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Fierce backlash over Nottingham City Council cancelling talk by author Julie Bindel

today26 June 2022

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Nottingham City Council has attracted fierce criticism after it took the decision to cancel a talk at a city library due to the author’s views on transgender rights. Feminist campaigner Julie Bindel had been due to speak at Aspley Library about ‘feminist activism to end male violence in Nottingham’ on Saturday, June 25.

However, the city council said Ms Bindel’s views on transgender rights were at odds with the authority’s equality, diversity and inclusion strategy. Despite the cancellation, the author attended and gave the talk outside the library, whilst transgender rights activists protested.

Ms Bindel told Nottinghamshire Live the council’s decision was “despicable”. The authority has also been condemned by many on social media, including Labour MP Rosie Duffield, with hundreds of people commenting on their Twitter post confirming the cancellation.

Read more: Protest as Nottingham talk cancelled due to author’s transgender views goes ahead

“A library banning a woman writer with a history of writing about women’s rights. How very progressive,” she wrote on Twitter. Twitter user Penny O’Donnell also said she was “appalled” by the decision.

“I’m a Nottinghamshire resident and I am appalled by this infringement of free speech,” she said. “The council has a duty to all residents not just the minority who support identity politics. Julie Bindel is a highly respected campaigner against VAW – what message are you sending local women?”

Ian McNee said: “It is political cowardice from Nottingham Labour and Adele Williams silencing women by hiding behind a dishonest boiler-plate statement that lies about Julie Bindel. The same backward identity politics that’s hamstrung the left in the US & led to #RoeVsWade being lost.”

Others were supportive of the move, such as Dan Allum-Rooney, who tweeted: “Well done to Nottingham City Council on positive action to show their commitment to LGBTQ rights during Pride Month. It’s simple actions like this that prove support, not just changing your logo to a rainbow.”

Nottingham City Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Adele Williams and Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion, Councillor Neghat Khan, said in a statement yesterday: “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.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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