Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fascist leader to speak at Bath University

Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP) is bound to deliver a public lecture at Bath University. Here's a statement from student and trade unions on the campus:

JOINT STATEMENT FROM BATH TRADE UNIONS
Fascism has no place in academic institutions

'Universities should be havens of learning and safety for students,
academics and staff from all backgrounds. We oppose the Secretary of the
University of Bath's decision to allow Nick Griffin, leader of the
fascist British National Party to speak on campus.

Griffin is due to give a lecture at the University of Bath on 14 May at
7pm, at the request of one student.

The BNP is no ordinary political party: it poses a danger to students
and staff alike. Griffin is a former member of the openly fascist
National Front, and has a conviction for distributing literature likely
to incite racial hatred, which denied the reality of the Nazi Holocaust.
The BNP wants an "all-white Britain", which could only be possible
through violence and an end to democracy. It has links with fascist
groups across the world. Many of its leading members have convictions
for violence and have been exposed as Hitler admirers. Wherever the BNP
is active, racist attacks and other hate crimes increase.

The BNP's racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, Islamophobic politics
threatens the safety of Black, Jewish, Muslim, lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender students and academics and many others. These views, if
given further legitimacy, provide the framework for physical attacks on
a number of groups.

It is unacceptable to expose students and staff at the University to the
possibility of such attacks and to give a platform of academic
respectability to the BNP by allowing Nick Griffin to give a lecture at
the University.

The BNP has targeted campuses up and down the country, attempting to
recruit students and young people to fascism. Allowing Nick Griffin a
platform at University of Bath will aid the BNP's aim to infiltrate
academic institutions further.

Universities have a legal obligation to promote good race relations
under the 2000 Race Relations (Amendment) Act, brought in as a direct
result of the 1998 Lawrence Inquiry, following the racist murder of
Stephen Lawrence. We believe that this invitation runs contradictory to
the letter and spirit of this legislation. The University of Bath has a
legal and moral obligation to promote good race relations and to work
against discrimination. We believe that it is failing to live up to this
obligation.

We the undersigned call on the University of Bath to withdraw its
invitation to Griffin to speak. We call on all in our community to stand
with us.'

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