If you were in any doubt that most students are sick to death of campus censorship, of having their horizons narrowed and their intellects coddled, than spiked’s first-of-its-kind conference, ‘The New Intolerance on Campus’, will have put your criticisms to bed. Attended by over 300 students, academics and members of the public, and watched by thousands around the world via the livestream, the conference raised the stakes in the free-speech fightback.
For as long as it has existed, spiked has made the case for free speech on campus, with no ifs and no buts. And, over the course of the three, fiery sessions – interrogating Safe Spaces, the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and hate speech – it became clear that students from across the country share the sentiment. Free speech is a lived liberty; it’s something we have and are duty-bound to exercise. The spirited contributions in Conway Hall on Wednesday showed that, in spite of the stifling status quo on campuses today, free speech is far from dead.
Watch the videos of all three sessions below. But don’t let the debate stop here. As spiked’s Ella Whelan put it on the day, it’s time students gave Safe Spaces the two-fingered salute. This year, spiked will be working with a national network of freedom-loving students to help them do just that. If you want to join the free-speech fightback, contact the team today.
Safe Spaces: education or therapy?
Speakers: Siobhan Fenton, Naomi Firsht, Ella Whelan and Abi Wilkinson
BDS, bigotry and academic justice
Speakers: Sai Englert, Barnaby Raine and Joanna Williams
No Platform: is hate speech free speech?
Speakers: Brendan O’Neill, Maryam Namazie and Douglas Murray