Thursday, May 10, 2007

VICTORY: Griffin barred from Bath University

BREAKING NEWS: Bath university just issued the following statement. It is a shame that the University express their change of mind in quite the way they do, but this is nevertheless a great victory for common sense. It is very good news that Bath Student Union has voted to oppose Griffin attending the campus, as this student union does not have a "no platform" policy

"University refuses permission for a student-organised event to be addressed by Mr Nick Griffin to go ahead

"The University took the decision on 3 May, under its Code of Practice relating to Meetings on University Premises, that one of its students might organise an event on 14 May to be addressed by Mr Nick Griffin, Leader of the British National Party. This was subject to certain conditions being met by the student organiser and to the University continuing to be satisfied that the event would not present significant public order issues or transgress the boundaries of lawful speech.

"Not surprisingly, a very substantial number of people, within and beyond the University, have expressed their views about the proposed event over the past few days. Many of these have argued passionately against the event taking place, but a substantial minority have argued strongly in favour of it proceeding. Notably, as well as strong opposition from some of the University’s staff, the Students’ Union has voted to ask the University to refuse permission for the event. In addition, some staff and students have registered with us their serious concerns for their safety if this event proceeds, as well as fears of disruption to examinations given the likely scale of protests on the day.

"These considerations do need to be balanced against the need to hear and challenge a variety of opinions in an institution committed to high quality learning and research. Freedom of speech is a principle to be highly cherished by academic institutions. Indeed, our regulations require that the University does not so far as is reasonably practicable deny any premises of the University to any individual or body of persons on any grounds connected with the beliefs or views of that individual or of that body; or the policy or objectives of that body. The University has, however, now learned that a very large number of protesters intend to arrive on campus. This creates the likelihood of substantial public order problems and real possibility of disruption of the essential activities of the University community, making it impractical for the University to allow the event to go ahead.

"In the light of all these considerations the University has decided to refuse permission for the event to take place.

"Professor Glynis Breakwell, Vice-Chancellor, Mark Humphriss, University Secretary"


Louisefeminista said...

Very Good News but the press release is awful esp.

"The University has, however, now learned that a very large number of protesters intend to arrive on campus"

So it is all down to those dreadful lefties who were going to disrupt the event while the BNP are perfect gents.

Bloody b*llocks!!

Phil said...

I don't agree - I think the phrasing of the University statement is about the best we could expect. I'd be very uneasy about any ban on a BNP meeting based on the principle of denying free speech to fascists - even if it could be made to stick, it could be turned against other 'extreme' viewpoints far too easily. What the statement effectively says is "lots of people don't want them to come here, so we won't let them" - which is exactly the result we wanted, it seems to me. It's also harder for the Right to turn it against the Left - unless they can mobilise more people than we can, in which case we're stuffed anyway.

Anonymous said...

Digusting decision to "ban" this free speech debate. The real fascists are those who have shouted the loudest and the uni bosses who have allowed themselves to be bullied! Pathetic.

AN said...

Maybe your are right Ohil

I was hoping that there would be some comment of the univesity that some students and staff found the presence of the BNP on campus intimidating.

Anyway, it shows the effectiveness of complaiing to the university, and it is intersting how much easier this is now with e-mail and the internet