On Friday 9th March Birmingham Socialist Students played a vital role in organising a protest against Jacob Rees-Mogg at the University of Birmingham Campus. When the society heard that this figurehead of the bigoted billionaire class was planning to speak at our campus, we sprang into action alongside three other societies: The Women’s Association, LGBTQ Society and Black and Ethnic Minority Association to show that we reject both his backwards views and his disgusting voting record.
Our members were joined by around 50 people, including UoB students, BCU students and some UoB staff, who were out in force, despite the rain, to show that if this man can exercise his right to freedom of speech to spread his regressive views, then so can we to show that we will not stand for it on our campus and in our city. Many leaflets were handed out to protesters detailing the various ways in which Mogg has consistently voted against the interests of women, LGBTQ, immigrants and asylum seekers, disabled people, and the working class, while consistently voting to benefit his own capitalist class and profit minded agenda.
There were many Socialist Student members who spoke at the event, one of whom said we were protesting to show that we were “completely and unequivocally” opposed to his views and that we had to stand in solidarity in the face of such blatant homophobia, misogyny and bigotry being sold as ‘political debate’ on our campus. All speakers and those we spoke to at the demo recognised the importance of freedom of speech, but also recognised that on such a diverse campus, the rights and freedoms of our students, and for all those affected by Moggs horrific voting record, are not up for debate. Birmingham Socialist Students kept the protest peaceful, well-organised, and politically focused and as one main organiser Sam Witts put it; “If he is proud of his legacy, then we can be equally as proud of ours.”
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