Voluntary Sector: Taking action... Christian Voice vs Waterstone's

Target: Waterstone's
Protesters: Christian Voice
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Date: 12 November

- The lowdown

Waterstone's was forced to cancel a book signing in its Cardiff store after a Christian pressure group protested. Darkness is Where the Stars Are author Patrick Jones - brother of Manic Street Preachers' bassist Nicky Wire - was due to talk in the Cardiff store last week.

- Why the protest?

Christian Voice thought the material was blasphemous as it questioned religious beliefs. The national director of Christian Voice, Stephen Green, said the decision was a triumph 'for the Lord'. He added: 'The Lord had not even shown me what we should do at Waterstone's, only that it should be Christlike.'

- Was there any other controversy?

Two MPs from the Welsh National Assembly invited the author to read his work next month and slammed the store's decision as 'moral cowardice and censorship'. Human rights group Liberty called the situation 'shameful'. A Facebook group is calling on people to boycott Waterstone's for cancelling the event.

- What did Waterstone's say?

It said it had a duty to its customers to keep them safe from potential disruption. The book is still on sale in the store.

- How did the media cover it?

The episode has been widely discussed in the Welsh media. It was also covered by the BBC and on the Guardian blogs, where Carrie Dunn called the cancellation 'the most craven kind of self-censorship'.

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