May 09, 2007

Fascism has no place in academic institutions

A joint statement from Bath trade unions on BNP leader's planned visit to University of Bath

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.

Called by University of Bath branches of Amicus, UNISON, UCU

Supported by UCU, NUS, & Unite Against Fascism


1 comment:

Antifascist said...

Thanks Biby - appreciate the compliment. :-)