Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/512/3453
Exeter students gain anti-fascist victory
A victory for the forces of anti-fascism took place on 23 November when 200 students, union representatives and staff of Exeter University at a guild (students union) general meeting voted overwhelmingly for a policy of 'no platform' to the British National Party (BNP).
Robert Edwards, Exeter Socialist Students
The vote also showed support for Socialist Students, who staged a campus-wide campaign in support of 'no platform', rallying students against the threat of the BNP on campus.
This was not the first time Exeter's Socialist Students have challenged proposals to invite the BNP on campus. The student debating society (Deb Soc) have preached the benefits of giving fascists a platform. In early November, Deb Soc organised a meeting to discuss the idea of 'no platform'. Exeter Socialist Students initiated a campaign and united with members of the National Union of Teachers and other anti-fascists to hold a successful protest.
Jim Thomson, Socialist Students president, said: "Deb Soc saw a debate with the BNP as a bit of fun and had no idea how the BNP grow; not because people are stupid, but because of neo-liberalism, despair and a lack of a working-class political alternative".
The vote is seen as a victory for the university and the community of Exeter. It proves that unity and campaigning can keep fascists from spreading their hatred.
In The Socialist 29 November 2007:
Environment and socialism
What we think
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Marxist analysis: history
Workplace news and analysis