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A democracy needs many views

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12.07.2018

Lauren Southern. Photo: Wiki

Last week, the Auckland City Council banned Canadian far-right internet personalities Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux from using council-owned venues for a speaking tour. The decision carries the whiff of censorship and deserves examination.

After claims the event would be protested about by groups opposing the speakers' views, Auckland Live, which runs the city's council-owned venues, cancelled the August booking for Takapuna's Bruce Mason Centre.

The cancellation, Auckland Live said, was based upon practical concerns including the health and safety of the presenters, staff and patrons. But that stance was seemingly contradicted by a tweet from Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, who said the city's venues should not be used for stirring "ethnic or religious tensions".

"Views that divide rather than unite are repugnant and I have made my views on this very clear. Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux........

© Otago Daily Times