Union blames protesters for forum chaos

first_imgBy Mike Sweeney Thames Valley Police and the Oxford Union have both denied making security mistakes during the Free Speech forum last term at the Union, during which a group anti-fascist protesters seriously disrupted the event. Despite making what both sides have described as extensive security plans, the Free Speech forum on 26th November was delayed by over an hour when more than thirty anti-fascists protester broke in to the main debating room and staged a sit-down protest. Superintendent Brendan O’Dowda, local Police Commander for Oxford, rejected suggestions that the police should have prevented such disturbances. He said, “The police engaged in a considerable amount of planning and preparation prior to this event. There was a memorandum [with theOxford Union] as to what the roles and responsibilities were. One thing that the police were not responsible for was checking and quality assurance of those that were entering the debate.” He added, “Not a single person was arrested and no criminal offences have taken place. In policing terms, the event passed in line with our strategic objectives.” The Oxford Union also refused to accept that their security had been at fault, alleging that the disruption had occurred as a result of a “deliberately planned challenge by protesters.” In a joint statement Luke Tryl and Emily Partington, the current president of the Union, said protesters had exploited a safety measure by security officers to prevent people being crushed.“Our qualified security team allowed in several protesters at the gate who were being crushed in order to avoid any harm coming to them, but whilst they were undertaking to ensure the safety of all at the gate several protesters scaled the Union walls at their own risk,’ they said. “There were people sitting on top of the railings next to the gate and right up against the gate when for some reason it opened for about half a minute and around thirty people managed to force their way through.” “The security guards tried to grab us but there were too many and we managed to get into the debating chamber.” Students who had acquired tickets to attend the debate failed to get into the Union because the crowd was blocking the entrance and jeering at those who tried to enter. Some ticket holders resorted to climbing over the Union walls themselves. Ruby Thompson, a history and politics student at Brasenose college, was able to enter through a side entrance. “The crowd was shouting verbal abuse at those who tried to get in. Some people gave up,” she said. “I suppose the police could have made it safer to get in, but it was reckless of the Union to hold the debate and they really should have taken more responsibility.” “I think it’s unfair to impose such a burden on the police for what was essentially a publicity stunt,” sheadded. Asked if they would apologise to their members for the level of disruption at the debate, Luke Tryl and Emily Partington said, “The Union is, of course, sorry that members may have felt intimidated as they tried to attend the forum, but we feel that the blame for that intimidation must lie with the protesters themselves”. Facsists try to name student protesters on Redwatch Photographs of students involved in protests against the Free Speech forum last term have been posted on a far right website which encourages its viewers to post the names and addresses of the protesters. ‘Redwatch’ claims to have been set up in retaliation against the activities of anti-fascist groups who it says have published the details of British Nationalist campaigners. A statement on the website says, “Fight back- send us details of your local red scumbags- we want their names, addresses, phone numbers, photographs, work details- anything and everything about them to publish here.” Duncan Money, a second year at Balliol, whose details appear on the site, is an anti-fascist campaigner who has received threats from far right groups. However, he said that those who had appeared on the site had no reason to worry. “A couple of attacks have been connected to Redwatch, a teachers car got torched in Leeds and a trade unionist was stabbed in the face in Liverpool, but it’s important to stress these are isolated incidents. There are literally thousands of people shown on the website.” “The protesters have only their faces on the site and it is far, far more likely they will be run over by a car then experience fascist violence.”last_img read more

Pear disease

first_imgFire blight, a common plant disease that is persistent in the Southeast, makes growing edible pears in Georgia difficult.Fire blight is caused by a bacterial plant disease that infects trees in early spring, when young tender leaves and flower blossoms begin to emerge. It is most common on pear trees, but can also affect certain types of apple trees and a few other types of plants.Most pears produced in the U.S. are grown in Oregon and Washington, states where the disease does not become a problem.Affects blooms and stemsFire blight produces several different symptoms, depending on what plant parts are attacked and when. The first symptom, called blossom blight, appears shortly after the tree blooms. In the early stages of infection, blossoms appear water soaked and grayish-green but quickly turn brown or black. Typically the entire cluster becomes blighted and is killed.The most obvious symptom of the disease is the shoot blight phase. This first appears one to several weeks after flower petals fall from the tree. The leaves and stems on young, succulent shoot tips turn brown or black and bend over into a characteristic shape similar to the top of a shepherd’s crook or candy cane.Under favorable conditions, shoot blight infections multiply and continue to expand down the stems, causing the tree to appear scorched by fire. Shoot blight infections can expand beyond the current season’s growth. This causes dark, sunken cankers to form on the older, supporting wood.Plant susceptible cultivarsThe most effective horticultural practice for minimizing fire blight outbreaks is to avoid planting highly susceptible cultivars. Unfortunately, most popular pear cultivars are highly susceptible to fire blight. If you plan to add pear trees to your home landscape, do your homework and buy the best variety for Georgia’s climate.If your trees are already blighted, the only option for limiting the spread of the disease is to prune out the affected branches as soon as they appear. Pruning cuts should be made at least 8 to 12 inches below any symptoms of visible infection to ensure complete removal of diseased tissue. Sterilize pruning-shear blades with alcohol or household bleach between each cut to reduce potential spreading of the disease.Applications of a copper-containing fungicide/bactericide at or shortly after bud break in early spring will further reduce the number of new fire blight bacteria produced from overwintering cankers. Unfortunately, this will not completely eliminate the problem. Also, it is usually not practical for home gardeners to spray larger trees and be able to get good coverage. For more information on fire blight disease and growing pears in Georgia, visit the UGA Cooperative Extension publication website at .last_img read more

Memorial Boxing Tournament to start on Saturday

first_imgSeventeenth International Memorial Boxing Tournament ‘Hakija Turajlić’ will be held on 18 and 19 May in organisation of Boxing Association of BiH and boxing club ‘Sarajevo’. Tournament will be held in Skenderija and 65 boxers from Qatar, Albania, England, Scotland and countries from the region will participate, reports Fena.Member of the Organising Committee Said Čolpa said that 10 boxers will represent BiH.Alija Turajlić, brother of deceased Hakija Turajlić thanked organisers for keeping the memory of his brother alive.Semi-final fights will be held on Saturday at 6 p.m. after the solemn opening of the tournament.last_img read more