Oxford students are boycotting their Union Society after a Katie Hopkins invite

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A boycott of the Oxford Union has been launched in opposition to far-right figureheads being invited to speak at the student society. In an open letter first posted to Twitter on Sunday, students, academics and Oxford residents expressed “firm and uncompromising opposition to all forms of fascism and racism”, calling on others to boycott all events hosted by the union. The petition has received 348 signatures so far.

The protest comes in light of the union’s invitation to fascist media personality Katie Hopkins, to speak at a debate about “no platforming” on Thursday. The open letter reads: “This is a woman whose hateful views, including comments directed at refugees, migrants, Jews, Muslims, the mentally ill and the LGBTQ+ community have led to her being fired from LBC Radio.”

Katie isn’t the first far-right speaker to be invited to speak – previous guests include David Irving, Nick Griffin and Tommy Robinson. The open letter continues: “These events form part of a decades long pattern of inviting proponents of hate into Oxford… The union has ignored repeated and widespread calls from Oxford students, staff and residents to withdraw invitations to such figures.”

The letter goes on to demand that the society immediately “cease hosting fascists and racists” and that videos of visits by Tommy Robinson, Steve Bannon, Marine Le Pen and Mahathir Bin Mohamad are pulled from the society’s YouTube channel.

The Oxford Union Society, not be confused with Oxford SU (the students’ union), was founded in 1823 and is one of the Britain’s oldest university unions. Like Cambridge and Durham, Oxford’s “Union Society”, is an exclusive debating platform that carries hefty membership fees. At present, it costs £278.10 to join (however it offers “access membership” at £164.80). [… 736 more words]

Full post

You can sign the campaign’s open letter here.

“No platform” – what it means and what it doesn’t mean – Mal Content.

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