Free Speech Is All that Matters

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2018-07-15 03:35

My speech to Free Speech rally at Parliament, Wellington, New Zealand, July 14, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Stefan Molyneux, one of the reasons we're here today, has a video on YouTube titled Why Free Speech Is All that Matters. In it, he argues that all the great moral advances of civilisation, such as the abolition of slavery, were made possible only by the existence of free speech and vigorous debate of the matter at hand. Without a free marketplace of competing ideas, Stefan says, we'd be locked into stagnation and tyranny.

Clearly any man who could say such things as that is a racist and a bigot who should not be allowed into New Zealand!

Neither should his compatriot Lauren Southern, who likes to tease Muslims that Allah is gay—a matter on which they are eminently unteasable.

So now the Muslims, along with the Mayor of Auckland—Phil the Fascist—and sundry Marxists—fascists of the left—have succeeded at least for the moment in having the pair banned.

For the Muslims, Hazim Arafeh [president of Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand] says they were only ever coming to insult Muslims:

"I don't think insulting Muslims comes under free speech."

Well, I hate to break it to him, but yes, it does. Insulting Muslims does come under free speech. So does insulting Christians or Buddhists or Rastafarians or libertarians or atheists. Insults might not be the ideal mode of argument, but they are most assuredly allowed under free speech. Muslims should grow up and get over it. Stop treating all criticism as insulting in the first place. This is New Zealand, not New Zealistan. As Salman Rusdie, himself the object of a Muslim fatwa has put it, "There's no such thing as a right not to be offended."

For the Marxists, Peace Action—"Peace" in this instance being Orwellian Doublespeak for "violence" straight out of 1984— threatened:

"If they come here [Stefan and Lauren], we will confront them on the streets. If they come, we will blockade entry to their speaking venue."

For long-suffering lovers of free speech across the political spectrum, this was the last straw. We might disagree on everything else, but on this we are united: the right to state our view is sacrosanct. The newly-formed Free Speech Coalition has founding members as "diverse" as Rachael [Poulain, self-described "progressive" and animal rights activist], my libertarian self and my old socialist sparring partner Chris Trotter, who has fronted for the group. In our opening salvo Chris said:

"Truth is not afraid of trigger-words. Truth does not need a safe space. Truth is not a snowflake. Truth can take the heat and most certainly should not be forced to vacate the kitchen in the face of a couple of Alt-Right populists and a politically-correct Mayor."

Bravo!

Ladies and gentlemen, Article 14 of New Zealand's Bill of Rights says:

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

That is the standard to which we must now repair, and we must work for the repeal of any legislation that negates it—such as Section 61 of the Human Rights Act under which it is a crime to insult someone on the grounds of colour, race, or ethnic or national origin. No Irish jokes allowed!

We must make sure New Zealand doesn't go the way of Britain: no longer great, no longer free, polluted by no-go zones and pockets of Sharia Law, where one can be jailed for one's opinions.

To the Islamo-Marxists, to Phil the Fascist, to politicians like Simon Bridges and David Seymour who've been utterly gutless and useless on this issue, I commend the spirit of Voltaire:

I disagree with what you say but defend to the death your right to say it.

Let Lauren and Stefan in! Let Tommy out! Long live freedom of speech!


We Won!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Victory for free speech. Defeat for:

1) "Peace Action," NZ's Antifa

2) NZ Islamofascism, as in the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand and its "very very very angry" President. See Olivia's post below

3) Obleftivism

4) George Soros, ARISIS and their NZ shill, VeryPC

5) Phil the Phascist, Mayor of Auckland

6) Susan Devoy and the Human Wrongs Commissariat

7) The Filth generally:

Welcome to NZ, Lauren and Stefan. I shan't be in Auckland to hear you, since one of you is a fry-quacker and the other a bit of an empiricist dribbler (!), but I'd encourage Aucklanders to show up for some robust and fearless discourse and I'm happy to have helped get you in! Smiling

Defiant Virtue

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

This was a great speech to listen to! Smiling But I wonder: How many attended the rally? Was the media well-informed and did they attend? Did no Progressive or Islamic activists show up to shout "racist!" or shut it down? No Antifa thugs in black clothes and masks with dangerous weapons? Evil

Media Release

Lindsay Perigo's picture

MEDIA RELEASE
Victory for Free Speech Coalition: Council concede Mayor Goff had no power to make speaker ban decision based on political views
MONDAY 25 JULY 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Free Speech Coalition has studied Auckland Council’s defence to the application for judicial review of the Mayor’s claim to ban Molyneux/Southern from Council-owned venues. There is no attempt in the response papers to substantiate any politician’s right to decide who can and can’t be heard in Auckland’s ratepayer provided facilities.

"Free Speech has unequivocally won on the key issue," says Dr David Cumin, a Free Speech Coalition member. "The arrogant claim of power to block what the Mayor calls ‘repugnant’ speech (speech that might offend a person’s religious prejudices) gets no defence from the Council lawyers."

The Council Response concedes:
Mayor Goff did not make the decision;
He had no right to intervene or make the decision;
Regional Facilities Auckland made the decision;
RFA would not have acted on the Mayor’s instructions if he had given them;
He did not influence the decision-makers;
RFA do not and will not discriminate among users on grounds of political preference or concern about causing offence;
The decision was instead based on security concerns;
Ultimately it was due to fear of what protesters could do;
RFA thought that safety was paramount so they did not believe they needed to do more to mitigate the threats or otherwise ensure the Thug’s Veto did not prevail.
"With the Council indicating so clearly that it can’t support the Mayor’s claims, the Free Speech Coalition has won," says Dr Cumin. "New Zealanders have put together their $20s and $50s and $100s, and they’ve called the politician's bluff. They’ve told him they get to decide who they can listen to – not a Mayor spouting slogans about people he’s never met."

"The Free Speech Coalition’s main purpose for next Monday’s urgent application hearing has therefore gone. As such the request for urgent orders and a hearing, has been withdrawn. Focus will now be on the remaining question relating to the Council's duty to stand up to the 'Thugs' Veto'."

"The Coalition was never about supporting the particular speakers, it was about principle, which now the Council has conceded."

"The second issue remains – will officials who want to gag unwelcome political speech now manufacture “safety concerns” to evade the NZ Bill of Rights Act, and the Human Rights Act?"

"All fair-minded New Zealanders will be upset by the apparent effectiveness of the Thugs’ Veto in this case. It may have been against a Council whose Mayor was happy to be threatened, but it has implications throughout New Zealand."

"We think Free Speech Coalition supporters will want us to ensure that a court tells Councils to ensure the Thug’s Veto does not rule in their cities. But that is an issue for a later day, and will be the key issue in the substantive proceedings later in the year, if we decide to press on."

"Auckland Council’s incompetence on this occasion would make it hard for the Court to order that the particular event go ahead, at least at the planned time and venue. We are advised that the compressed urgent timetable and rules about interim applications such as ours mean that it will not be possible to get sufficient evidence before the Court on security/safety issues, and test it."

"Unless the Police volunteer that they can handle anything unlawful the protesters might threaten, a court would be wary of unmanageable interference with the event and its attendees."

"The promoters are responsible people. They see the greater risk created by the Mayor’s incitement. Celebrities without any direct knowledge have been falling over each other to distance themselves from the manufactured bogeymen they were prompted to hate, by the Mayor."

"While it may be fair to tar Auckland Councillors with cowardice in failing to reassert control of Mayor Goff, it is not fair to blame the RFA officers. They have stated their adherence to the non-partisan principles the Free Speech Coalition defends. We welcome this significant victory."

"Both sides should now agree that the question is whether unexamined safety fears can trump fundamental values of free expression. We should agree that defining a duty to overcome the Thug’s Veto is vitally important. That should now be the main issue in the eventual substantive hearing."

Melissa Derby, another spokesperson for the Free Speech Coalition, says "The Mayor was wrong in the decision he made and we’ve ensured no legal precedent was set that makes it okay for an elected official to decide what we can or can’t hear. That is precisely what we wanted to achieve."

ENDS

Enquiries:
Dr David Cumin
021 369 282

Jordan Williams
021 762 542

Stephen Franks
027 492 1983

Media Release

Lindsay Perigo's picture

MEDIA RELEASE

Auckland Council flag concerns with fact that the Free Speech Coalition is "give a little" funded
SUNDAY 22 JULY 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Free Speech Coalition is calling on Auckland Mayor Phil Goff to clarify his position on the fact that the Free Speech Coalition-led legal challenge to his and the Council’s decision to deplatform Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern is being funded by mum and dad New Zealanders, after lawyers acting for Mr Goff and the Council flagged that they may try to strike out the proceedings on the basis that the court challenge is ‘litigation funded’ (i.e. crowdfunded).

“Courts have laid down rules for disclosing some parts of commercial litigation funding arrangements as they want to know if the funder’s prospect of profit might result in an abuse of the court process,” says Jordan Williams, a lawyer and one of the initial members of the Coalition. “Courts want to know if it will distort the plaintiff’s decisions, for example by unreasonably preventing settlement.”

“But New Zealand courts have never applied that approach to public interest legal action. Auckland Council knows that the people chipping in to get the court’s protection for free speech have no profit motive. None of them can benefit personally. All their benefit is altruistic; to protect against politicians misusing their power and control of public assets to stifle speech they don’t want their voters to hear. This is about principle.”

“The funding issue, while academically interesting, is an expensive distraction from the important freedom of expression issues at the heart of this case. So why are Mr Goff and the Council throwing this up as a red herring?”

“By flagging a possible challenge to the way in which the applicants’ case is funded, the Mayor and Council have forced the Free Speech Coalition and its lawyers to divert valuable resources to address a side issue. Unlike the Council, we do not have unlimited money to spend on this litigation. ”

“More than a thousand New Zealanders donated to the Free Speech Coalition in order to uphold the Bill of Rights Act and the fundamental right of freedom of speech. It is outrageous that Mr Goff and the Council would even consider trying to have the claim struck out on the basis that it is crowdfunded.”

“This might just be an underhand legal tactic, designed to increase the costs to the Free Speech Coalition, a play for time, or a brain-fart that goes nowhere. But either way, Mr Goff and the Council, who are using ratepayer money to defend their decision, should make it clear that they will not try to stop ratepayers using their own money to get a judge to rule on their powers, so that we can go back to focusing on the real issue in this case: whether or not the Mayor and Council can exercise a veto over freedom of speech.”

The Free Speech Coalition launched on 9 July 2018, in response to Mr Goff’s decision to ban two controversial Canadian speakers from using Council-owned venues, and pledged to file legal proceedings if it could raise $50,000 by 5pm 13 July. It raised the target within 24 hours, and by the 13 July deadline had raised $89,000. 97 percent the total amount raised was from donations of less than $300, with 0.9 percent of donations $1000 or more, the largest being $5000.

With the funds, the Coalition engaged the public law firm Franks Ogilvie and Jack Hodder QC, and filed proceedings on 18 July.

Mr Goff who initially took full credit for the speaker ban, and said it on the basis of the speaker’s views, now says that it was the decision made by officials, and solely on the basis of safety concerns.

“The Free Speech Coalition do not endorse the views of the Canadian speakers, in fact many in the group find them repugnant. But that’s what standing up for freedom of speech is all about,” says Mr Williams.

ENDS

Enquiries:
Jordan Williams
021 762 542

Ummm, they do reject the

Richard Wiig's picture

Ummm, they do reject the far-right/alt-right label. They do call themselves classical liberals, or some such. They do say so, openly.

Smear Terms

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

In Lindsay's article cited above, Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux are described as "far-Right". This is a philosophical disaster. And its their own fault. These two half-ass libertarians need to start openly, loudly, and flamboyantly describing themselves as "libertarian" or "capitalist" or "liberal" or some such. Being labeled and denigrated as "right-wing" or "conservative" seals their, and our, philosophical doom.

Victory!!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Stefan and Lauren have been granted visas. Now to find a venue if Phil the Phascist remains obdurate.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckla...

Bravo!

Sam Pierson's picture

Great stuff Cheese.

This forming up of a coalition across all party lines is encouraging. Happening in the US too. Good times..

Great speech...

Olivia's picture

and delivered like a true professional - I only wish we had you at the Auckland Rally. Smiling

Luke

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I haven't forgotten you! So many distractions though. Gearing up for return trip to capital later this week.

Articulate

Luke Setzer's picture

Awesome job, Lindsay!

I still need to work with you on speech lessons when you have time to learn your enviable articulation skills.

Grazie Bruno

Lindsay Perigo's picture

And gratifying to see the early comments on YouTube:


Alice de Janze
1 day ago
Well said Lindsay!! Time for New Zealand to wake up to what is going on elsewhere!

7

Michelle Hedges
Michelle Hedges
1 day ago
Absolutely brilliant speech by Lindsay; could not argue with a single thing he said and I believe he speaks on behalf of the silent majority who have been cowed into that silence. NO MORE SILENCE.

6

Michael McGrail
Michael McGrail
13 hours ago
Thank you Liindsay and the rest of the coalition, so good to know we have the passionate, articulate and intelligent people we need here in the front line to oppose the pc, marxist, antifa numb-skulls who are trying to ( by disallowing free speech) covertly homogenize our society. Gutless politicians are the worst kind of social parasite.

1

TK2822
TK2822
1 day ago
Well said and thank you for your efforts :-)

1

jim james
jim james
1 day ago
They love to make feel good laws that negate human rights.
Whether it be courts prisons law or welfare etc etc etc.
Old sister Katie I mean Jacinda is all for free speech but happens to be completely invisible now the bubs is here.
I wonder which side she will take this time......

BRAVO LINDSAY PERIGO!!!

Bruno's picture

What a great sight! The civilized and rational standing up for their most fundamental right, to speak the truth as they see it. To freely express their opinion, and walk the tortuous road to knowledge, wherever it may lead!

Bravo, Linz!!!

Long live freedom of speech!!!

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