was a large potential for
interesting and important
debate. The right of free
speech has been
-- The Oxford Union
London, Thursday, May 10,
speech under threat at Oxford
The Oxford Union has
withdrawn its invitation to Holocaust
revisionist David Irving to speak
at a debate only a day before he was to
take the podium.
Irving had agreed to face Richard
Rampton QC -- who successfully
defended Deborah Lipstadt against
Irving's libel action last year -- to
oppose the motion: "This house would
restrict the free speech of extremists
Irving was disinvited yesterday after
an open meeting of union members. The
union's press officer says:
"We are very disappointed. The
meeting of members yesterday morning
was staffed by a very vocal minority
who were worried about student safety.
There was no real threat to safety.
Instead, there was a large potential
for interesting and important debate.
The right of free speech has been
compromised by objections led, to a
large extent, by the student union."
This is the third time Irving has had
an invitation to speak in the city
withdrawn. Last year, a smaller Speaker's
meeting was vetoed on the grounds that it
would give Irving "the platform to give a
talk and answer inappropriate questions".
And just before Christmas, the Oxford
Reform Club also withdrew an invitation
amid concerns over safety.
Edited by Sam
items on this website:
storm | boycott
threat | threat
to Oxford Union over Irving