'Hope trumps hate': Hundreds gather for anti-racism protest

Hundreds of people gathered at Aotea Square in Auckland on Friday night for a 'Rally Against Racism' to protest against alt-right speakers Lauren Southern and Stephen Molyneux.

The event was hosted by Tamaki Anti-Fascist Action and 10 other groups, including Auckland Peace Action and People Against Prisons Aotearoa.

People gather love heart balloons in Aotea Square.
People gather love heart balloons in Aotea Square. Photo credit: Bridie Chetwin-Kelly

Among the speakers was Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson, who said she felt a sense of responsibility to speak out and use her platform to condemn inequality and hate speech in New Zealand.

The controversial duo was meant to speak at The Powerstation, but the event was cancelled only hours beforehand.

In a statement, Powerstation owner Gabrielle Mullins said initially it was not clear by the name of the booking that it was for the pair. After the public outcry, the owners decided they didn't want them in their venue.

Tamaki Anti-Fascist Action spokesperson Sina Brown-Davis also spoke at the rally, calling Ms Southern and Mr Molyneux "Ken and Barbie fascists". She ended her speech by saying the cancellation proved that hope trumps hate.

The pair are rumoured to be making a public appearance at Aotea Square on Saturday afternoon.

Alongside this, a counter-protest has been arranged by Love Aotearoa, Hate Racism. 

People gathered to rally against racism.
People gathered to rally against racism. Photo credit: Newshub.