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Waterstone’s defend decision to cancel gay author event

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  1. This is so disappointing. How can Waterstone’s justify this? Would they now rather be boycotted by the Pink Pound? I am so very disappointed in their inability to stand up for what is right.

  2. Lynn Huggins - Cooper 14 Nov 2008, 10:38am

    As a writer, I was so disappointed to hear about this decision by Waterstones. I cannot understand why they would give in to these bullying tactics by fundamentalist Christians. Well done Patrick Jones for signing outside – a brave and laudable decision!

  3. Ford Hickson 14 Nov 2008, 11:22am

    Let’s chant away the cant!

  4. I got this from Waterstone in response to my email of complaint to their MD:

    Many thanks for your email and please rest assured that we understand your concerns. You will find a statement below that we hope explains our position:

    Waterstone’s does occasionally receive requests that we remove books from sale. Our answer is always that we do not act as a censor, and we cannot and should not decide what the public may or may not read, and we will only remove a title from sale on the advice of the publisher. That remains the case for Mr Jones’ book, and it remains available from Waterstone’s. Any questions or comments regarding the content of the book should be directed towards the Welsh Books Council.

    The poetry reading was organised and planned in good faith between our store and the publisher. However, it would appear that shortly before the event took place, the author deliberately took provocative action to create a furore around the publication of his book. These actions were taken without prior discussion with the store or their consent and altered the nature of the pre-agreed event. For this reason and because of the risk of disruption to the store, our staff and customers we felt it appropriate to cancel the event.

    Best wishes,
    Gerry Johnson

  5. Sister Mary Clarence 14 Nov 2008, 3:51pm

    I got the same reponse – I wonder what the mystery provocative action was??

  6. “Stop press: NSS honorary associate Lorraine Barrett, who is a member of the Welsh Assembly, has invited Patrick Jones to read his poetry in the Senedd.”
    http://www.secularism.org.uk/103515.html

  7. I received the same answer form Waterstones, but not a clue as to what the provocative action was – any one know?

  8. adele winston 14 Nov 2008, 4:21pm

    Why not wait till these bigots cause a disruption, then call the police to have them arrested?

  9. I don’t blame Waterstone’s at all and think everyone is exagerating their part in this. Do not forget that they are stocking the book and were about to hold the event. So we don’t know what the “provocative action” was, but by pulling out at the last minute they at least stopped Stephen Green a soap box opportunity while they continue to stock Patrick Jones’ book.
    It’s a shame that the event didn’t take place, but at least Jones and his work were protected from another publicity hikack by Christian Voice. In the circumstances, I think the bookshop made the right move.

  10. Carlton B Morgan 14 Nov 2008, 11:19pm

    Stephen Green is a notorious spreader of Christian disinformation. In his campaign against “Jerry Springer The Opera” he judiciously selected “blasphemies” which were spoken by the Devil and his demonic chorus, printed them-out of context- on pamphlets, and distributed them to Christian dupes who were led to believe that the quotations reflected the view put forward by the play as a whole.The work was found not to be blasphemous in a court of law, yet still he persisted in spreading his lies such as claiming that in JSTO “Jesus soiled a nappy” which occurred nowhere in the work!I am no Christian, but I thought there was something about “bearing false witness”….

  11. Zefrog/ Sister Mary/ Graham/ Treacle – Found out from richarddawkins.net messageboard that the ‘provocative action’ was that Jones deliberately sent Green a letter containing edited highlights of his poems, along with thinly veiled insults about his intelligence and a tip-off about the book launch.
    As such it seems like a cynical ploy to generate a shitstorm of publicity. I’m not Stephen Green’s biggest fan, but when that happens we loose the moral highground.
    You can bet your bottom dollar Green will have a field day with that piece of salient information, and it reflects badly on us as a minority to use dirty tricks.

  12. Colin Galbraith 15 Nov 2008, 5:49pm

    Bravo to the poet for dong the signing anyway. The fundamentalists have the right to say these things, but they do not have the right to censor what someone else may want to read or, come to mention it, live their life. If they got their way, the human race would have missed out on some of the most remarkable novels and poetry ever written since the pen was invented.

  13. Colin – In any other circumstances I agree, but when you deliberately invite said fundamentalist to the book launch after taunting him with material you know will get him riled in the hope he’s going to do what he always does and boycott your book as a cynical publicity stunt, it makes it hard to play the free speech victim card convincingly.
    It’s like entrapment for fundamentalists, only it makes the gay community look like the boy that cried “wolf” and Stephen Green comes away feeling vindicated.

  14. Abi Chrisopher 16 Nov 2008, 10:46am

    I object to Waterstones selling the object of oppression christians use (the bible). Would Waterstones stop a christian event I doubt it.

    I think we should use Stephen Green’s own tactics against him. We should have demo’s outside his home and place of work see how he likes it.

    The pink pound is a force and by not giving it to Waterstones and HMV will make our feelings known.

  15. I find it ridiculous that a large chain like Waterstone’s feels the need to cave into threats by a man just because of his prejudices against the author. Would the same happen if a Christian event was to come under fire from people who have prejudices against them? No it wouldn’t, because of the simple fact it’s part of a majority &, despite the fact more people are coming out, the LGBT still only seems a minority, which is a sad, sad thing.

  16. If he was able to sign on the open street without any trouble then Waterstones were being really cowardly for not letting the event go ahead.

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