The student union at the U.K.’s University of Manchester has banned Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos and Guardian journalist Julie Bindel from participating in a debate on censorship.
The school’s Free Speech and Secular Society student group had invited the journalists to a debate titled “From liberation to censorship: Does modern feminism have a problem with free speech?” But the Students’ Union demanded the event be postponed until the free speech group removes Mr. Yiannopoulos and Ms. Bindel from the ticket.
“The Students’ Union has decided to deny this request based on Bindel’s views and comments towards trans people, which we believe could incite hatred towards and exclusion of our trans students,” the union said.
In a later statement, the union said, “Further to our previous decision to ban Julie Bindel from speaking on campus, we are extending this decision to Milo Yiannopoulos.
“We have been made aware of various comments lambasting rape survivors and trans people, and as such we are concerned for the safety of our students on the topic of this event. He is a rape apologist and has repeatedly used derogatory and debasing ableist language when describing members of the trans community,” the statement said.
The union then cited their “Safe Space policy,” which argues that free speech “should not be to the detriment of the rights of other individuals and groups. Freedom of speech is important, yet intention to incite hatred is never acceptable,” Mediaite reported.
The Free Speech and Secular Society members have yet to officially respond to the union’s demands, but promised in a statement Tuesday that they “will not go ahead” with the event “until some of the conditions imposed upon us have been lifted.”
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