3 Aug 2018

Protest goes ahead despite cancellation of far-right speakers' event

8:47 pm on 3 August 2018

A protest against far-right Canadian speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux has gone ahead this evening despite the duo's speaking event being cancelled.

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Photo: RNZ / Anneke Smith

The event was called off at the last minute today after owners of the event's venue, The Powerstation, cancelled the booking following public outcry.

Hundreds of protesters holding handpainted signs and heart-shaped balloons gathered in Aotea Square at 5.30 this evening.

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Marama Davidson Photo: RNZ / Anneke Smith

Among the crowd was Green Party MP Marama Davidson who said it was her duty to send a message that there is no room for hate speech in New Zealand.

"I have a responsibility, as someone with a massive platform, to say very clearly Aotearoa does not welcome your hatred, repulsive and vile views and your white supremacy. There's no room for that here."

She said while the anti-racism event was sparked by Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux's visit, it protested racism in general.

"This work of finding each other, coming together and rejecting divisiveness is not about two Canadians. This is ongoing, long generational work that New Zealanders need to do together.

"This event needed to happen regardless of who isn't and is coming to speak here. This is part of ongoing anti-racism work and it's going to continue."

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