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Swansea locals to stage ‘Wokefest’ in response to Katie Hopkins shows

01 May 2023 3 minute read
Posters for Wokefest at High Street venues and Katie Hopkins show at Cinema & Co

Venues on the High Street in Swansea are set to host a rapidly convened two-day mini festival this week, in response to an appearance by a controversial media personality in another venue on the same days.

On 3rd and 4th May, Katie Hopkins will appear at two sell-out shows at Cinema & Co.

To counter the appearance of Hopkins, whom they describe as a “hate speaker”, a group of locals decided to organise the festival and have managed to book over 30 acts so far.

Dubbed ‘Wokefest’, the festival will take place at Elysium, Hippo, and Jam Jar on Swansea High Street on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Organisers say they are aiming to spread positivity, promote diversity and to send the message that Swansea is a welcoming, inclusive city befitting its status as a “City of Sanctuary” for refugees.

Despite the event being pulled together in the space of a week, they say they have, with enthusiastic support from communities throughout Swansea, managed to organise a number of events and garnered an overwhelmingly positive response.

City of sanctuary

Co-organiser Jules Woodhell commented, “Wokefest is more than just an entertainment event, it is a statement of unity and a celebration of the strength of diversity.

“The festival will feature a range of talented performers, musicians, poets, and speakers from all walks of life, who will showcase their skills and spread their message of hope and positivity.

“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 felt it was important to emphasise that racial hatred and prejudice are not an accurate reflection of our lovely City.

“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. The festival fully embraces and celebrates this mindset”.

Controversial

In 2022, Cinema & Co was subject to an enforced closure and owner, Anna Redfern received a £15,000 fine and a 28-day suspended prison sentence after she admitted contempt of court for refusing to close or to adopt the policy of Covid passes for its customers.

Subsequently, a crowdfunder raised tens of thousands of pounds.

The cinema, which last month hosted a talk by controversial figure David Icke, has continued trading since then and in September last year Ms Redfern abandoned an appeal against her sentence.

Amid criticism on social media, Cinema & Co said on its Twitter feed: “Like we did back in Nov 2021 standing up to the discriminatory Covid passport nonsense, we are advocating FREEDOM OF CHOICE.

“Live, Love, Laugh with Katie at Cinema&Co or Loll, Loathe, Lament alone on anti-social media?
Nobody should police your humour especially in this 🤡 world.”

Wokefest is free of charge, and open to all, however, the festival organisers encourage guests to donate to the worthy causes supported by the event, EYST (Ethnic Youth Support Team) and SASS (Swansea Asylum Seekers Support).

For more information on Wokefest, visit the festival’s Facebook page.


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Dai Rob
Dai Rob
9 months ago

What a surprise, that horrible piece of work Redfern is behind bringing Hopkins to Abertawe!!!!

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
9 months ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

Her brother Noah runs some places in the Uplands area of Swansea. Places I have put on my “do not visit” list.

Rob
Rob
9 months ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

Do you mean Noah’s Yard?

Jack
Jack
9 months ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

brilliant.

Rob morgan
Rob morgan
9 months ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

Why what’s so nasty?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
9 months ago

Those morons in Swansea who invited such a vulgar piece of trash are ashamed of themselves. Are they aware what this woman has said about the Welsh in past? In the past she has not only attacked the Welsh language, Wales, but also ridiculed the Welsh people on Twitter, YouTube and on GB News. She also staged a picture outside a school in Newport by soliciting without their parents consent pupils and made them look as if they were hooligans to make her point. But I hope when this fascist piece of human detritus slithers into Swansea she receives big… Read more »

Rob
Rob
9 months ago

She is not welcome in Wales

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
9 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Or planet Earth.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
9 months ago

Saying in the newspapers last week that the U K is not racist which is a joke we know it is and then this vile reptile raises its head

Iago Prydderch
Iago Prydderch
9 months ago

Wales can do better without people like Hopkins AND those who use similar vitreolic language to her on platforms such as this. It’s said that she was banned from Twitter because of breaching rules on abuse and hateful conduct, but I have read similar comments on this site. Just read the comments on this article, for example. Welsh people are quick to complain when the English make derogatory remarks about Wales, but then think it’s alright to post anti-English comments. Hate speech exists from those on the right AND the left of the political spectrum. Wales can do better than… Read more »

Phil
Phil
9 months ago
Reply to  Iago Prydderch

Wales….Country of Sanctuary…. (providing you’re not from England.)

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
9 months ago

No, No! Country of Sanctuary as long as you are not an active Fascist. Does it relly matter where people come from?

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
9 months ago

What has RT Davies, got to say about this?
Why is he quiet?

He’s usually very vocal about ‘woke’.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
9 months ago

Do the English need sanctuary?

T. Remble
T. Remble
9 months ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

Some do.

ByTheSea8888
ByTheSea8888
9 months ago

Anna used to be such a lovely person, actually supported asylum seekers in Swansea, so it’s deeply di to see her using fascist dog whistles such as ‘clown world’

ByTheSea8888
ByTheSea8888
9 months ago

There’s a hundred thousand English people living in Wales. Explain to me how they’re discriminated against?

Rob morgan
Rob morgan
9 months ago

So what happened to free speech? I support a lot of what she speaks about.

Rob
Rob
9 months ago
Reply to  Rob morgan

She is entitled to her freedom of speech. We are entitled to ours

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