Posted Wednesday, October 4, 2000

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Wednesday, October 4, 2000

Violence threat prevails at Oxford University: Second invite to David Irving cancelled

OXFORD University's Reform Club has informed David Irving that it has been forced to withdraw its May 2000 invitation to speak this Nov. 7 to a student and public audience. His topic was to have been: "Reconciling the Laws of Libel with Freedom of Speech".

Jonathan Marshall of the university's Keble College, Joint-President of the Oxford Reform Club, has now told Mr Irving:

"We regret to inform you that we are forced to withdraw your invitation to speak to the Oxford Reform Club. We are not a society which enjoys the luxury of having our own premises, so we must rely on the goodwill of colleges and others to allow us to hire suitable rooms. It has become increasingly clear that we would be unable to find a room for your meeting. Additionally, it is clear that we would need to implement special security measures to ensure the safety of all those who wanted to be present. According to University statues, such a cost would have to be borne by the Oxford Reform Club. As you will no doubt appreciate, we are not a rich society, and we simply could not afford to pay such costs. The society remains committed to freedom of speech, so that all views can be aired and debated. We regret that it simply unfeasible for this right to be excercised on this occasion."

Mr Irving received the message late on Oct. 4 at Orlando, Florida, where he had just addressed a large audience in a bookstore (the proceeds went with his consent to the local Holocaust Memorial Fund). He responded to Marshall: "As predicted." He had shortened his US speaking tour to be back in the UK for the important Oxford function.

Picking up Marshall's explanation that "we are not a rich society, and we simply could not afford to pay such costs," Mr Irving has asked him: "What costs are we talking of? I am sure my supporters would raise the funds involved, if you state a figure. Or is this just an excuse?"

This website will report on any reply.

Related items and links:

 April 2000: Oxford University Union cancels Irving Speech, bowing to Threats of Violence
  The Oxford Reform Club
  University of Oxford

Contact Jonathan Marshall of Keble College,
Oxford, OX1 3PG, Tel / Fax : (44) 7092 091980

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