Is Freedom of Speech Giving a Platform to Racists?

A month ago, on April 5th, Swansea played host to a white pride rally. The events of that day inspired me to write a piece entitled White Pride and Race Hate, and though the aftermath of that event has subsided, the implications and lessons are more long lasting.

Voltaire is famously, though incorrectly, attributed as saying “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend your right to say it”, which seems to form the basic principle of freedom of speech. The idea being that even if you disagree with what your opponent is saying, you cannot doubt that your opponent has the right to speak.

Herein lies the problem, and though I am an advocate and defender of freedom for all people, I think there are times when freedoms should be limited, or at least prioritised.

Continue reading “Is Freedom of Speech Giving a Platform to Racists?”

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White Pride and Race Hate

Not only do I have a sense of guilt and shame, but there is a feeling of betrayal. The date was Friday the 4th of April and the following were the words posted on Swansea Uaf’s Facebook page, “There is no White Pride rally in Swansea tomorrow. Unlike last year, no permission was given. A victory for anti fascists!” Images were posted proclaiming “victory” for the anti-fascist movement and saying that in view of it, “the planned [counter-]demo at 11:00 in Castle Square” had been called off.

By midday today (Saturday the 5th) around forty National Front members were gathered in Castle Square, waving flags, speaking through a megaphone and chanting. Unite Against Fascism were not present and neither were any of their members as they had gone to Cardiff where an anti-Bedroom Tax protest was taking place. The organisation whose sole purpose is to fight fascism, had given fascists a free reign in Swansea. Indeed UAF actively dissuaded people from attending any event today, even when news came in from various sources that the National Front rally was still occurring.

Continue reading “White Pride and Race Hate”