as I can tell from the occasional reluctant viewing they are all just talking air-heads.

  4. Grimm

     /  July 11, 2018

    There’s another issue at play here, perhaps underpinning the whole debate. “Free speech” is just the go to flash point.

    The “left” have spent quite a while now forcing everyone into boxes with labels. Indentity politics and victimhood are the new political currency. They have done more to divide than anyone else in the last 50 years. They’ve forced people into corners, and of course they will fight back. So people like the Canadians, like Trump, ARE fighting back. They’re getting massive support because so many people are sick to death of it. The fact that their rhetoric appears at times to be racist or sexist, is completely irrelevant. They’re seen as the defence against leftist stupidity that has divided the West. It’s why Trump will win in a landslide in 2020. Better a baffoon in charge, than another who just wants to reinforce the victim hierarchy.

    • MaureenW

       /  July 11, 2018

      Gee, would have to agree with all of that too.
      I hadn’t realised until last evening what was behind the Mayor jumping in and not making Council venues available to the two speakers. Now it all makes sense. Are we living in London?

    • It is interesting how those who most loudly condemn others for ‘hate’ also most loudly implement it themselves.

    • Blazer

       /  July 11, 2018

      The Jews have made an art form of ‘victimhood’ since the 2nd WW.Yesterday some from the right reckoned David Irving( pursued through the courts at a cost of $200 mil and convicted of a new crime- ‘Holocaust denier’ )should be allowed to come here and…speak.
      I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t make it and doubt their…sincerity.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  July 11, 2018

        I hope you are not casting aspersions Blazer. If I can put up with your ignorant anti-Jew rants, Irving is not exactly a big leap.
        And just to be clear – Irving was the plaintiff in that case, so “pursued” is a little disingenuous – as is most of his bile.

        • Blazer

           /  July 11, 2018

          ‘ignorant anti-Jew rants’…not guilty.
          I expect Jews and all other races/religions to receive EQUAL treatment.You are doing much more than casting aspersions.

          ‘in 2005, the British author David Irving was arrested for Holocaust denial in Austria. In early 2006, he was convicted and given a sentence of three years, of which he served 13 months after a reduction of his prison sentence’

          ‘His imprisonment caused some controversy and has been criticised on the grounds of free speech issues’

          ‘Deborah Lipstadt argued that Irving should not be imprisoned for expressing views that she finds odious and wrong.’-Wiki

          I find it incredible that such a ‘crime’ is enshrined in legal statute..i.e ‘holocaust denier’!

          • High Flying Duck

             /  July 11, 2018

            You were referring to the Lipstadt case where he sued her for defamation and lost in your comment about the $200m.
            Holocaust denial should not be a crime, although given the vast issues in Europe over Neo-Nazis I can understand why they enacted it, wrong headed though it is.
            Your previous comments about the holocaust and jews; denying historical events are in my mind anti-Jew rants.

            • Blazer

               /  July 11, 2018

              ‘Your previous comments about the holocaust and jews; denying historical events are in my mind anti-Jew rants.’????

              Do you think Jews get equal treatment in say the media?

            • Blazer

               /  July 11, 2018

              if interested ..the interviewer was not an Irving fan…

            • High Flying Duck

               /  July 11, 2018

              I think Jews generally get treated very unfavourably in the media. Why do you ask?

            • Blazer

               /  July 11, 2018

              I think the attention they command outweighs their representation in society.
              Its almost as if they are above criticism and deserve special treatment.
              Any critique is usually followed by the knee-jerk ‘anti semitic’ charge.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  July 11, 2018

              I watched the Hardtalk. I’m not sure if you thought this promoted him in a positive light as it most certainly does not. He was very set in his ways and unwilling to accept how wrong he is. Even having been proven to be completely wrong.

              His comments about the Jews were quite telling. Arguing black is white in saying he wasn’t racist having made clearly racist comments.

              And he mentioned the upcoming appeal he was very hopeful about as it would fall “very unfavourably upon the judge in the original trial”.

              The appeal went thus:
              ………………………………………………………………………

              “The judge was fully entitled to hold that the defense of justification succeeded,” Lord Justice Pill said. “Where we have been invited to consider evidence in detail, it does not in our judgement diminish the soundness of the judge’s conclusions,” he added.

              “We acknowledge that [Mr Irving] has over the years modified, and in some respects, significantly modified, his views upon some of the relevant events.

              “However, the respondents were justified in describing him as ‘one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial’.”

              Mr Irving had expressed doubts about whether there had been mass gassing at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

              Lord Justice Pill said: “No objective, fair-minded historian would have serious cause to doubt that there were gas chambers at Auschwitz and that they were operated on a substantial scale to kill hundreds of thousands of Jews”.

              Solicitor Mark Bateman, for Penguin, said “The only comment that we can make is that it is a very predictable outcome.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  July 11, 2018

              Israel gets a vastly disproportionate amount of (negative) coverage. They compare very favourably with most other nations in the Middle East and yet are routinely vilified. The UN has an unnatural fixation on Israel vs every other despotic and war-torn nation in the world.
              Every action by Israel is run through a media filter of being oppressors.
              Finding unbiased media coverage is next to impossible.
              You cannot seriously think they get a free ride?
              To be clear Israel does plenty wrong. They are also constantly under attack. You (and Gezza) would argue they are illegal occupiers and it is justified. I disagree. But finding coverage of Israel that paints them in a positive light is as likely as finding Unicorns.

  5. duperez

     /  July 11, 2018

    A little side note: Don Brash is involved in events, quoted on here and on RNZ. I think that had Helen Clark been involved to the same extent the reaction would have been loud and vitriolic. “Bugger off, you’ve had your day,” would likely have been some of the more mild things said.

    But now even saying that invites the charge that Clark doesn’t care about free speech for the whole country forever, but cares about the possibility of a bit of inconvenience for a short time on one day in her close neighbourhood.

    Then again had she spoken out loudly in support of the ‘Free Speech’ group maybe some of those who told her to “f_ _ _ off” last week and used the epithets they did, would have been quoting her as someone authoritative backing their cause this week.”

    • Gezza

       /  July 11, 2018

      If they did praise her taking the stance you suggest on this, I doubt they would claim she was “authoritative”, more likely that she was just somone prominent. And there is nothing wrong or unusual about someone prominent espousing views that I agree with on some issues & disagree with on others.

      • duperez

         /  July 11, 2018

        Accept the point. “Authoritative” certainly sometimes seems to be a quality bestowed by prominence. At other times it comes with the tides and mood. e.g. Those who are biased, useless and don’t know what they’re talking about, all of a sudden when they say something we agree with, are absolutely correct (and wise) and have said something valuable.

        The Clark thing had a number of aspects to it. She’s prominent so shouldn’t say anything, she’s used her prominence to be heard, she was a politician so has had her turn at being heard, she was/is a Labour Party person so shouldn’t be listened to, she worked for the UN and is using that status, she got chucked out of the UN so has opinions which worthless, etc. (All those according to things I’ve read in the past week not necessarily my opinion.)

        • Gezza

           /  July 11, 2018

          Plus your own views. That kind of sums up people in general though.

  6. NOEL

     /  July 11, 2018

    So an Aucklander is leading the charge to force the council to spend more of his fellow ratepayers monies on wasteful exercises.

    • MaureenW

       /  July 11, 2018

      Why do you see this as a wasteful exercise? Chris Trotter nails it, let the people come and make their claims then debate them intelligently.

      http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2018/07/do-we-really-lack-courage-to-debate-alt.html

    • “wasteful exercises”?

      Tell that to the people living in repressive, murderous regimes where they cannot even risk talking to a neighbour without fear of being reported for non-permitted speech, and thrown into a concentration camp.

      • Blazer

         /  July 11, 2018

        whereabouts are these regimes sailor?

        • High Flying Duck

           /  July 11, 2018

          Mainly in the middle east Blazer. The home of tolerance!

          • Blazer

             /  July 11, 2018

            MY guess Saudi Arabia….baa….baa…..baaa…

        • Are you seriously trying to imply there aren’t multitudinous places like that all over the planet? This is precisely how they lose their Free Speech – by not standing up for it while they can still do so without being shot.

          I can’t write out a list – my typewriter ribbon isn’t long enough. HFD has made a good start though. And the way my home country is going we will soon be able to add that.

      • NOEL

         /  July 11, 2018

        They are not living in Auckland. My remark was the people who lose sight of the fact that is they want to sue a council its the ratepayer that have to foot the bill.
        So someones peeved at the mayors action sue him not the ratepayer.

        • Gezza

           /  July 11, 2018

          I would think the legal challenge will be that he exercised his Mayoral authority illegitimately because personal views or bias & had no legal authority to do.

      • lurcher1948

         /  July 11, 2018

        Are we talking about children concentration camps in America???sailor

  7. sorethumb

     /  July 11, 2018

    She has a point: they are “illegal immigrants” and Greenpeace do this sort of stuff all the time? Besides the NGO ships were doing an evacuation service.

  8. wooden goat

     /  July 11, 2018

    “Sorethumb” – Besides the NGO ships were doing an evacuation service.”

    Really? Are you serious?

    Isn’t aiding human trafficking illegal, and if so, doesn’t that make the NGOs “accessories to a crime”?

  1. ‘Free speech’ group raises $50,000 to challenge Auckland Council — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition