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Sabotage! ‘Man with grudge’ rips up feminist talk posters and dumps them in host’s garden

'It feels like someone locally has a vendetta against talks that involve women'

30 March, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

The ripped up Resistance Is Futile posters

THEY are meant to be a forum for discussion on hot topics, sessions where free debate can thrive with everybody welcome to air their views.

But a talk series in Dartmouth Park is being targeted by what organisers believe may be a man with a grudge against women.

Scores of publicity notices have been ripped down from trees advertising any talk they host that either has female speakers or discusses topics that touch on feminist or gender equality issues.

Dartmouth Park Talks, hosted by organiser Nicola Hart at The Star pub once a month, today (Thursday) has a discussion titled “Resistance Is Fertile”, with a panel boasting climate change activist Tamsin Omond, FGM campaigner Nimco Ali and Women’s Equality Party member Leah Jewett.

The event is chaired by journalist Emily Kenway. But over the past two weeks posters have been ripped down overnight and, even more sinister, have been dumped in Ms Hart’s front garden. She said: “I was inspired to put this particular talk on after the Women’s March. It is about women’s power to affect change and we have an interesting panel.”

But someone has taken offence – and is doing their best to scupper the event and intimidate the organisers. Ms Hart added: “I was extremely surprised to go round after putting my posters up and find them ripped from trees and dumped on the floor. I at first thought, when I saw them missing, someone had taken it home for reference – until I noticed them on the pavement. So I replaced them later that day and, again, someone went out at night and took them off the trees.”

Nicola Hart: ‘This behaviour is cowardly’

This cat and mouse game continued for more than a week and then the posters began appearing in Ms Hart’s front garden, torn in half.

She added: “My feelings ranged from anger at first to feeling quite upset that someone should bother doing this and be so persistent. It feels now like it has become personal and having them taken to my house is a very uncomfortable feeling. I have always felt I lived in a nice, tolerant, intelligent part of London. This behaviour is cowardly. If someone feels they do not agree with the panel, why don’t they come to the meeting and have their say? It is open to everyone.”

Ms Hart now believes her talks series has been targeted before. Previous events included writer Bee Rowlatt on 18th-century feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

She added: “Posters for these events also mysteriously disappeared and were found torn up. It feels like someone locally has a vendetta against talks that involve women.”

 “Resistance is Fertile” takes place tonight (Thursday) at 7pm at The Star pub, Chester Road, N19.

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