Stop Christchurch Call from Silencing Kiwis

The Christchurch Call has become a threat to free speech. The censorial mission creep must stop.

We abhor the violent terrorist attack on the Christchurch mosques that took place on 15 March 2019. Steps taken in response to this tragedy by the Christchurch Call to eliminate terrorist and extremist content do not necessarily threaten civil liberties.

However, as retired judge Dr. David Harvey has noted, there is a significant “mission creep” in the work of the Christchurch Call.

Recent documents released under the OIA show that the Christchurch Call is now working to prevent “gender-based extremism” (including anti-LGBTQIA+) by targeting 'gender-based hatred'. This could mean that the Christchurch Call seeks to oppose and suppress the ideological views of some people, such as those who are gender-critical and reject that individuals can change their sex.

But that’s not all. The documents also show that the Call’s core mission of preventing violent extremism has been conflated with preventing dissent from ideologies that promote ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ and promote restrictions on so-called 'hate speech'.

The Call's work to prevent terrorist/violent content, and their new aims to suppress dissent from the prevailing orthodoxies are inconsistent with New Zealanders rights to freedom of speech online.

The Free Speech Union seeks to promote a culture of free speech, intellectual inquiry and tolerance for differing opinions.

The more we learn about the Christchurch Call, the more it seems like it is doing the opposite.

The Prime Minister needs to get the Call back to its core business, or get rid of the call. 

I call on the Prime Minister to stop funding and favouring the people who’ve been abusing our sympathy and anxiety about terrorism for power to suppress free speech.

I call on him not to be their dupe.

I call on him to put people in charge who’ll focus on violent extremism, not unfashionable views.

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