The following statement was published by a group calling itself The Free University of Sheffield (complete with the inevitable trigger warning):
Statement on the SWP
Content warning: discussion of the SWP rape crisis, victim blaming, rape apologism.
For the past few days, members of the Free University of Sheffield have been in London to support the student occupations at the London School of Economics (LSE) and the University of the Arts London (UAL). It has come to our attention that longstanding, active members of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) have been attending meetings at the occupations, at some points handing out literature for SWP-run events.
As we understand it, for a while the members of the occupations did not know of the SWP’s presence. The literature which was handed out was for ‘Marxism 2015’, an event run by the SWP but now with minimal SWP branding. After a number of Free University of Sheffield activists raised the issue with members of the occupations, it came to light that many people (although not all) in the occupations did not know about the SWP’s recent history. We therefore feel it is important that we reiterate our stance on the SWP’s presence on campus, and explain our reasoning behind it.
The Free University of Sheffield completely rejects the SWP and its members. The SWP are not welcome in our meetings, they are not welcome in our occupations, and they are not welcome on our campus. Their history of dealing with allegations of rape and/or sexual assault is unacceptable, and this has been shown to be a problem for the party as a whole, not just a problem for a few individuals. The issue is especially important in an occupation. All occupations should have safer spaces policies, and people who compromise the safety of the space for others should be ejected.
In December 2013, members of the SWP (including one member who has been active at the current London occupations) attempted to enter an occupation at the University of Sheffield. They were physically refused access. A safer spaces policy had been agreed upon, and it was agreed that a safer space could not be maintained with the presence of the SWP. We would like to recommend that future occupations in the UK should have a safer spaces policy which bars members of the SWP from entering.
Below we have included an account of the SWP’s recent history, and a number of resources which explain the events in greater detail.
We hope this issue is resolved quickly, and we support the occupations at LSE and UAL in any attempt to remove the SWP from their spaces.
The rest of the statement gives a brief account of the "delta" affair with links which has already been discussed at some length on this blog.
Whilst I have no time for the SWP, where does this kind of policy end?
Is "safe spaces" itself a new kind of censorship?
I think so!