Week 1: Magazine’s editors and staff get No Platformed by the National Union of Students on the grounds that their publication has been ‘identified by the NUS’s Democratic Procedures Committee as holding racist or fascist views’. They are forbidden from all campuses.
Week 2: Individual student unions ban the sale or display of Charlie Hebdo anywhere on their premises in order to protect students from feeling the need to ‘succumb to media pressure to fear and loathe Muslims’ and encourage students instead to ‘celebrate Muslim students for their academic achievements and countless other talents’. Unions across the country justify the ban as ‘an important symbolic step towards creating a culture of ethnic and religious parity on campus’.
Week 3: A Change.org petition is created, calling on supermarket chains to ‘Stop Selling Charlie Hebdo’. A different petition is launched, by a campaign group called Muslim Eyes, demanding that supermarkets hide Charlie Hebdo in black plastic bags so that Muslims and others will not feel offended by its front covers. Supermarkets are called upon to ‘promote the right environment in store’ and not allow the open display of ‘offensive material’.
Week 4: A Twitterstorm builds in support of the petition of supermarkets, with hundreds of thousands of tweets using the hashtag #CoverUpCharlie to demand that the magazine be put in black bags. A member of parliament backs the campaign. Supermarkets relent and announce that some stores will remove Charlie Hebdo from sale while others will put it in black plastic covers and on the top shelf next to the porno mags.
Week 5: One of the magazine’s editors decides to defy students’ ban on him speaking on campus. He turns up at Cambridge to give a speech about satire. Four hundred students waving ‘instruments’ and hollering ‘fascists not welcome!’ greet him. He has to be escorted off campus by the police.