Oxford Radical Forum is happening this weekend, a three day event describing itself as ‘for the radical left’ and organised by Oxford students.
Topics to be discussed include LGBT liberation, North African revolution and radical culture, with all events free and open to all.The Forum is designed to bring together different leftist groups, including socialists, anarchists and communists.
Prominent figures attending include Lebanon gay rights activist Ghassan Makarem and Thierry Schaffaser, a sex worker who vocally defends sex worker’s rights. Literary theorist and critic Terry Eagleton will also attend, along with Marxist lecturer Alex Callinicos.
However one student responded, ‘All that will happen is you will get a bunch of like-minded people slapping each other on the back. As a concept, it will simply be another round of preaching to the choir.’
Emma Wilson-Black, a key organiser of the Forum, countered, ‘Although it is a radical event we welcome everyone of all political persuasions,’ adding that having ‘speakers involved in the Egyptian revolution and the various worldwide occupation movements is necessarily going to involve left-wing ideas, but [events will] welcome opposition from the right and centre.’
OULC’s Eleanor Brown commented on the plans, ‘Everyone should have the right to talk about their political ideas, but I prefer actually making a concrete change rather than standing around talking. The Oxford University Labour Club goes out trying to making positive changes to the community. Although the Forum sounds like an interesting event, concrete change comes from action.’