Marine le Pen appearance at University of Oxford sparks anti-fascism protests

Demonstrators want the French politician's invitation rescinded

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Marine le Pen has caused outrage by accepting an invitation to give a talk at Oxford.

The talk, which is scheduled to go ahead on Thursday afternoon, has been met with fierce opposition by students, who believe that the right-wing French Front National leader should not be given a platform.

Le Pen's opponents cite her "Islamophobia" as a reason she should not be allowed to speak.

"Giving a platform to fascist and racist speakers only promotes and legitmises racism and fascism in wider society," Oxford Unite Against Fascism said in a statement on their Facebook page.

"The Union must reverse the decision to invite this notorious Islamophobe," added Unite Against Fascism's Weyman Bennett." The Front National follow in ex leader, Jean Marie Le Pen's footsteps in their racism and fascism. Jean Marie Le Pen once called the Holocaust a 'mere detail of history'. The FN is still composed of such fascists.

"We will demonstrate to argue that fascists should never be allowed a platform."

 

A petition has been signed by over 300 Oxford students and staff, and Labour councillor John Tanner has called on the Oxford Union to revoke Le Pen's invitation. Tanner branded her talk as a "stunt".

He said: "The Oxford Union debating club should not be giving a platform to extreme right-wing politicians like Marine Le Pen."

"I urge the Oxford Union to cancel the invitation," he told the Oxford Mail. "Oxford’s tradition of tolerance, racial harmony and internationalism is too precious to be jeopardised by this irresponsible stunt.”

Union president Lisa Wehden told the Oxford Student that Le Pen's performance was not "an endorsement of any particular agenda. We invite no speakers who do not accept the right of our members to question them".

Le Pen's talk is due to take place at the Oxford Union Society Debating Chamber.

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