Student Union Censorship

 Students Vs Free Speech



 Offsite Article: Students vs Free Speech...


Link Here 11th October 2015  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
Banning Bindel is an insult to Manchester students. By Edgar Haner

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 Offsite Article: Safely Censored...


Link Here 13th October 2015  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
British universities have a duty to defend the unsafe space. By Dan Hitchens

See article from blogs.new.spectator.co.uk

 

 Updated: More Student Censorship...

Cardiff University students try to ban author Germaine Greer from giving lecture - because she's not feminist enough


Link Here 25th October 2015  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
  Students at Cardiff University have begun an online petition trying to bar Germaine Greer, the Australian feminist author, from speaking there next month because of her views on transgender women.

The petition was initiated on Friday by Rachael Melhuish, women's officer at the Cardiff University Students' Union. The petition states that Ms. Greer has:

Demonstrated time and time again her misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually 'misgendering' trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether.

The petition had received about 880 signatures by noon on Saturday. However Cardiff University said it had no plans to cancel Ms. Greer's lecture. In a statement, the university's vice chancellor, Colin Riordan, said:

Our events include speakers with a range of views, all of which are rigorously challenged and debated.

Greer called the petition a bit of a put-up job because she was not even going to talk about the issue in her lecture on Nov. 18, titled Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century. She said:

The issue is broader. I do not know why universities cannot hear unpopular views and think about what they mean.

 

 Offsite Article: One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist...


Link Here 6th November 2015  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
UCL Union ban ex-student from talking about his experiences fighting ISIS...in case he influences others to go and fight.

See article from thetab.com

 

 Offsite Article: The Streisand Effect finds a home in student unions...


Link Here 26th November 2015  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
Safe spaces don't limit free speech... they give it to the marginalised. By Abi Wilkinson

See article from politics.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Unsafe Spaces for Free Speech...


Link Here 3rd December 2015  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
Goldsmiths University is the latest example of student intolerance as Maryam Namazie's talk is met by aggressive attempts at censorship

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

  Like Isil's destruction of antiques...

The campaign to remove a Cecil Rhodes statue from Oriel College is like Isil's destruction of antiquities because it is showing no respect for history, a prominent Oxford emeritus fellow has said


Link Here 23rd December 2015  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech

 

 Offsite Article: Taking the school bully down a peg or two...


Link Here 13th January 2016  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
Chris Patten makes a robust response to the ludicrous Oxford student who whinged about a statue of Cecil Rhodes

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Student Censors...


Link Here 14th February 2016  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
Peter Tatchell finds that just believing in free speech is enough to get him 'no platformed' by students

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Update: NUS: Revise Safe Space and No Platform Policies...

Free speech campaigners write open letter to the National Union of Students calling on it to back off from its pro-censorship policies


Link Here 1st March 2016  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech

On 17 March 2016 from 5-6pm, we will be holding a protest at the office of the NUS, Macadam House, 275 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8QB. Join Us. Also Tweet "I call on @nusuk to revise safe space and no platform policies to facilitate not restrict free expression and thought; or email the NUS stating the same at office@nus.org.uk.

We are deeply concerned by the increasing attempts by the National Union of Students (NUS) and its affiliated Student Unions to silence dissenters -- including feminists, apostates, LGBTI rights campaigners, anti-racists, anti-fascists and anti-Islamists -- through its use of No-Platform and Safe Space policies.

We stand against all prejudice and discrimination. We agree that free speech does not mean giving bigots a free pass. A defence of free speech includes the right and moral imperative to challenge, oppose and protest bigoted views.

Educational institutions must be a place for the exchange and criticism of all ideas -- even those deemed unpalatable by some -- providing they don't incite violence against peoples or communities. Bigoted ideas are most effectively defeated by open debate, backed up by ethics, reason and evidence.

The student body is not homogeneous; there will be differences of opinion among students. The NUS's restrictive policies infringe upon the right of students to hear and challenge dissenting and opposing views.

We, therefore, call on the NUS to revise its No-Platform and Safe Space policies to facilitate freedom of expression and thought, rather than restrict it.

Signed:
Alicia McElhill, President City of Leicester NUT
Asher Fainman, President of Goldsmiths ASH society
Author, Jesus & Mo
Becky Lavelle, President, Hull University Secularist, Atheist, and Humanist Society
Benjamin David, President of Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists
Bread and Roses TV
Brendan O'Neill, editor of Spiked
Chris Moos, secularist activist
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
David Browne, LLM Student in International Human Rights Law
Durham Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
Elham Manea, Academic and human Rights advocate
Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize
Fariborz Pooya, Host of Bread and Roses TV
Feminism in London
Fireproof Library
Frederick Money, Undergraduate, Merton College Oxford
Gita Sahgal, Centre for Secular Space
Gush Bhumbra, President, Leicester Secular Society
Halima Begum, ExMuslim Researcher & Blogger
Helen Chamberlain, President, Durham Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
Houzan Mahmoud, Women's Rights Activist, Kurdistan
Hull University Secularist, Atheist, and Humanist Society
Ian Leaver, Secretary City of Leicester NUT
Imad Iddine Habib, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
James Burchett, Activist
Julie Bindel, Justice for Women and the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize
Justice for Women
Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian and Activist
Kenan Malik, Author
Keziah Conroy, UCLU Atheist, Secularity and Humanist society President
Kojin Mirizayi, Law student, President of the Kurdish Society at the University of Kent
Lee Jones, Queen Mary, University of London
Lisa-Marie Taylor, Chair of Feminism in London
Maajid Nawaz, Author and Counter-extremism Activist
Maggie Hall, Chair, Brighton Secular Humanists
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, One Law for All and Host of Bread and Roses TV
Matt Corden, undergraduate at Newcastle University
Nahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Nick Cohen, Author
Nira Yuval-Davis, Director of the Research Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB) at the University of East London
Ollie Burton, President, Newcastle University Atheists' & Secular Humanists' Society
One Law for All
Peter Flack, Leicester Social Forum
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner
Rayhana Sultan, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Richard Dawkins, Scientist and Author
Roy Brown, International Representative and former president of IHEU
Rumana Hashem, Founder of Community Women's Blog and Adviser at Nari Diganta
Rumy Hasan, Senior Lecturer (SPRU -- Science Policy Research Unit), University of Sussex
Salil Tripathi, Writer
Sarah Peace, Fireproof Library
Stephen Evans, Campaigns Manager, National Secular Society
Tehmina Kazi, Director of Media, Outreach and Lobbying, British Muslims for Secular Democracy
Tom Holland, Author and Historian
University of Leicester Atheist, Humanist and Secular Society

 

 Offsite Article: Banning unsafe social media during elections...


Link Here 28th April 2016  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
National Union of Students debate ever more lunatic ideas about what constitutes a safe space

See article from independent.co.uk

 

 Update: Learning about censorship...

Students of City University ban sales of the Sun, the Express and the Daily Mail


Link Here 18th November 2016  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
The student's union at City University in London has voted to ban the Daily Mail, Sun and Express newspapers on campus, despite there being no shops which sell them on the institution's grounds.

The decision was met with surprise and outrage from journalism students and former students, who claimed it was censorship and worrying and ignorant . A contest to the motion is now expected.

The Student Union's Annual General Meeting passed the motion Opposing Fascism and Social Divisiveness in the UK Media . The motion said that while the Mail, Sun and Express were the main focus of its policy, other media organisations were not excluded. The motion also promoted active pressuring of the aforementioned media outlets to cease to fuel fascism, racial tension and hatred in society and advocated using the University's industry contacts to reach out to employees and shareholders of the media outlets in question.

The union took issue with subjects of both recent and long term controversy. In addition to criticism of high court judges by the Mail and Express, they also rebuked the Sun for its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster. Other criticisms included approaching Nigel Farage for comment, criticising Islam, and giving Katie Hopkins a column.

 

 Update: Another seat of learning where the Sun never shines...

Plymouth Student's Union decides to censor the newspapers that voice the views of large sections of the British population


Link Here 3rd December 2016  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
Students at Plymouth university have followed students at City, University of London by deciding to ban three newspapers from their campus.

It means that the campus shop run by Plymouth's students will not sell copies of the Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express and their Sunday equivalents from the new year.

According to a report in the Plymouth Herald , the decision was taken by the executive council of the University of Plymouth Students' Union (UPSU). The motion was passed, says a UPSU Facebook statement, by a large majority . However students themselves were not consulted. The Student's Union said:

Whilst we believe that freedom of expression and speech are inalienable human rights, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a number of British tabloids are known to express hateful views. [...BUT...]

They aim at belittling and demonising certain groups in society, such as immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, disabled people, the LGBTIQA+ community, Muslims, Black and Asian communities...

It is our duty to protect and empower and represent marginalised and discriminated against groups... UPSU opposes hatred, discrimination and demonisation of any individual..

Because of these very values that we hold and we are proud of, we believe that it is unethical for us to profit out of the sale of hateful, non-factual and anti-scientific media platforms.

 

  Hot air vs snowflakes...

Government takes action against universities that allow 'safe spaces' and banned books to overrule free speech


Link Here 27th December 2017  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
Higher education minister Jo Johnson says institutions that fail to protect freedom of speech could be fined. He explained in a speech:

A university is the quintessential liberal institution. Not liberal in a narrow party political sense, but in the true liberal of free and rigorous inquiry, of liberty and of tolerance.

The liberal tradition is a noble and important one; but today it finds itself under threat. Liberal politics are under threat from national and populist parties around the world. Economic liberalism is under threat from those who turn to protectionism for quick-fix solutions to complex problems.

...

Our universities, rather like the Festival we are today, should be places that open minds not close them, where ideas can be freely challenged and prejudices exposed.

But in universities in America and increasingly in the United Kingdom, there are countervailing forces of censorship, where groups have sought to stifle those who do not agree with them in every way under the banner of safe spaces or no-platforming.

However well-intentioned, the proliferation of such safe spaces, the rise of no-platforming, the removal of offensive books from libraries and the drawing up of ever more extensive lists of banned trigger words are undermining the principle of free speech in our universities.

Without that basic liberal principle, our universities will be compromised.

...

Shield young people from controversial opinions, views that challenge their most profoundly held beliefs or simply make them uncomfortable, and you are on the slippery slope that ends up with a society less able to make scientific breakthroughs, to be innovative and to resist injustice.

...

That's why the government is taking action now.

As part of our reforms to higher education, we have set up a new regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), which, as its name suggests, will regulate the university sector in a way that puts the interests of students first.

Created by the Higher Education & Research Act 2017, the OfS will come into being next week.

Promoting freedom of speech within the law will be at the heart of its approach to the regulation of our higher education system.

The OfS will go further than its predecessor in promoting freedom of speech.

In the Act, we extended the existing statutory duty on universities to secure free speech in the Education (No.2) Act 1986 so that it will apply to all providers of higher education registered with the OfS.

Furthermore, as a condition of registration with the new regulator, we are proposing that all universities benefitting from public money must demonstrate a clear commitment to free speech in their governance documents.

And the OfS will in turn use its regulatory powers to hold them to account for ensuring that lawful freedom of speech is upheld by their staff and students.

...

And I want to be clear about this: attempts to silence opinions that one disagrees with have no place in the English university system. Academics and students alike must not allow a culture to take hold where silence is preferable to a dissenting voice.

If we want our universities to thrive, we must defend the liberal values of freedom of speech and diversity of opinion on which they depend.

Freedom of speech within the law must prevail in our society, with only the narrowest necessary exceptions justified by specific countervailing public policies.

 

 Commented: Safe spaces get violent...

Hooded thugs disrupt free speech event at Kings College London


Link Here 10th March 2018  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech

Hooded thugs have stormed a free speech event King's College London, throwing smoke bombs and attacking security guards.

Believed to be part of the anti-facist movement, violent protesters forced their way into a lecture hall before setting off smoke bombs and smashing windows. Thugs grabbed the speaker's microphone, while several security guards were punched during the melee.

A threatening note was also left for the compere.

Ten to 15 people dressed all in black, with black hoods and black face masks, leapt over the barriers and instantly engaged in a fight with two or three security guards, said witness Tristan Teller:

They tried to stop them but they just started punching them in the face. One guard, a grey-haired gentleman who looked to be in around 60, received several punches.

The event, which was organised by KCL Libertarian Society, saw YouTube personality Sargon of Akkad, real name Carl Benjamin, invited to speak alongside Ayn Rand Institute director Dr Yaron Brook.

The group were had dispersed by the time police arrived. There have been no reported injuries. No arrests. Enquiries continue.

Update: Antifa: the militant wing of authoritarianism

10th March 2018. See  article from spiked-online.com by Fraser Myers

The clash at King's College confirms anti-fascism now just means censorship.

 

  Unsafe for free speech...

The UK Parliament's human rights committee finds that student 'safe spaces' are indeed a euphemism for censorship but these are not so widespread as reported in the press


Link Here 27th March 2018  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
The UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights publishes report into free speech in universities, highlighting serious concerns over barriers to free speech. The Committee has also published its own guidance for universities and students organising events to empower them to protect and promote this vital human right.

Factors limiting free speech in universities

The Committee say that there are a number of factors which actively limit free speech in universities, including:

  • Regulatory complexity
  • Intolerant attitudes, often incorrectly using the banner of "no-platforming" and "safe-space" policies
  • Incidents of unacceptable intimidating behaviour by protestors intent on preventing free speech and debate
  • Student Unions being overly cautious for fear of breaking the rules
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy imposed on those organising events
  • Fear and confusion over what the Prevent Duty entails
  • Unduly complicated and cautious guidance from the Charity Commission.
Recommendations

However, as solutions to the above concerns, MPs and Peers are recommending to students, universities and the authorities:

  • That an independent review of the Prevent policy is necessary to assess what impact it is having on students and free speech, after evidence the Committee took demonstrated an adverse effect on events with student faith groups
  • That the Charity Commission, which regulates student unions as registered charities, review its approach and guidance, and that its actions are proportionate and are adequately explained to student unions and don't unnecessarily limit free speech
  • That the Office for Students should ensure university policies proactively secure lawful free speech and are not overly burdensome
  • That student societies should not stop other student societies from holding their meetings. They have the right to protest but must not seek to stop events entirely
  • That while there must be opportunities for genuinely sensitive discussions, and that the whole of the university cannot be a "safe space." Universities must be places where open debate can take place so that students can develop their own opinions on unpopular, controversial or provocative ideas
  • Groups or individuals holding unpopular opinions which are within the law should not be shut down nor be subject to undue additional scrutiny by student unions or universities.

Members of the Committee believe that codes of practice on freedom of speech should facilitate debate, not unduly restrict it.

Freedom of speech is vital in universities

Chair of the Committee, Harriet Harman MP, said:

Freedom of speech within the law should mean just that -- and it is vital in universities.

Evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights showed that there is a problem of inhibition of free speech in universities.

While media reporting has focussed on students inhibiting free speech -- and in our report we urge universities to take action to prevent that -- free speech is also inhibited by university bureaucracy and restrictive guidance from the Charity Commission.

We want students themselves to know their rights to free speech and that's why we've issued a guide for students today.

 

 Offsite Article: Censorship by red tape...


Link Here 20th May 2018  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
Harriet Harman denies that there is a free speech crisis within UK universities but concedes that the concept of safe spaces has been abused

See article from cherwell.org

 


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