by Catherine Delahunty
The Green Party is pleased Mike Tyson has been refused a visa to come here on a money-making speaking tour and we are grateful to the campaigners who exposed the issue. There is no need or excuse to re-traumatise rape victims by touring someone convicted of rape as a celebrity.
We are also pleased to see The Life Education Trust speaking out against the mistake made by someone associated with the ‘Trust’ who appears to have gone against the ‘Trust’s’ wishes in supporting the Mike Tyson visit.
However we are concerned that the Minister of Immigration and those working for her granted the initial visa without making the proper checks that those supporting Mike Tyson’s visit were bona fide.
The idea that Mike Tyson in one expensive speech would rehabilitate young men from a life of crime is pretty unconvincing and most of this target group wouldn’t be spending $300.00 to listen to this even if he did come.
The most important issue in this debacle is the message we send to survivors of sexual assaults, do we stand with them in opposing such a tour and acknowledge the reality of re-traumatision, or do we focus on Mike Tyson’s alleged personal “rehabilitation” after a history of violence towards women?
The duty was always clear and now the decision needs to be upheld.