A talk by far-right politician Anne Marie Waters organised by the PPE Society has been postponed today. The “Far Right Off Campus” protest planned in response to the event has also consequently been postponed.
This afternoon, Warwick PPE posted on the event page: “This event has been rescheduled to a later date. Please look out for further information.”
When asked about the reason for rescheduling the talk, the PPE society told The Boar: “With the event occurring so early in term, some logistical issues were unable to be resolved to the high standard that we require for all our events. While the rescheduling is unfortunate, it is important that this event is done right.
“As we have previously stated, none of our speaker bookings are indicative of an endorsement of their points of view. However, we would be surprised if there were no negative responses to some of our events. The mission of our Speaker Series is not to provide only viewpoints that few will disagree with, but to provide a range of ideas to stimulate debate. We are deeply concerned with the concept of students acting as moral arbiters, deciding what is and isn’t allowed as an idea.
“This being said, we welcome and encourage all peaceful and legal protests, as these carry just as much weight in a free and healthy democracy as free speech does. However we condemn in the strongest possible terms any personal attacks on individuals within PPE Society or the Executive Team. Sending an invitation to a speaker is certainly not an act that is deserving of online abuse.”
The talk, the first in Warwick PPE’s Speaker Series, was originally scheduled for 6:00pm today. The event was entitled “Culture, Politics and Free Speech: British Society” and according to the event page, Anne Marie Waters would discuss “the state of rights and freedoms of women in the UK, the importance of defending free speech, as well as the contemporary issues of immigration and multiculturalism.”
Anne Marie Waters has been known to hold controversial views in the past, as the founder and leader of the anti-Islam party For Britain. She was also part of the UK Independence Party, standing for the party’s leadership in 2017.
The “Far-Right Off Campus!” protest, originally scheduled for today at 5:30pm, was organised by Warwick Labour, Warwick Pride, Warwick for Free Education (WFFE), Warwick Anti-Racism Society (WARSoc), and a number of other societies. As of 1pm today, 127 people had expressed they would be attending the event and 299 were interested. The event had been shared 51 times.
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