A panel featuring leaders of the UK and US branches of Black Lives Matter are coming to campus on Tuesday 7th November.

The Sussex Centre for America Studies and the School of History, Art History and Philosophy (HAHP) are sponsoring the panel event, which takes place from 5-6:30pm in the Arts A1 auditorium.

The speakers include Alex Kelbert, Natalie Jeffers, Imani Robinson, Lisa Robinson, and Joshua Virasami.

The event is designed to allow them to give a first-hand account of why they’re involved with the group, the overall goals and aims of the movement, and the challenges facing them in the US and UK today. The activists will also take questions during the second half of the talk.

Dr. Melissa Milewski is a principal organiser of the event, and a specialist in American Civil Rights movement.  She is also working on a new book, examining the methods used by people of colour in protesting their treatment by the legal system, including the courts and police.

Dr. Milewski told The Badger: “We’re very excited that several of the leaders of the UK Black Lives Matter movement will be coming to campus”.

“This visit has come out of a transatlantic Black Lives Matter activist-scholar network that several members of faculty at the University of Sussex … have begun which is seeking to connect activists and scholars working on studying the movement and issues of racial justice in the US and UK.”

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One comment

Black Lives Matter come to campus

  1. Just a quick observation in light of the Student Union’s clear attempt to ‘no platform’ the UKIP MEP a week or two back on the grounds that his views might create an ‘unsafe space’ for students. Were the same objections and obstacles placed in the way of the Black Lives Matter visit? It’s a legitimate question – not least because the answer (almost certainly “No”) reveals an intellectually and morally indefensible tendency to silence people who have the “wrong” views while simultaneously embracing people who speak to the partisan interests and predispositions of these new campus censors.

    The puerile logic of the USU thought police clearly positioned UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge’s intended visit as a conveniently vague ‘danger’ – in fact, so dangerous that the union demanded to read and presumably vet his speech in advance (a classic case of some spotty 20 year old arrogantly taking it upon him or herself to decide what we lesser beings should be allowed to hear just in case a few words transform us into a rampaging horde of bigots.)

    As it happens, I disagree with pretty much everything Etheridge believes. But I also have no time for the racially divisive views and actions of some of the Black Lives Matter representatives ushered onto campus. Joshua Virasami, for instance, has admitted to ‘being in and out of detention, suspension and behavioural monitoring programs’ for most of his teenage years, and responded to the murder of five American policeman attending a BLM event in Dallas with a big- hearted tweet about ‘chickens coming home to roost’.

    Then there’s the lovely Lisa Robinson, who – when asked if she had a message for the thousands of bus and tram users (inevitably including people trying to get to medical appointments and jobs caring for vulnerable people) who were inconvenienced by her group’s protest in Nottingham, responded with the words, “Get walking.”

    And, of course, there’s Natalie Jeffers, a co-founder of BLM in the UK, who flew out to Brazil on a £200-a-night ‘feminist’ jolly funded by the Department for International Development just before her BLM colleagues closed down the London City Airport runway (and then had the gall to tweet a justification that attacked the ‘small elite’ who get to fly from that airport.)

    The reality is that I have absolutely no problem with Virasami, Robinson, Jeffers and their ilk coming on to campus. We all have a perfect right to hear their views and to engage with them in a public platform. But I do have a problem with the selective and self-righteous exclusion of others – like the democratically elected UKIP MEP – by narrow minded totalitarians whose default response to opinions they don’t like is to make sure they are never heard.

    Just saying.

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