UK Politics

Antisemitic chants at NUS leader reported at Manchester student fees rally

The Daily Mail reports:

The national president of the NUS pulled out of speaking at a student fees rally after being surrounded by demonstrators calling for his resignation and shouting anti-Semitic insults at him.

Aaron Porter had to be escorted to safety by police this morning as he made his way to his offices in Manchester.

Protesters shouted ‘Students, workers, hear our shout! We want Aaron Porter out!’ and ‘Aaron Porter we know you, you’re a f******* Tory too!’

One photographer reported chants of ‘Tory Jew scum’ directed at Mr Porter, who is facing calls to step down as NUS president by members of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, who claim he has ‘lost the confidence of the movement’.

The protest march attended by thousands began peacefully and was escorted by mounted police, but around 150 demonstrators broke off the agreed route and headed towards the city centre, where they targeted Mr Porter.
Anger at Government proposals to raise tuition fees and scrap EMAs (Education Maintenance Allowance) appeared to be contained to the slogans chanted by protesters and emblazoned on placards.

One drew an analogy between events in North Africa and that in the UK. ‘Ben Ali, Mubarak… Cameron, you are next,’ it read.

One difference worth noting between what happened in Manchester and what’s happening in Tunisia and Egypt is that I’ve seen no reports of protesters in the latter two countries indulging in overt antisemitism.

Update: A commenter writes:

I was at this protest today and I heard 2, yes, two people chanting this. And, guess what, the two men chanting this were of Asian descent, they were not white. Also what the article fails to mention is that about 20 or so people started chanting “no, no, no to racists” at these men.

But I see this place is more interested in believing the Daily Mail version of the story (who have never, ever lied about anything or smeared any people).

UPDATE by Alan A

Aaron Porter in the FT:

Mr Porter told NUS members in an e-mail: “Just before the march started, I was surrounded by a particularly vicious minority of protesters more intent on shouting threatening and racist abuse at me rather than focusing on the issues. Instead of standing together and fighting the cuts, they instead chose to pursue me along Manchester’s Oxford Road and drive me away from the start of the march. As a result, under the strong advice of the police, I had to withdraw myself from the rally.

Also reported on Sky.