Wellington 09 October 2019
‘A Conversation with Meghan Murphy’ – part of Speak Up For Women’s Feminism 2020 programme – has been relocated by Auckland Council.
Originally booked for the iconic Studio One Toi Tū on the corner of Ponsonby and K Road in the heart of the city’s rainbow community, the event has now been moved to the Western Springs Garden Community Hall.
Auckland Council moved the location after receiving numerous complaints “from individuals and organisations within the rainbow community”.
Jenny Whyte, Event Manager for Speak Up For Women, says: “The Council told us they have been pressured to cancel the venue and warned that if the event goes ahead there will be protest action.
“They were primarily concerned about managing safety at Studio One, apparently Western Springs will be a more secure site. We support the right to peaceful protest, but the threats we are receiving are not peaceful and we are grateful to the Council for taking safety seriously.
“A secondary reason for relocating the event, Auckland Council said, was to placate the ‘rainbow community’. Many of our members and supporters are lesbian, gay and bisexual. If other members of our community take issue with us we invite them to engage directly with us”
Hamish McGregor, co-founder of the group Homosexual Adult Human Males, says: “There is a growing number of gay men that see the insidious misogyny facing lesbians. We stand with our sisters in resisting attempts by factions within the community to redefine homosexuality.
Auckland Council’s decision to honour Speak Up For Women’s venue booking follows the High Court ruling last week against the Free Speech Coalition who challenged Council’s right to cancel the venue booked for controversial Canadian speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux.
Dr David Cumin of Free Speech Coalition says: “The Bill of Rights Act provides for any group to freely express their ideas in public. The High Court ruling that Council Controlled Organisation venues are not for the public is something we will challenge. Despite that, the decision to allow this event to go ahead is commendable. We must be able to challenge and be challenged by ideas; we must not be forced to submit our thought to whoever is in charge or whoever threatens violence.
Ms Whyte says: “It’s disgraceful that women meeting to discuss feminism can draw such a vitriolic response for a small but vocal minority of ‘rainbow’ activists.
Event location: Western Springs Garden Community Hall, 956 Great North Rd, Auckland 1022
Date: 18 November
Time: 6pm – 8pm
For press passes to the event, and/or to arrange interviews with any of the speakers, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org