A HOLOCAUST survivor was barred from an Oxford University Students Union debate in which French fascist Marine Le Pen was allowed to exercise her “freedom of speech” on Thursday night.
Just a child when the nazis occupied France in 1940, Colette Levy, from France, was sent into hiding by her parents, who were later killed in the Holocaust.
Prior to the debate Ms Levy addressed hundreds of students and other anti-fascists demonstrating against French National Front leader Ms Le Pen’s presence at the union debating society.
“I am here because of my history,” she told the crowd.
“My father was killed in a concentration camp, most likely Auschwitz and we know Marine Le Pen represents a fascist movement. It’s shameful.”
Ms Levy “was effectively denied the benefit of freedom of speech that was given to Le Pen,” said Unite Against Fascism (UAF) joint secretary Weyman Bennett.
“A number of demonstrators got into the meeting and disrupted it but were evicted by police. They too were denied the benefit of freedom of speech.”
Ms Le Pen was forced to slink into the building through a rear door as around 400 protesters vociferously made their feelings known.
Mr Bennett said that the National Front had been able to rise in France because the party had been given a platform to spread its racism and fascism.
“In Britain, from the days of Cable Street in the 1930s, anti-fascists have had a tradition of No Platform for fascists,” he added.