THE UNCENSORED SYMPOSIUM AND THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH

March 20, 2009
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UNCENSORED CENSORSHIP ATTEMPT UPDATE 21/03/09

A Message from Jon Eisen, Editor, UNCENSORED

Dear friends and colleagues:

Everything seems OK tonight. We seem to have beaten back the attempt on the part of Scott Hamilton to get the City to renege on its contract to rent us the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall for our Symposium on April 26.

He called us lots of names, like “neo nazis”. He said that the City should not rent us any space for our speakers.

The City Council declined to roll over, having gotten legal advice, so all is peaceful and well again as we end this hectic and rather stressful but interesting (psychopathologically speaking) day.

Penny Bright (a dear, dear friend and ardent foe of censorship and oppression in all its hydra headed forms) helped immensely in facilitating positive outcomes with the City Council and we owe her a nice dinner or a flat of beer, whichever comes first.

Olive McCrae refused to knuckle under to Hamilton’s attempts to peel her away from the Speakers List. (Olive will be talking about the Fluoride Deception.)

Vinnie Eastwood has provided timely moral support (and video … it’s up on https://uncensored.co.nz tomorrow … right, Vinnie?)

And we have had many offers of help from our readers for whom this naked attempt at suppression of free speech was an abomination.

And as for Scott Hamilton and his gaggle of benighted knights, I hope they soon reclaim their rightful place in the dampness under the proverbial rock.

They will doubtless protest, methinks too much, and howl at the gall of us to have won the right once again to have dissenting opinions and actually express them.

Let them.

The point is once again (yawn) that freedom of speech is one helluva good invention, but if not exercised, it quickly rusts.

And the ancillary point: We don’t really believe in freedom of speech unless it’s also for the freedom of speech of those we fundamentally disagree with.

It does not matter whether or not you or I agree with someone or not. I take issue with anyone who would censor (and arrest) people simply for their opinion, something that is happening all too frequently today.

In formerly advanced and “civilised” countries.

It seems that we are now in a new dark ages, an age of mass murder and imprisonment, torture (!) and “collateral damage” of thousands and thousands of people who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and get blown to bits for Halliburton or Shell.

Or Israel.

Or anyone.

For Scott Hamilton or anyone else to equate criticism of Israel or Zionism with “anti-Semitism” is not only pathetic and ridiculous (I am Jewish myself, for goodness sake) it betrays a pathology of mindset that should seriously be studied as one of the more prevalent of the contemporary flock of insanities.

Here’s to civilised and civil discourse and debate; here’s to learning new stuff outside our rigid comfort zones.

Hope to see you at the Symposium.

original post continues below:

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As of 16 March we have been made aware that one Scott Hamilton has complained to the City Council over the renting of the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall to the publishers of UNCENSORED magazine for their Symposium to be held on April 26.

Mr Hamilton complained that UNCENSORED is “anti-semitic”, having run several articles critical of the State of Israel, as well as articles dealing with Zionism and the history of Judaism.

Many of the articles were in fact written by Jews or extensively quoting Jewish scholars and politicians.

In fact Jonathan Eisen, the Editor of UNCENSORED is himself Jewish, a fact that perhaps complicates the complaint of Mr Hamilton.

Eisen contends that UNCENSORED is totally devoted to freedom of enquiry and freedom of speech and that the pages of UNCENSORED are open to people of all opinions and persuasions.

In fact, he was roundly criticised by some Christians for an article he published on the Bible. He offered the pages of UNCENSORED to their rebuttal and subsequently published it in the next issue.

The same offer was made to a Maori historian who complained about an article by Martin Doutre on the Treaty of Waitangi.

The very same offer is open to Mr Hamilton.

In fact, UNCENSORED regularly publishes the web site addresses for people of opposing opinions to the articles it runs, and has done so again in the current issue, about which Mr Hamilton has bitterly complained.

Bottom line: UNCENSORED does not support the idea of “holocaust denial” but we strongly oppose putting people in jail for their opinions, something that is happening regularly to people (many of whom are historians and respected scholars) who question (often with respectable references) aspects of the Holocaust.

We believe that without the right to question established opinion the human race cannot improve and move forward. Shutting down opposing viewpoints smacks of repression and is reminiscent of the Inquisition and the jailing of Galileo.

Mr Hamilton has asked the City Council to rescind its contract with UNCENSORED to rent the hall on April 26. We ask the City to uphold not only its contract but to uphold its oath of office to obey the law, especially the Bill of Rights Section 14 which guarantees freedom of expression and information.

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