"The guns on a Saturday morning are really noisy"
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A controversial author who was banned from speaking at a public library has vowed to take legal action against Nottingham Council. Julie Bindel says the authority has “discriminated against” her basic rights by “illegally banning” her from delivering her speech on the local authority’s property.
Ms Bindel had been due to speak at Aspley Library about feminist activism on Saturday, June 25. However, the author learned that the booking had been cancelled by the council due to her views on transgender rights just a day before her talk took place.
Despite the cancellation, the event still went ahead – taking place in the Aspen library car park instead. A group opposing the talk from Nottingham Against Transphobia were also in attendance
Following the event Ms Bindely, who is also a co-founder of the Justice for Women campaign group, wrote a lengthy column for the Daily Mail which spells out her intention to sue the council
Writing in the Mail, she said: “Nottingham’s city councillors don’t realise what they have done. By illegally banning me from giving a talk at one of their libraries, they have started a fight I doubt they can win.
“My planned talk was cancelled on the ludicrous grounds that my views on transgender rights are ‘at odds’ with civic policy. Without speaking to me, or bothering to discover what I actually believe, the council decided to deny me the right to speak on their premises.
“I am going to sue them. On behalf of every woman who is being told to shut up and stay quiet, during the worst misogynist backlash I have witnessed in my lifetime, I’m taking the council to court.
“They’ll hear very soon from my lawyers. And there are a lot of us, because from the moment news began to spread on Saturday that I was barred from addressing the sold-out meeting at Aspley Library, my email inbox was pinging with messages of support and legal advice.
“They have discriminated against my basic rights as a woman and as a lesbian. They have erased my freedom of speech and they have grossly libelled me. For this, they are going to be made to pay.
“It will doubtless take a lot of time and money, and cause me more stress than I ever wanted to endure. But I will not be bullied into silence.”
In the column, Ms Bindel said she had been invited to give the talk by the Nottingham Women for Change group on the “increasing threat of male domestic violence and rape” and planned to attend free of charge. She’d also booked herself into a hotel in the city and travelled to Nottingham the day before the event to avoid a planned rail strike, all at her own expense.
“But I was happy to do this if it meant a buzzing, vibrant event at the library to draw people through the doors,” she went on.
“It’s not hard, then, to imagine my disgust when the organiser phoned me on the train with the news that the council had cancelled my appearance. I was banned from even entering the building.
“My talk wasn’t intended to be about trans issues….The goal was to show young women what previous generations have done, and help instil the courage for them to carry on that work. The only reason to mention trans ideology at all was that the trans mob were shouting at us.
“….I’m not easily intimidated but, as the temperature of violence rises at these public events, there have been occasions when I have been afraid for my safety.
“At a talk in Edinburgh in 2019, a man lunged at me. He was trying to land a punch but, fortunately, he was held back.
“It’s incredible to me that Britain has become a country where women must risk violence to protect their most basic rights. By banning me from speaking and labelling me a bigot for being a feminist, Nottingham City Council has contributed to that climate of physical danger. I will not let them get away with it.”
Prior to the event, in a joint statement addressing the cancellation, Nottingham City Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Adele Williams and Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion, Councillor Neghat Khan, said: “This was a private booking at Aspley Library by the ‘Nottingham Women for Change’ group and all ticket sales and marketing of the event had been undertaken independently with no input from the council.
“While it was known that the event was going to be from a feminist perspective, no information around the speaker’s views on transgender rights was brought to the Library Service’s attention. Once we became aware of this, we took the decision to cancel the booking.
“Nottingham is an inclusive city and as a council we support our LGBT community and have committed to supporting trans rights as human rights through Stonewall. We did not want the use of one of our library buildings for this event, taking place during Pride month, to be seen as implicit support for views held by the speaker which fly in the face of our position on transgender rights.”
Written by: thehitnetwork
"The guns on a Saturday morning are really noisy"