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16 March 2017, 08:06
Student activists are to stage a protest against two controversial nominations for rector at the University of Glasgow as candidates state their case.
Right-wing journalist Milo Yiannopoulos and Canadian Professor Jordan Peterson are among 11 candidates nominated by students for the position but the Glasgow University anarchist student group is organising a demonstration after describing both as intolerant and unsuitable for the role.
The student group called Yiannopoulos a ''fascist troll'' for his involvement in a series of offensive and controversial incidents while Prof Peterson has been criticised for a supposed refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns when addressing trans people.
In an interview, Yiannopoulos said he would call for the Muslim Students Association to be banned, something fellow nominee and human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar branded a ''disgusting attack''.
A hustings event is to be held at the university on Thursday, with each candidate, or representative, to state their case and take questions from students.
Neither Yiannopoulos or Prof Peterson is expected to attend the event but the student group is planning a protest ''not only to show that these views are not welcome on our campus, but also that we will stand in solidarity with and support those members of our community that these views target''.
The university said the election is a student-run process but that the rector is ''required to abide by the values of the university''.
A statement by protesters said: ''To be clear, we do not equate Jordan Peterson with the fascist troll Yiannopoulos; however, both represent to varying degrees the intolerant trope, currently on the rise in the west, of privileged voices that seek to silence and oppress others.
''The university has refused to remove Milo Yiannopoulos and Jordan Peterson from the nomination despite their standing in stark opposition to their own equality and diversity policy.
''By claiming 'neutrality' over this issue, the university refuses to guarantee the safety of its own students and ridicules its proclaimed 'inclusive' credentials.
''We will be demonstrating to show our discontent and that there are some who will not tolerate the continuing spread of hatred towards vulnerable groups.''
Other nominees for rector include former Lib Dem minister Sir Vince Cable.
A university spokesman said: ''The rector is nominated and elected by students, and the university is required to allow due process to proceed in accordance with its resolutions.
''It would not be appropriate for the university to interfere in the democratic process of this election.
''However, it is important to note that anyone elected as rector is required to abide by the values of the university and should they not do so they can and will be held to account.''