An open letter to Totnes Town Council about Petition presented to Council – Thanks for all your support

An open letter to Totnes Town Council
 
Dear members of Totnes Town Council.I am writing to you all as a concerned local resident. You recently made a decision to withdraw the use of the town's civic hall for The Awakening Conference, an event organised by local people for other local people to attend. It appears that you decided that the views of some of the speakers at the conference did not align with your own personal views, nor the views of the Government. 
 
You decided that you would not allow the people of Totnes and surrounding areas to be allowed to hear views that you're not happy with.
I became aware of a petition which was started by a local person, whom I believe is very familiar to you all. Her petition used incredibly harsh terminology, unproven allegations and smears including terms such as Neo nazi, conspiracy theorists, anti semitic, holocaust denier. The petition only attracted 172 signatures. I heard that you had already made the decision to ban when it has less that 140 signatures.
 
I decided to start a "counter Petition". Within 4 days it had 900 signatures from open minded local residents who, whether they agreed with anyone's views or not, stand up for their right to express them. Whether planning to attend the conference or not they stand for their right to hold it and for people to attend if they wish and make up their own minds on certain issues.
 
I remind you that you are elected to represent us, the people, and not to rule over us. 
What gives you the right (or power) to make such choices for the ordinary man and woman. 
HOW DARE YOU!
 
Then came an article in the so called local paper, and front page no less. This article was awash with the same rhetoric as the petition. Empty unfounded smears and included quotes from the Lord Mayor which quite frankly, he has gone way outside of his mayoral duties. Claiming that there is now a "scientific consensus" to which we should all adhere ironically demonstrates that he has no understanding of what true science actually is.
The conference attempted to move to two other locations but was thwarted in dramatic fashion. No doubt you were in cahoots with Torbay council who, upon hearing the conference was being held in Torquay at a secret location, telephoned round all the venues and hotels until it discovered the planned setting, then the Health Security Agency directed the CEO of the hotel chain to ban the event.
 
What are you all scared of?
 
Between you, the council, and the media publication, and then Torbay council and the HSA it's easy to see how censorship and whitewashing is happening in this country, and how most peoples minds are being made upon for them. Not allowing freedom of speech like this is keeping people in fear and feeling vulnerable which is something I personally find despicable.
I will come now to my point.
 
I ask you how and on what grounds you made this decision to cancel the conference? 
I demand transparency. Minutes of the meeting? What was said? Who said what? If you think you can make this decision for me I wish to be included in the process please.
I present to you the petition with over 900 signatures - almost 6 times than the original position. That is what the people of this area really think. I also enclose almost 100 comments people made on the petition and you can read for yourselves what people want in this town.
In support of the conference more than 666 people marched through the streets of Totnes last Saturday met with rapturous applause and good wishes from the townsfolk and the shopkeepers. Ordinary people! Mums, grans, no Nazis.
 
Finally I shall say this. The conference speakers made their appearances on camera and it was uploaded to the internet. I have watched most of the speeches and I can tell you that contrary to what you, the paper and the original petition all said, there was no anti semitism, no nazism, no conspiracy theories. In fact many of the speakers have excellent credentials and present information in an unbiased way with references to their claims. Unlike the local rag. Often they present Government's own facts and statistics which the media choose to ignore or only present with their spin.
 
I look forward to your reply...
 
Concerned local resident
Justin Parkinson

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