Tuesday Jun 11, 2024

Struggle Session

As reported in the Mail, Durham university last week postponed a debate on whether “Palestinian Leadership is the Biggest Barrier to Peace”. According to the article, a 'mob' of pro-Palestine protesters locked students inside a chamber for more than two hours and created a human chain around the building. Mohab Ramadan, a speaker for the opposition and founder of the university’s Israeli-Palestinian Resolution Society also received a hostile reception when he visited the protesters’ encampment. In response, he told them, “Granting yourself what you’re denying to others is shameful. To deny others the freedom to speak and debate when you yourself have encamped on Palace Green and been tolerated, allowed to speak and be heard by the entire University is unforgivable. I supported you and believed in your cause, arguing passionately for Palestine, but your actions have alienated the very people you seek to persuade”. Interestingly, Durham is at the top of the FSU’s league table of universities with the worst record of defending free speech - we’ve had to defend more students and staff from there than any other university in the UK. Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports that university staff in Exeter feel coerced to sign an anti-transphobia pledge. These calls to allyship are reminiscent of the ‘struggle sessions’ that were prevalent during China’s cultural revolution. We end with a tweet about King Alfred that causes us to revisit our discussion on the Anglo Saxons, this time in the context of so-called Queer Theory.

‘That's Debatable!’ is edited by Jason Clift.

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