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    (Original post by arkbar)
    You're bonkers.
    Quite.
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    (Original post by Aula)
    There is now a facebook group relating to exactly that.
    Have you started inviting loads of people. If we get the signatures then we can have the referendum.
    One thing that has amused me from the letter the NUS wrote is

    Just as long as we don't dislike what you say, presumably.
    Could the NUS actually have a go at the university for the right reasons, it isn't like they are short of things to complain about...
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    Of course they should be allowed to take part in a debate. To only allow freedom of speech if you agree with the issue makes no sense.

    Banning groups just makes them more popular so it would be a bad move to ban them from the debate anyway.
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    They have every right to speak. End of story.

    If they want debate, deconstruct their views.

    If they want a fight, then dealing with them on the streets is the best course of action.

    Delenda sunt razzistas.

    BTNG.
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    (Original post by Hopping Mad Kangaroo)
    Have you started inviting loads of people. If we get the signatures then we can have the referendum.

    Could the NUS actually have a go at the university for the right reasons, it isn't like they are short of things to complain about...
    Not yet, I had done that and then decided to sleep. I now appear not to be sleeping, so off I go
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    (Original post by Aula)
    There is now a facebook group relating to exactly that.
    *Join~*

    Tehe~
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    The BNP receiving the publicity they want is the worst aspect of it all because more simple minded low lifes become supporters
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    (Original post by humz2)
    The BNP receiving the publicity they want is the worst aspect of it all because more simple minded low lifes become supporters
    Not everyone who is a BNP member is a simple minded low life. There are some, especially those living in poverty or difficult financial situations, who do feel alienated. The BNP have filled that hole. These people have been misled, but can often be desperate, I don't think this makes them low-lives.

    Besides, I don't think they've gained any new supporters. It's not like people aren't aware of them already and the fuss they made (with all the music) probably just pissed most people off.
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    (Original post by humz2)
    The BNP receiving the publicity they want is the worst aspect of it all because more simple minded low lifes become supporters
    yep. If the NUS had left it alone, then all it would have been would be another debate at the union society that would probably go fairly unnoticed except by those there.
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    (Original post by River85)
    Not everyone who is a BNP member is a simple minded low life. There are some, especially those living in poverty or difficult financial situations, who do feel alienated. The BNP have filled that hole. These people have been misled, but can often be desperate, I don't think this makes them low-lives.

    Besides, I don't think they've gained any new supporters. It's not like people aren't aware of them already and the fuss they made (with all the music) probably just pissed most people off.
    Oops, I didn't word it as intended....But i've forgot what the original intention was :o: But ye :holmes:
    • Thread Starter
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    The letter:

    Dear Vice Chancellor, Students' Union and Debating Society,

    Re: National Party invited to speak at "Debate on Multiculturalism" called by Durham Debating Society

    In relation to the event that is to take place next week, we are writing to remind you of your duties to those students that are most affected by the threat of the British National Party. You are bound under Race Relations legislation to promote equality of opportunity, eliminate racial discrimination, as well as fulfil the requirements of your race equality policy. We can confidently tell you that inviting members of the British National Party to address your students does not fulfil these requirements and therefore you may bring legal consequences upon yourselves.

    Andrew Brons was a member of the National Socialist Movement, a group deliberately founded on Hitler's birthday and responsible for a number of arson attacks on synagogues in the 1960s. He was also the chairman of the National Front (1980-1984) and co-edited their journal. The same Andrew Brons you would like to speak has been seen shouting "Death to Jews", "White Power" and when approached by a Black police constable said "inferior beings like yourself probably do not understand the principle of free speech". The other speaker you have invited, Chris Beverley, is the BNP's main liaison with the Nazi-influenced National Democratic Party in Germany and attended the European National Front in 2007.

    This proposed event also poses a health and safety risk to a many of your students. Where the BNP have been active in the past, racist attacks have always increased. When the University of Oxford Union decided to invite BNP leader Nick Griffin to a "debate", students were victims of physical and verbal abuse leading up to and on the day of the event itself. The situation you find yourself in is not unique, but other universities have decided to put the welfare and equal opportunities of their students first and cancel such events.

    Their electoral success is irrelevant, particularly when you recognise the abhorrent views they hold and the violent and illegal actions they and members of their organisation have been involved in. We are advocates of free speech and agree that people should be allowed to say whatever they want regardless of whether we agree with it or not, but we also recognise that with this freedom comes responsibility, and if their speech is to the detriment of others' safety, that freedom is negated. We expect you would not allow someone to speak on the right to bear arms on campus or paedophiles whose main message is that sex with minors is acceptable as long as they consent. Yet you would allow a group that thinks that a number of your students do not even have the right to be in this country headline your event.

    We were also wondering if you were aware that the Equality and Human Rights Commission has concluded that the membership criteria of the BNP is in breach of human rights legislation. Currently their membership only allows 'white indigenous' people to join. Is this the type of organisation that the University of Durham supports and welcomes? Given the make up of your student body we find it quite shocking that the invitation was even sent. It is even worse that your institution gladly accepts the fees of Jewish, Muslim, LGBT and Black students, many of them on international fees, and yet have given little thought to their right to live and study free from the threat of violent discrimination.

    The debating society should cancel this event and offer apologies for the offence that it has caused. Whilst we respect that the students' union cannot dictate to the debating society, it does have the right to impose sanctions on those students that knowingly engage in infringing on the equal opportunities of others. Ultimately it appears that the power in this situation lies with the university and we hope that you will act in the best interests of your students and cancel the event.

    Should you fail to listen to our advice you will have a colossal demonstration on your hands. The National Union of Students, Unite Against Fascism, and other anti-fascist organisations are already mobilising nationally and organising coach loads of students to demonstrate at your university on Friday evening. This will no doubt bring with it a lot of negative media attention and if any students are hurt in and around this event responsibility will lie with you.

    We would appreciate it if you could outline how you will now proceed with this issue and ensure that those students who are under threat from the BNP's racist and homophobic principles will be protected.

    We await your prompt response.


    Regards,


    Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy
    NUS Black Students' Officer
    NUS Anti-Racism, Anti-Fascism Convenor

    Daf Adley
    NUS LGBT Officer
    NUS Anti-Racism, Anti-Fascism Committee
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    Should you fail to listen to our advice you will have a colossal demonstration on your hands. The National Union of Students, Unite Against Fascism, and other anti-fascist organisations are already mobilising nationally and organising coach loads of students to demonstrate at your university on Friday evening. This will no doubt bring with it a lot of negative media attention and if any students are hurt in and around this event responsibility will lie with you.
    Oh **** off.

    Do they mean today?
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    No way!

    A JOINT STATEMENT FROM DURHAM UNION SOCIETY AND DURHAM UNIVERSITY

    Durham Union Society (DUS), with the support of Durham University, has today announced that it has had to cancel plans for a debate entitled 'this House believes in a 'Multicultural Britain' in Durham City, scheduled for Friday 12 February.

    The DUS had invited political commentator and advisor, Kulveer Ranger, and Conservative MP Edward Leigh to propose the motion, and elected British National Party (BNP) representatives Andrew Brons MEP and Councillor Chris Beverley to speak in opposition.

    The decision to cancel the debate was taken by both the DUS, a long-established, independent debating society, and the University, after extensive consultations with the Police on the issue of public safety. While the debate was to be open to DUS members only, evidence of an escalation in planned protests outside the chamber from both anti-fascist and fascist groups had increased the risk of public disorder and intimidation to students and staff.

    DUS President Anna Birley said: "There has been mounting interest in the debate with both concerned and very supportive feedback from students and staff. I am confident that the debate would have been intelligent and responsible and an opportunity for our membership to expose and challenge any offensive views. I am disappointed that the focus has been moved away from a debate about multiculturalism to a planned confrontation outside of the chamber.

    "I respect the right of groups to protest peacefully, but when a minority of both fascist and anti-fascist groups use peaceful protests and a controversial debate as a pretext for threatening behaviour, we must prioritise the safety of students attending the debate. I'm particularly concerned that the National Union of Students (NUS), which the DUS has no affiliation with, had planned to go out of their way to bring coaches of students to Durham, putting both their students and our members between rival groups of impassioned demonstrators."

    The University, which had initially given consent for the debate to take place on its premises after careful consideration of its code of practice and statutes which preserve 'freedom of expression' within the University's estate, was supportive of the Society's decision to call-off the debate when it became clear that the safety of students, staff and visitors outside of the debating chamber could not be guaranteed.

    Carolyn Fowler, the University's Registrar who holds legal responsibility for its statutes, said: "The welfare of students and staff has always been our first priority and the University statutes clearly state that any threat to public safety supersedes the importance of freedom of expression, so we fully support the decision of DUS to cancel the debate on these grounds. The University was not prepared to provide an occasion for external extremist groups to engage in provocative and intimidating demonstrations that could endanger people and property.

    "The views of the BNP are diametrically opposed to Durham University's expressed ethos of cultural-diversity and tolerance. We welcome staff and students of all cultures and faiths and from all parts of the world."

    Durham University has the highest percentage of international staff of any UK University and has more than 1800 international students from over 160 countries.
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    I've never been more ashamed to be at Durham University.
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    What the hell? Seriously?

    I thought better of the Union Society.
    • Thread Starter
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    ******* grumble moan tits ******** ******* NUS disaffiliation etc etc
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    (Original post by Prudy)
    I'm sure you've all heard by now that the Durham Union has invited the BNP to speak in a members only debate on multiculturalism at the Union, and that in response the NUS is requesting the debate be cancelled and apologies issues, lest they protest with UAF.

    Anyone any thoughts? I've yet to meet someone in my college opposed to the debate, indeed those who have joined the 'KEEP DURHAM NAZI FREE' group/event are predominantly not from Durham uni...
    A typical NUS reaction.
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    (Original post by Aula)
    What the hell? Seriously?

    I thought better of the Union Society.
    The problem they have is that they have limited independence from the university. For example the university funds them...

    Also I hear that DSU are going to try and insist on waiting a year to hold the second referendum. Of course there is nothing to stop someone setting up an alternative to DSU and trying to get their JCR's to disaffiliate from DSU.
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    (Original post by Hopping Mad Kangaroo)
    The problem they have is that they have limited independence from the university. For example the university funds them...

    Also I hear that DSU are going to try and insist on waiting a year to hold the second referendum. Of course there is nothing to stop someone setting up an alternative to DSU and trying to get their JCR's to disaffiliate from DSU.
    can they insist if we get enough people signing a petition?
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    (Original post by Aula)
    can they insist if we get enough people signing a petition?
    I haven't read the consitution in that sort of detail, but I imagine there is a provision for the trustees to overrule decisions. But I would suggest setting up an alternative to DSU, if there were sufficient interest.
 
 
 
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