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Victory for free speech as Brash speech goes ahead

Victory for free speech as Brash speech goes ahead

17 October 2018

The Free Speech Coalition responds to the appearance of Dr Don Brash at Massey University, two months after his original scheduled appearance was cancelled by the Vice-Chancellor:

Coalition spokesman Dr David Cumin says, “Today’s speech was a welcome, if belated, victory for free speech on campus. As expected, Dr Brash’s speech went ahead without incident. Massey University served its role, providing a platform for the peaceful exchange of controversial ideas.”

“Massey University cannot afford to repeat the saga that delayed Dr Brash’s speech by weeks, and made the Vice-Chancellor the subject of ridicule across New Zealand.”

“The Free Speech Coalition hopes Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas, the Massey Board and Council will not delay future speakers for months because public scrutiny finally forces their hand. University leaders must respect the rights of both audiences and any protestors and ensure that the campus is a place where ideas can be openly and rigorously challenged. If students or staff invite upcoming speakers, such as Pauline Hanson or Jordan Peterson for example, we hope there will not be concerted efforts from those in power to shut down debate or speech. Universities, of all places, must be where ideas are struggled with and challenged; not where students and staff are forced to submit to the ideology of those in charge.”


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