What Andrew Little wants banned

This is what Government ministers would stop you from publishing and reading ? if they get their way.

An e-mail I received five days ago from the Free Speech Coalition made some excellent points about how New Zealand officialdom is capitulating rather than standing up to threats to our freedoms. The first point that they brought to my attention was that Justice Minister Andrew Little had made disturbing comments indicating that the above political pamphlet was “hate speech.” quote.

A pamphlet that references Don Brash has been labelled racist by Justice Minister Andrew Little, who wants the current review of hate speech laws to examine whether better avenues of complaint are needed.

A Newspaper

[…] Is ?One Treaty, One Nation? hate speech?

Justice Minister Andrew Little is already demonstrating how anti-speech laws would be twisted to suit the political elite. In response to a group complaining about a ?One Law for All? pamphlet, Mr Little has said to the New Zealand Herald that it should be easier to complain about (and sanction) speech he considers racist […]

We are now seeing just how low the bar for defending ?hate speech? can go. The cause of equal citizenship is one supported by a large proportion of New Zealanders. But even if it was a fringe or minority position, these New Zealanders should have the same right to make their case as those with opposing views, such as Andrew Little.

Arguing for equality of citizenship is far from “hate”. But that is precisely where Mr Little is going. It appears the Justice Minister is threatening to use his position of power to shut down the voices of political outsiders. This move would conveniently protect Mr Little?s own political position and set a precedent to shield other ?politically correct? views from challenge.

It?s a perfect example of how new speech suppression laws can and will be twisted to stifle opposition to those in power. […]

Banning Don Brash from a university is one thing ? but suggesting advocacy of arguments made by New Zealanders such as him should be made illegal is a whole lot worse. It was precisely these sorts of threats that saw us set up the Free Speech Coalition last year.

[…] Existing laws against harassment and the incitement of violence are justified. But creating so-called ?hate-speech? laws promoted by Andrew Little are far more open to biased interpretation based on the prejudices of the elite political class.

Exhibit one: Andrew Little. end quote.

The second point that they made was how police were encouraging the cancellation of ANZAC Day celebrations around New Zealand with the vague reason of general security concerns rather than because there was any actual, specific threat. quote.

Police tell ANZAC Day commemorations attendees to stay at home

[…] The instructions from the Police to cancel are despite the Police and even the Police Minister publicly stating that there is “no information to suggest a specific risk to public safety at this time” ? i.e. the advice is simply to reduce the Police’s workload, and not because of any specific threat to events at all.

We say that in the same way as restrictions on free speech play into the Christchurch terrorist’s hands, so too does the Police telling New Zealanders to ‘stay at home’ in absence of any specific threat or danger.

Heather Roy writes:

New Zealanders have been told by Police that they are not free to gather to commemorate the sacrifices made by our service personnel in global conflicts. They fought for our freedom but that freedom to gather and remember has been curtailed under the guise of security concerns following the events of 15 March.

Marches by veterans have been advised against and the traditional contribution of firing volleys by Defence Force personnel has also been stopped. This is an affront to the memory of our forebears and is potentially a slippery slope toward the loss of the right to assemble in public at all.

Communities must not feel bullied into cancelling their regular ANZAC Day services. Veterans and community groups should be free to march in remembrance of our fallen. The important, centuries old tradition of firing volleys should be maintained. […]

The Prime Minister, the Police Commissioner and Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association should be reassuring the public not creating fear.

As a former soldier and former Associate Minister of Defence I find the cancellation of any ANZAC Day services abhorrent and distressing. Freedom is hard won and easily eroded.

[…] we must continue to stand up for the freedom to gather in public places – anything less means we allow the terrorists to win.

[…] In addition to the ANZAC events, last week both Canterbury and Auckland Universities announced the cancellations of graduation parades. The common lesson from other countries that have faced down terrorism is normal service must continue. Ordinary people must be free and inspired to show they do not succumb to threats.

The Government and Police should be encouraging such behaviour, not building fear by cancelling events in the name of security. We cannot let vague concerns about safety become a trump card for officialdom to avoid protecting our rights to free assembly and speech.

We took the view that Auckland Council (and the Police) should have stood up to the thugs who made threats and saw the cancellation of the Canadian speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux ? preventing New Zealanders from hearing and judging the pair for ourselves.

We exposed Massey University’s pathetic use of a single social media post to ban Don Brash on a flimsy ‘safety’ ground. And now more than ever the Police should be standing up for New Zealanders’ right for peaceful assembly, and not encouraging capitulation following the horrific events in Christchurch.

Free Speech Coalition