Thecampaign calls for a boycott of all Oxford Union events until the Union agreesto “cease hosting fascists and racists and to remove videos of the followingfascist and/or racist speakers from their YouTube channel: Tommy Robinson,Steve Bannon, Marine Le Pen, Mahathir Bin Mohamad.” The‘Boycott the Oxford Union’ campaign said: “This term [the Union] are playinghost to the far-right commentator Katie Hopkins, who has achieved minor fame byinsulting and stoking hatred towards countless oppressed and marginalisedgroups. Katie Hopkins has been contacted for comment. “Wedo not see fascism as a spectacle to be exploited for the amusement of theUnion’s elite membership.” The newly established “Boycott The Oxford Union” campaign is planning to organise a protest against Katie Hopkin’s appearance at the Union this Thursday, Cherwell can reveal. Speaking to Cherwell, the campaign revealed it planned to hold a protest on Thursday, though did not elaborate further. “The Oxford Union’s Standing Committee has recently voted unanimously to inform minority groups or societies that signal interest of potentially contentious speakers in order to improve the Union’s relationship with these groups in Oxford. I hope that this step illustrates the Union’s commitment to working with groups who may oppose the views of our speakers, not against them, while not compromising our commitment to upholding the free speech of both our members and our guests, as long as that speech is not promoting hate.” The boycott organisers also revealed that it planned to encourage next year’s freshers to join the boycott if the Union did not make the changes they have demanded. In response to news of the planned protest, Athis said: “I recognise the right to peaceful protest and support this right but I would urge members who feel comfortable doing so to attend the debate so that they can interact with the speakers and see first-hand the discussion about No Platforming, which is so aptly related to this campaign. The open letter states thatthe boycott is addressed not just at the present Union committee, but at a“decades long pattern of inviting proponents of hate into Oxford. The OxfordUnion has previously hosted the Holocaust deniers David Irving and NickGriffin, and the former leader of the fascist English Defence League, StephenYaxley-Lennon (alias Tommy Robinson). “The Union has ignored repeated and widespread calls from Oxford students, staff and residents to withdraw invitations to such figures.” Speaking to Cherwell, Union President Genevieve Athis said: “From its foundation, the Oxford Union has placed a high value on the voices of both its members and its guests. OxfordEast MP Anneliese Dodds wrote at the time that “[t]he Oxford Union’s patheticcourting of publicity by inviting racist after racist is deeply frustrating forlocal people. Our city is proud of its diversity and yet the Oxford Union seemsdetermined to threaten this.” The campaign are promotinga petition andan open letter promotingthe boycott on Facebook and Twitter. “Wepledge to boycott the Oxford Union until it ceases to appease fascism andremoves videos of the following fascist and far right figures from theirYouTube channel: Tommy Robinson, Steve Bannon, Marine Le Pen, Mahathir BinMohamad.” “By inviting speakers that are sometimes considered to be controversial (not only on the right but on the left – for instance Slavoj Žižek in MT18) we aim not only to host them, but to challenge, explore and criticise their ideas. The Union has attracted criticism and protests this year for hosting speeches by Steve Bannon and Marion-Marechal Le Pen, and for a planned event with Alice Weidel which was ultimately cancelled, including a formal letter of protest from the City Council. The Council’s executive board criticised what they described as “the Oxford Union’s pattern of endangering community safety by inviting fascists into the city.” “Far from being a small and self-selectively elite membership limited to those who can afford our membership fee, the Oxford Union offers an access membership at a discounted price (which I myself took advantage of upon joining) and the option to pay in instalments so that we can make the institution accessible to everyone. “The Oxford Union is unique in that far from offering speakers a ‘platform’ from which to lecture its members, it always allows for time for its speakers to be questioned. Far from ‘applauding Steve Bannon’s hateful ideology’, members in the chamber at his talk were meaningfully silent as he entered and went on to pose question after question that sought to interrogate his views, not praise them. “This term, Katie Hopkins will be one of eight speakers in this Thursday’s No Platforming debate in which any member will be able to challenge our guests on their views, as has happened frequently in the past. The organisers did notclarify whether they were planning to organise a protest against Hopkinssimilar to those which greeted Bannon and Le Pen. Theorganisers accused the Union’s leadership of “attempting to use the dangerousrise of fascist and far right movements around the world to gain publicity andfurther their own careers. “In November, there were some examples of protesters who chose to use violence or verbal abuse to intimidate those who did not wish to join in or were trying to attend the event. The Union supports the right to peaceful protest.
Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___City of Philadelphia officials have clarified their ban on public events, opening up the possibility the Eagles would be allowed to have fans in the stadium if the city changes its rules before or during the season, assuming the NFL plays games this season. The city on Tuesday banned all large public events that require public permits through February 2021. Teams will be permitted to play without fans in Philadelphia.The Phillies will host the Miami Marlins next weekend when the major league baseball season begins.___The Baltimore Ravens won’t have fans at their training camp this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.The team announced Wednesday that it will adhere to NFL/NFLPA protocols that prohibit fans from attending practices, even if state and local government regulations would eventually permit them to do so. The Latest: Philadelphia clarifies ban on public events July 15, 2020 The OVC says it plans to reschedule for a date closer to the start of the season, which is slated for Sept. 3, a Thursday night.The conference’s meetings were held virtually in June for the first time in league history.___The Denver Broncos are telling season ticket holders that Empower Field at Mile High won’t be at full capacity this season because of the coronavirus outbreak and face masks will be required if local officials allow a limited number of fans to attend games to maintain social distancing.The Broncos told season ticket holders in a memo that they’ll get priority for any single-game tickets that are sold this season whether or not they opt for a full refund for 2020 or a credit for 2021. ___The Tennessee Volunteers report multiple positive results for COVID-19 after the university ran a batch of tests last week.The tests were conducted after the Fourth of July holiday weekend. A spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the positive tests spanned “multiple sports.”Tennessee previously had two basketball players test positive, with both clearing quarantine. A graduate assistant for the football team tested positive and was quarantined for 14 days.Tennessee is bringing athletes back to campus in phases, with football the first to return on June 8. Associated Press The team’s ticket office will contact season ticket holders about game and seat availability after local capacity guidelines are established, according to the memo sent Wednesday.The memo also outlined enhanced safety precautions at the stadium in addition to face masks and social distancing requirements, including cashless concession options, touchless bathroom fixtures, sanitation stations, and “the latest air purification technology.”–Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver.___The Head of the Charles Regatta is going virtual because of the new coronavirus, only the second time since 1965 that the two-day rowing event has been canceled. With 44 players invited, the event was part of USA Hockey’s selection process in determining its team to compete at the world junior championships in Alberta in late December.Without citing the coronavirus pandemic, USA Hockey executive John Vanbiesbrouck said it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel the event.___The Green Bay Packers say they won’t admit fans to any training camp practices or preseason home games due to the coronavirus pandemic.This also applies to the annual Packers Family Night, an annual event that features a practice and other activities. The Family Night event will still take place at Lambeau Field and will be televised statewide, though the date and time haven’t been announced yet. The Phillies will host the Miami Marlins next weekend when the major league baseball season begins.___The University of Michigan says fewer fans, if any, will attend games at “The Big House” if the Wolverines play college football games this year.The athletic department says a final decision will be made after conferring with medical experts, the school’s leadership and the Big Ten Conference, along with government officials and agencies.Michigan’s policies include the elimination of season tickets for the 2020 season. Paperless tickets will be available for individual games to only season ticket holders, not the general public, if there is a season and spectators are given access to the 107,601-seat Michigan Stadium. Plans regarding attendance for regular-season games haven’t been announced yet. Season ticket holders have the of opting out of the chance to buy tickets this year without losing control of their tickets for next season.The Packers have already conceded their regular-season home games will have a “significantly reduced” capacity, if there are any spectators at all.___The Philadelphia Eagles won’t be allowed to have fans in the stadium if the NFL plays games this season. The city banned all large public events that require public permits through February 2021. Teams will be permitted to play without fans in Philadelphia. Since 2011, up to 2,000 fans a day have attended camp at the team facility in Owings Mills, Maryland.Ravens president Dick Cass said the team believes the decision is in the best interest of the public and the organization.The defending AFC North champions have not announced the starting date for training camp, which usually begins in late July.___The Ohio Valley Conference announced Wednesday that it has postponed the league’s Virtual Football Media Day scheduled for Monday. The competition scheduled for October will instead go virtual, allowing rowers to take part by racing a 2.9-mile (4.7 km) course on their own bodies of water using a GPS device, or on an ergometer.The Head of the Charles is the world’s largest two-day rowing race, with 11,000 competitors from around the world.The race was also canceled in 1996 during a rain and wind storm.___USA Hockey has called off holding its world junior summer showcase, set to be held in Michigan in two weeks. Josiah-Jordan James, a sophomore guard on the basketball team, spoke to reporters last week about how tough it was seeing two teammates test positive for COVID-19. He said that drove home the seriousness of the pandemic and the need to follow all the safety precautions even when he doesn’t feel like wearing a mask.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports