Students AT Manchester University achieved a landmark victory over fascism and racism on Wednesday 17 November.
The university Unite Against Fascism (UAF) group, supported by Socialist Worker Student Society, the Islamic, Jewish and Friends of Palestine societies and others, built a student union general meeting of over 340 students.
The meeting aimed to deal with the threat of British National Party (BNP) on the campus. The meeting passed a motion which said, “Any active members of the BNP will have their union membership revoked and be banned from union buildings and events subject to due process.”
Even though Joe Finnon, a prominent member of the youth wing of the Nazi BNP, was allowed to speak, the motion was passed by 330 votes to six.
The immediate effect of this victory will be the removal of Finnon’s union membership.
He was heavily tipped to be the next BNP youth leader. We hope the motion we passed will nip in the bud a promising fascist career.
Mamoon Yusaf, communications officer at Manchester University student union, said, “We have reaffirmed that this university should be a safe space for people of any nationality, race, sexuality and religion. Anyone who opposes this, we are opposed to as a union. We hope that other unions will follow us in this decision. Manchester University has a strong and proud tradition of diversity and multiculturalism, and we won’t allow people to threaten it.”
This fantastic victory has sparked much interest in the anti-fascist movement in the university.
This growing movement will lead to increased pressure on the BNP when they are trying to gain a foothold into the student movement.
Patrick Smith of Manchester UAF, who proposed the motion, said, “This is a great victory in the fight against racism and fascism, but the struggle has just begun. We have drawn the battle lines, and we must spread the zero tolerance for fascists idea throughout the student movement.”