Following the decision to prohibit Julie Bindel from speaking at an event hosted by the University of Manchester Free Speech and Secular Society, the Students’ Union Executive Team have now moved to ban men’s rights activist Milo Yiannapoulos, who was originally scheduled to debate alongside her.
Bindel and Yiannapoulos were both booked to speak at a debate entitled “From liberation to censorship: Does modern feminism have a problem with free speech?”
to take place on the 15th of October.
In their initial statement the Students’ Union Executive Team rejected Bindel on the grounds that her appearance would be “potentially in breach of [the] safe space policy.”
Yiannopoulos was, however, initially permitted to attend, albeit under the conditions the event had increased security levels and was ticketed.
In a comment on the Manchester Students’ Union Facebook page to this original decision Yiannopoulos wrote, “I’m astonished that I wasn’t outright banned as well. I’ll have to up my game!”
Women’s Officer Jess Lishak posted an extended explanation in a blog post—since removed due to developments in this situation—to her official Facebook page. In this she described Bindel as a “famous transphobe,” and Yiannopoulos as a “professional misogynist.”
Since this, however, the Union has said that they have been made aware of new information and evidence regarding Yiannopoulos and have amended their original statement after seeking legal advice.