antisemitism,  The Left

NUS president Aaron Porter: abuse strengthens my resolve

Porter has a piece in The Times today:

In Manchester on Saturday the National Union of Students organised what was the latest in a series of protests against government plans that are allowing the burden of the deficit reduction to fall on young people. We were there to expose the contradiction of David Cameron saying that we cannot build a future on debt and then tripling tuition fees, asking young people to build their futures on debt; and the contradiction of him saying that he would rebuild the economy and create jobs while abolishing the Future Jobs Fund.

However, before I was able to speak to the rally of thousands, a small group of people started to chant abuse to try to intimidate me, and there were audible anti-Semitic comments. Racism is something that student activists have been fighting to eliminate for decades and this was a sobering reminder that there is still work to do.

I wouldn’t associate the racist comments with everyone in this breakaway group, who are largely drawn from hard Left factions and who disagree with the tactics and some of the policies of the NUS. For them it is not enough for the NUS to mobilise 50,000 students and lecturers to protest against the rise in tuition fees; instead they say we should be standing alongside those who kick in windows and burn effigies of Nick Clegg.

Those tactics are wrong and do not work. I represent the vast majority of students who believe that peaceful protest should be one part of a campaign.

The rest is behind The Times’ paywall.

Over the weekend, Liberal Conspiracy carried an article by “Left Outside”, entitled “Where’s the evidence Aaron Porter was racially abused?“. Its thesis was that the report of the racist abuse “has all the hall marks of a smear campaign; designed to undermine the student movement’s legitimacy and distract attention from the reason people were on the streets”. The article also applauded the mobbing of the NUS President, which it described as “surprising solely for the fact nobody had thought to do it earlier”.

Left Outside later reported on Aaron Porter’s confirmation of the antisemitic abuse, adding:

I would also note that proof proper has yet to be supplied, although its increasingly looking like it did happen.

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