Nottingham City Council listens to activists, not women
They banned me from speaking at a public library
When I was asked by a local activist to come to Nottingham and give a talk on male violence towards women and how to end it, I jumped at the chance. The talk would be at the Aspley Library, a much-needed resource in a predominantly working-class area of the city.
The library is under threat of closure, which, the organisers tell me, is the reason she decided to host a series of events in the building. It would bring people to the library and encourage those in the area to use it more.
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I knew that there would be some kind of protest from trans activists, mainly because there usually is when feminists dare to speak about men’s violence towards women in public.
I chose to travel up the night before my talk as a train strike was planned for the Saturday. Halfway through my journey I was contacted by the event organiser who told me that a decision had been made by the leader of Nottinghamshire City Council to cancel my talk, and to ban me from the library. Am I exaggerating? No! When the organiser said that we would have the talk in the library itself, rather than the private room within it, she was told that we were in fact not allowed to come into the library itself.
We decided to hold the event in the library car park in order to not let down those that had booked tickets. The event sold out as soon as it was advertised, and I knew that there were a number of young, working-class women that were very keen to hear from a long-standing feminist activist about how they themselves can get involved in campaigning to end rape and domestic abuse.
As I spoke to the enthusiastic crowd about how to carry on campaigning as feminists in the face of the worst misogynistic backlash I have ever encountered, Nottingham City Council released a statement in which they attempted to justify my being banned from a public venue.
“This is due to the speaker’s views on transgender rights being at odds with aspects of the councils Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.”
“Nottingham is an inclusive City and as a council support our LGBT community and have committed to supporting trans rights as human rights through Stonewall.”
During our event, a group of trans-activists, draped in the familiar trans flag of pink, blue and white played Beyoncé loudly and laughed and shouted throughout the speeches about sexual assault and other atrocities. It was the usual tactic — trying to shut women up.
But the most distressing thing of all was the fact that this library, that the organisers were fighting so hard to keep open, had shunned the very people that should be welcomed in with open arms. It is nothing short of a disgrace that misogynists bullied the organisers into taking a stand against a lesbian activist during so-called Pride month.
Didn’t the Forstater appeal judgment make this sort of thing unlawful? Also, aren’t councils statutorily required to remain broadly even-handed between holders of different beliefs, protect freedom of expression, and promote tolerance? Have you had a lawyer check out their statement?
It’ll take something like a court hearing to come down in favour of freedom of expression (as it should, if it follows due process of law) to help the tide to turn.
If Julie’s up for it, i hope she takes Nottingham Council to court over this. I’m sure a crowdfunding appeal to fund the costs would be very well supported.
It is most shameful that the censorious and now-totalitarian Nottingham City Council has made a public library — the key signature of the Enlightenment — as the site of its stand against political freedom and its quest for the triumph of hate against women.
I’m sure you were entirely unsurprised, Julie. As we all know ‘LGBTQWERTY+ Pride Month’ had been sod all to do with lesbians and gay men for years. It’s now all about misogyny, homophobia and biology denial, very much like …
” … old-time religion
Gimme that ol’ time religion
Gimme that ol’ time religion
It’s good enough for [them]”.
Old-time religion may or may not display misogyny and homophobia (discuss), but biology denial? ‘But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female’ (Mark 10:6).
I was referring to the theory of evolution.
Damn those ancient Jews for not including it in their allegory… no particle physics either… barbarians!
What instances can you cite of Ms Bindel acting or advocating against free speech? In any event such egregious actions by a public body like Nottingham Council deserve severe censure. This is no time for division. The ‘trans’ totalitarians must be stopped.
I disagree with Julie’s views on various issues -prostitution, for instance. However, there is no excuse foe banning her or anyone else. Public facilities should be for all the public,irrespective of the Council’s opinion of them.
A feminist is a liberal zealot. Where have we heard this before, Steve?
To be fair to him everyone is a zealot, now. I hoped that England would be spared this latest American export, but I hoped in vain.
Every time JB contributes something to Unherd someone always pipes up making the weary point ‘well, now you know what its like’. It is usually dressed up as a concern for free speech. JB isnt a ‘liberal zealot’ and hasn’t suddenly discovered a pitchfork wielding mob. She continues to report what we all know is fascistic intolerance. Such reporting is important and essential work.
I’m over in the USA and often disagree with Ms. Bindel’s take on feminism but would fully support her right and her ability to speak on any and every subject. It’s disgusting that she was shut out of a public library—like she had fleas or something.
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