University kill off speaker event by invoking ‘special event’ criteria

milo 1University officials have invoked a ‘special event’ clause in a cynical attempt to kill off a planned upcoming speech by a controversial right-wing journalist.

Hundreds of people, including those from the York People’s Assembly, were planning to demonstrate the appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos in one of the largest protests on campus for decades.

But today, in a fresh blow for freedom of speech, the UK Independence Party Society confirmed it would no longer be going ahead on December 2 after senior management invoked Article 10 of the University’s events policy.

A statement issued by spokesman Thomas Turton on the event’s Facebook page said that the society could not meet the criteria under Article 10 for stewarding – finding and training enough students within two days – and financial charges – they would have to pay the porter costs.

Speaking to York Vision, he said: “We are no longer involved with any attempts to host Milo. We wish the individuals the best of luck, and thank YUSU for their support.

“We hope that this does not distract from the issues of mental health, as behaviour on both sides of the debate has done.”

Journalist and entrepreneur Milo Yiannopoulos had planned to speak on campus about “militant feminism” and the recent anger over the University’s decision to cancel an event marking International Men’s Day.

But his decision to speak sparked a plan by over 400 people who were considering or going to protest his appearance on campus.

Jack Chadwick, the YUSU LGBTQ Officer, who was organising the protest, said on the Facebook event that it was not about “no platforming”.

York Vision understands that fresh ideas have been raised to have the event go ahead at an off-campus location.

Third year politics student Matthew Edwards is heading up the plans which could pave the way for Milo to speak in January.

A separate Facebook group called “Milo Yiannopoulos at York” specifically set up at aiming to get Milo to speak in York is also involved.

The University has been contacted for comment.

7 thoughts on “University kill off speaker event by invoking ‘special event’ criteria

  1. Jesus Christ. Grow up, the lot of you. How do you expect to function in the real world if you can’t handle someone with a set of controversial opinions? If you can’t handle someone like Milo Yiannopolous then university is quite possibly not the place for you.

  2. York has become so pathetic. Richard Dawkins, who is 50% a genius, 50% a pillock, nails it; ‘A university is not a “safe space”. If you need a safe space, leave, go home, hug your teddy & suck your thumb until ready for university’

  3. Can we please correct headline to “University follows own rules”.

    To say that they “invoked a ‘special event’ clause in a cynical attempt to kill off a planned upcoming speech by a controversial right-wing journalist” is to assume that these rules weren’t obvious from the off, or are for some reason only invoked when it suits the University, which I believe is blatantly untrue. If the UKIP society cannot afford security, that means they cannot allow the event to go ahead. if they could afford it, it would go ahead. it’s plain that the event needs security, because the event is being picketed.

  4. Have to say, UKIP’s media management of this has been spectacular. Heard off of someone they’d decided it needed to be cancelled for their media image, so UKIP lobbied YUSU and the uni to pull it. Clearly the uni refused, but placed it as special status, and UKIP jumped at the chance to pull out on “funding grounds”, whilst having no embarrassment and blaming the uni. You’ve got to give it to them, it’s gone spectacularly well.

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