|A year ago the Free Speech Coalition was launched as a result of Auckland Mayor Phil Goff’s announcement that he was ‘banning’ of two controversial Canadian speakers from the Council-owned Bruce Mason Centre.New Zealanders like you and I said “no” to Mr Goff, and donated time and money to create the “Free Speech Coalition”.
Many of us had never heard of the Canadian speakers before the controversy, but we certainly don’t trust politicians to tell us who we are allowed and not allowed to see, hear from, and debate.
It was the spark that set off the free speech debate in New Zealand.
The wheels of justice turn very slowly in New Zealand, and our legal case against Phil Goff and Auckland Council will be heard over two days next week starting at 10 am on Monday 2 September at the Auckland High Court.
Though it has taken more time than we had hoped, we have proceeded with the case to achieve a Court precedent protecting free speech (including the freedom to choose who we can hear from). If we are successful, the case would prevent what happened to Don Brash at Massey University — where the Vice-Chancellor used a flimsy apparent ‘threat’ to cancel an event she did not like.
We want to ensure that authorities are required to test the reality of alleged dangers from threatened protest and prevent “health and safety” concerns being used as a political and administrative trump card.
If you are in Auckland on Monday, please come along to the hearing and show support for our complainants and the work your generosity has made possible.
I hope to see you there!