SU bans second speaker Milo Yiannopoulos from free speech society event
They’ve already kicked controversial Julie Bindel off the bill
The Union have taken further measures of apparent protection by banning a second guest from the Free Speech Society debate.
Journalist Milo Yiannapoulos has been removed from the event named “From liberation to censorship: Does modern feminism have a problem with free speech.
Manchester Union have labelled him a “rape apologist”, but Milo called the decision “profoundly anti-intellectual”.
On Tuesday, the SU was slammed by hundreds of students after they released a statement explaining why Julie Bindel would no longer be appearing at the event.
This came down to Bindel’s views being “dangerous for transpeople and dangerous for feminist and liberation movements in general”.
However until today, the second speaker, Milo Yiannopolous, was still confirmed to speak at the event, where there was supposed to be a high level of security.
The Exec team’s statement says: “He is a rape apologist and has repeatedly used derogatory and debasing ableist language when describing members of the trans community.
“As such, this undermines the principles of liberation enshrined in the Students’ Union, as outlined in the Safe Space policy. We believe these views could incite hatred against both transpeople and women who have experienced sexual violence. ”
Contrary to this, Leonardo Carella, president of the Free Speech Society told The Tab: “The event was supposed to be on censorship and feminism, not trans* issues. We even, against our deeply held beliefs and in order to hold the event anyway, offered the SU Exec to “partially censor” trans* issues aside for this event.
“[Yiannopolous] has notoriously questioned the efficacy of surgical gender reassignment therapy. As much as this view may be considered offensive or dangerous by some, it is in no way ‘hate speech’ or advocacy of violence.
“He rejects the epithet of ‘rape apologist’. At no point in his literature he has justified such action and people who find his views questionable could reasonably avoid hearing them, as we accepted – again, half-heartedly – the restrictions imposed by the SU. Under such restrictions, it would, in fact, be much harder to listen to him than to avoid to listen to him.”
Despite this, Activities and Development Officer Joel Smith defended their decision to The Tab, saying: “There’s always a fine balance to strike between freedom of speech and freedom from hate.
“We think Milo is clearly well over this mark in his attitudes to women & trans people, it’s a shame we didn’t have all the evidence when we initially banned Julie.”
Speaking to IBTimes, Milo Yiannapoulos described the decision as “profoundly anti-intellectual and runs counter to the entire purpose of a university”.
The Free Speech Society have now started a petition against the action here.