British TV personality and columnist, Katie Hopkins, is no stranger to controversy, but earlier this week when she was due to sit on a panel for a debate at Brunel University, Hopkins became the catalyst for a mass student protest.
In recent months, the opinionated star seems to have turned up the heat on the offensive statements that have become her sort of signature. Her dehumanising comments earlier this year regarding the on-going refugee crisis caused such public uproar that she made the decision to leave The Sun, where she wrote a weekly column.
Shout out to my university. Brunel students troll Katie Hopkins by walking out of a debate when she began speaking https://t.co/ZfUkA3ilJj
— Aliyah Saleem (@Ali_Jones89) November 26, 2015
But on Monday, when Hopkins was invited to join the panel for a debate titled “Does the Welfare State have a place in 2015?”as part of a 50th anniversary celebration, students at Brunel University hatched a clever plan to demonstrate a lack of support for the celebrity’s contentious views.
The students filled the theatre, at first giving the impression that they were a keen and attentive audience. But as soon as Hopkins opened her mouth, the students stood up in unison and turned their backs on the troublesome starlet.
— Gary Barker (@Barkercartoons) November 26, 2015
After the students rose, a university representative, also sat on the panel, stated that the students had made their point, and asks the audience if they would kindly take their seats. Unwilling to give heed to Hopkins’s offensive views, the students quietly turned and marched out of the auditorium.
Ali Milani, President of Brunel’s student union, named Hopkins as the “physical manifestation of online trolls”, and claimed she had no “valuable intellectual insights” to contribute to the debate.
— Brunel SU President (@UBSPresident) November 23, 2015
In a piece regarding the protest, Milani writes: “The inclusion of Ms Hopkins has been met with widespread outcry from the student body and the Students’ Union.
“It is important to note that the conversation at no point has been about banning Ms Hopkins from speaking on campus, or denying her the right to speak. It is instead about saying it is distasteful and incongruous for our University, as part of a 50th celebration event, to provide a platform to someone who adds nothing to the intellectual or academic discourse; and an individual who publicly utters such overtly bigoted views.”
Here’s what Hopkins had to say to her student opposition:
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) November 23, 2015
But of course, the Brunel protesters did not take it lying down:
— Kirsten Read (@lewnicnat) November 23, 2015
— Robert Bristow (@Robbristow77) November 23, 2015
— Andy (@RedAndy36) November 26, 2015
— mark (@MarkWroxham) November 23, 2015
— Josh Glover (@Gloverstone) November 25, 2015
— A.N.I.A (@Aniprim) November 26, 2015
Image via AP Images.
Liked this? Then you’ll love these…