On Friday 11th October, students protested against the controversial invitation of suspended Labour MP Chris Williamson to attend the University of Nottingham as a guest speaker.
‘No place for hate on campus’ stated the banners outside the lecture theatre which Chris Williamson addressed that day. The pouring rain today did not stop around 50 people from Jewish community, students, and other activists from expressing their unity and outrage at the University of Nottingham for their invitation of MP Chris Williamson.
The controversial MP, who is currently suspended from the Labour Party after allegations of Anti-Semitism, was scheduled to deliver a speech to students of the British Party Politics module today.
The Jewish and Israel Society (J-Soc) organised the protest and scheduled an alternative guest speaker, John Mann MP, to speak upon Anti-Semitism at the same time as Williamson.
John Mann MP spoke to his audience, and raised questions as to why the controversial MP had been invited as a guest speaker.
“I’m in favour of academic freedom… but I’m not sure its got anything to do with this. Why Williamson? Well, I think someone’s made a political decision to promote Williamson.”
Daniel Marcus, Jewish and Israel Society’s advocacy officer added, “the fact the university invited him in the wake of the Anti-Semitism scandal, demonstrates a lack of empathy and understanding of how it would make minority students feel.”
The University of Nottingham released a statement earlier this week stating that the institution does not in any way condone the actions and statements of Mr Chris Williamson MP that led to his suspension from the Labour Party and added that they condemned any form of intolerance to religious belief.
Yesterday, Chris Williamson MP lost his battle with the High Court to be reinstated to the Labour Party after he was suspended following pressure from Jewish groups and other peers.
Featured images courtesy of Safa Shahid.
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