Wednesday 28 November 2007

Rival students clash as Holocaust denier turns up for Oxford debate

Talk about brown-shirted jack-booted fascists! Wasn't it Voltaire that said "I may not agree with what you say, but to your death I will defend your right to say it" well that applies to this. Why is it so dangerous to ask questions or have an opinion? Is this freedom? Is this liberty? Is this a just society? Of course this post will probably provoke the usual mindless comments from the Internet Brown Shirt Brigade but who cares, at least they can't spit on me!

Students attacked and jeered others who turned up to a freedom of speech debate at the University of Oxford last night that was to be addressed by David Irving, the controversial writer, and Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party.

Undergraduates with tickets to the event endured chants of “Nazi scum” and “shame on you” from hundreds of protesters from Oxford colleges and the Unite Against Fascism campaign group in a narrow street in central Oxford. Some protesters brandished placards and hit students who were trying to get into the debating chamber.

As ticketholders fought their way through, protesters broke into the chamber and one tried to attack a member of the debating society’s staff. About 30 people sat in the debating hall singing protest songs.

Police fought to bring the situation under control while nervous students waited in the bar for the debate to begin. The trouble forced Mr Irving and Mr Griffin to hold separate debates, starting at about 10pm. Only 250 of the audience – half the expected turn-out – managed to attend.

Mr Irving talked about his conviction in Austria for Holocaust denial and denied being antiSemitic, while, in another chamber, Mr Griffin spoke about immigration, libel laws and the public perception of the BNP. He said they were regarded as “working-class plebs”. On the protesters outside, he said: “This is a mob which would kill. I have seen them beat old men and women and try to kill them. Had they grown up in Nazi Germany they would have made splendid Nazis.”

Full story...