26 Jul 2018

Alt-right speakers confirm private venue for show

5:03 pm on 26 July 2018

Two alt-right speakers have confirmed a private venue in Auckland for their public speaking event.

Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux

Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux Photo: Supplied / YouTube screen shot

Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux were banned by the Auckland Council from speaking at venues it owns, a decision that was challenged by lobby group the Free Speech Coalition.

The event organiser David Pellowe said they will not be revealing the venue's location until the day of the event.

Mr Pellowe said the location will only be shared with event ticket-holders.

If the new venue sold out and there was still additional demand, they could add a second date, he said.

The location details would be kept secret, to try and prevent protesters from turn up, Mr Pellowe said.

Ticket holders would be told much closer to the event where it would be held.

The Free Speech Coalition crowdfunded tens of thousands of dollars to launch court action in response to the pair being prevented from using the Bruce Mason Centre for the speaking event.

Yesterday, the lobby group said it was withdrawing urgent legal action over the decision.

In a press release, the coalition said it was withdrawing because it had achieved "victory". It said it was still possible further court action could go ahead.

The mayor also welcomed the withdrawal, saying it was a backdown.

The coalition said its main purpose for the hearing had gone because the council had conceded that mayor Phil Goff did not make the decision and that it was in fact made by Regional Facilities Auckland.

In a letter to supporters, the coalition said the mayor's tweet claiming he had banned the speakers from council venues was misleading.

"In fact he had no say and he didn't have the right to.

"Free Speech has unequivocally won on the key issue: 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."