Protesters Fail to Stop Debate

Students chant "Nazi Scum" at attendees of Oxford debate
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2007 6:08 PM CST
The leader of the British National Party Nick Griffin, left, is surrounded by his security men as he arrives for a free speech forum at the Oxford Union debating society in Oxford, England, Monday Nov....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – An Oxford Union debate is underway despite 30 students who rushed inside and delayed proceedings with a sit-down protest, BBC reports. Five hundred more are picketing outside and blocked about half of attendees from entering. Students chanted "Keep Oxford fascist-free! Shame on you!” in opposition to right-wing leader Nick Griffin and holocaust denier David Irving speaking at the event.

Novelist Anne Atkins, a debate participant, supported the society's decision to let Griffin and Irving take part. "When you say that the majority view is always right I think that is a deeply dangerous and disturbing thing to say," she said. An Oxford student union rep argued for the protesters, saying, "What we are doing here tonight at the Oxford Union is putting them on a platform that will give them legitimacy and credibility."