Protesters disrupted a speech by Holocaust denier David Irving at Oxford’s debating society.
Hundreds of students demonstrated, sometimes violently, at the Oxford University debating society Monday to protest the appearance by Irving and Nick Griffin, the leader of the extreme-right British National Party.
Protesters chanted “Nazi scum” at those attending the event, according to London’s Times newspaper. Some hit students who were trying to enter the rooms where the Oxford Union was holding the controversial event, where Irving and Griffin discussed their views on free speech.
Police had to intervene to ensure security. The Times reported that only 250 people, half the expected audience, attended the event, which started several hours late due to the demonstrations.
Irving was convicted of Holocaust denial in Austria last year for a 1989 speech in which he questioned the existence of the Nazi concentration camp gas chambers.
The Oxford Union’s decision to invite Irving and Griffin as guest speakers caused several prominent British personalities and lawmakers to withdraw their memberships to the organization and cancel future speaking engagements.