The Herald reports:
A group of New Zealanders behind a free speech campaign are proposing to take Auckland Council to court after successfully raising $50,000.
The Free Speech Coalition started its fundraising efforts following the Council’s decision to ban two Canadian far-right speakers from presenting at Council-owned venues – resulting in them cancelling their tour of New Zealand.
Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux were due to speak next month at the council-owned Bruce Mason centre on Auckland’s North Shore but Auckland Mayor Phil Goff made the decision to deny them access to city venues. …
Chris Trotter, who is supporting the Coalition, thanked every New Zealander who supported the cause.
“We had hoped to raise this money by 5pm Friday. However, within the first day of this campaign we have been completely swamped by people pledging money to the cause – from $5 to $5,000.”
Melissa Derby, another supporter, said they looked forward to setting a strong legal precedent.
“That shows the use of publicly-owned venue cannot be dictated by the political whims of those in power,” she said.
“For us this is not about helping these particular speakers, but in defending the rights of all New Zealanders to express and hear controversial views.”
The largest single donation was $5000, the next largest was $2500. In total, there were more than 700 donations in the last 24 hours.
That is a stunning result. And thank you to all the Kiwiblog readers who donated. I’m not part of the Coalition, but I am a supporter of their fight to defend our rights.