The people of Swansea have taken a stand this week, by hastily organising an event to counter a scheduled appearance from Katie Hopkins. The hate speech specialist is set to perform at CinemaCo – a venue that is no stranger to a public backlash.
Writing on their Twitter page last month, the business argued that they were ‘standing against discrimination’ by booking Hopkins – a defence that takes some getting your head around. However, a stream of locals have rejected the move as a ‘cash grab’.
CinemaCo previously defied COVID-19 restrictions, choosing to keep their business open in 2021 during lockdown. They were subsequently fined and prosecuted, becoming something of a lightning rod for controversy ever since.
Swansea takes a stand against Katie Hopkins
In the past week, activists and concerned locals in Swansea have worked together to create an anti-hate festival – with a name that is sure to boil the blood of Ms. Hopkins and her followers. ‘Wokefest’, which will feature more than 30 artists, is now ready to launch.
The event will get underway around the same time as Hopkins takes to the stage on Wednesday. Three high-street venues – Jam Jar, Hippo, and Elysium – will all play host to live acts during the two-day celebration of diversity and togetherness.
When does Wokefest start?
Katie Hopkins’ brand of discriminatory statements have seen her banished from popular media. She was even banned from Twitter as a result of her offensive language. However, she has always thrived on framing herself as a target.
Thankfully, very few people find themselves agreeing with her. The former Big Brother contestant has promised to ‘mercilessly mock the lefty world we live in’ during her sell-out shows. But it now looks nailed on that her performance will be greatly overshadowed by Wokefest.
‘We absolutely own being woke’ – festival organisers stick it to Katie Hopkins
Jules Woodhell is one of the co-organisers behind the festival. She believes it is vital that everyone feels welcome in her town, and made a key distinction between free speech and hate speech. Woodhell is also proud to refer to herself as a ‘woke’ person..
“We are proud that Swansea is a city of sanctuary, and as it is a university town, it is important for everyone to feel welcome and safe here. We totally support freedom of speech, but hate speech and spreading misinformation are another matter.”
“We named the festival Wokefest as, in recent times, the term ‘woke’ has been used derogatively. But we absolutely own being ‘woke’ as it means we are conscious of systemic injustices and strive to actively address and dismantle them.” | Jules Woodhell