Last week, students at City University of London voted to ban selling The Sun, Daily Mail and Express in a motion titled “opposing fascism and social divisiveness in the UK”. The motion reflects a surge in censorship at British universities, and gives some credence to the claim that “the fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists.”
During a meeting attended by 200 students, the motion called for a campus-wide ban on newspapers which supposedly propagate fascist principles. It added “freedom of speech should not be used as an excuse to attack the weakest and poorest members of society”, and took issue with the “inherently sexist” undertones exhibited by the aforementioned publications.
George Brock, former head of City’s journalism department, regards the move “foolish, illiberal and meaningless”, whilst Jodie Ginsburg, Index on Censorship’s chief executive, stated: “Rather than banning things, we should be encouraging people to voice their objections to views and opinions they don’t like.”
Moreover, students of the university’s eminent journalism department have staged a “mannequin challenge” in protest of the motion. The video depicts motionless students reading and discussing the banned tabloids, before concluding with the following quote from George Orwell:
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
According to Spiked, ninety per cent of higher education institutions exercise some form of censorship.
(Image: The Guardian)