Free Speech on Education
Professor AC Grayling was forced to abandon a public talk on Tuesday night after protesters opposed to his plans to set up a private university set off a smoke bomb.
The plans have been criticised by academics as being elitist.
At the end of the heated hour-long debate, during which Prof Grayling was verbally abused by students protesting against his plans, protesters set off the device.
Despite no reported injuries, several people experienced breathing problems caused by the fumes.
Despite knowing about planned protests, organisers insisted on continuing the debate because they wanted a “free exchange of ideas”.
On several occasions, Prof Grayling was shouted down during the debate as he sought to defend the new institution.
As soon as joined in the discussion, someone from the crowd shouted: “You have no right to speak”.
The fear that a centre of excellence in education engenders in the hearts of some academics and students tells its own story.