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Professor Stock, 50, who felt forced to resign from her role at Sussex University in 2021 after she said biological males cannot be women, was due to address students at the historic 200-year-old debating society on Tuesday afternoon.
Hundreds of demonstrators chanted and played loud music to try to drown out the speaker, while inside the chamber, protesters interrupted the address just a few minutes in, with one, chronic dissenter Riz Possnett, 19, glueing themselves to the floor.
The academic, who has described herself as a ‘moderate, middle-aged lesbian,’ arrived late to the Union after two trains were cancelled and was forced to hide out in a broom cupboard before the event.
She described in an interview with The Times how she was escorted by bodyguards to the campus while she wore a cap and sunglasses as a ‘Kendall Roy’ disguise – before hiding in a broom cupboard.
Professor Stock, 50, was accompanied by three security guards as she made her way to the Oxford Union on Tuesday
Leaving the Oxford Union, she was asked how she felt about Prime Minister Rishi Sunak lending her support in her free speech campaign
A protester, Riz Possnett, 19, glues their hand to the floor in front of Union President Matthew Dick (left) and Professor Stock (right)
She was accompanied by three bodyguards provided by the Union, including her own bodyguard, Ash, as she made her way through the dreaming spires to the debating chamber.
Professor Stock joked as she travelled to the event that the enormous reaction, including the Prime Minister tweeting to wish her good luck was: ‘So bizarre.’
She said to her bodyguards: ‘Some people really don’t like me, Janice!’
The Thames Valley Police, who were patrolling the streets where the protesters would march for hours before the event began, had mounted officers at the ready, the academic was told.
According to reports in The Times, the Material Girls author calmed her nerves with a glass of red wine before the speech, which took the form of a Q&A with Union President Matthew Dick.
Professor Kathleen Stock (right) is pictured giving a talk at the Oxford Union, which was marred by protests. Activist Riz Possnett (left) appear to glue herself in front of the stage
Referring to the protesters, Stock said: ‘Most people out there have not read my book or even watched a long-form interview with me. What they have done is read someone’s blog post about me’
Prof Stock said: ‘The suicide discussion has been incredibly irresponsibly weaponised. It’s just not true that there’s a vast number of people who will commit suicide unless we capitulate’
A former professor at the University of Sussex, Kathleen Stock has become an influential figure in gender critical thinking and is the author of Material Girls, which explores the impact of gender activism
Guards walked the feminist to the debating society ahead of her talk
He apologetically told her that it was not the ‘usual room’ for speakers and answered when asked if trans activists had needed as much security, ‘Er, no’.
Mr Dick, an old Etonian and history student at Magdalen College, said while he has had ‘not much’ uproar for the invitation to the controversial speaker, his female successor had received ‘loads’.
Student press officers for the Oxford Union repeatedly refused on the day to confirm or deny whether Stock had arrived before the beginning of the event – before some were seen panicking as it became apparent she was late.
Her speech had been the focus of one of the biggest free speech rows to ever engulf the historic institution, with activists labelling her ‘transphobic and trans-exclusionary’ in an attempt to have the event cancelled.
19-year-old Riz Possnett, who glued herself in front of the stage, posted on Twitter: ‘Trans people in the UK are stigmatised, threatened, and harassed. Life-saving gender-affirming healthcare is near impossible to access, and the process is consistently degrading’
Student activist Riz Possnett wore a T-shirt emblazoned with ‘No more dead trans kids’ and appeared to glue herself to the floor in front of Prof Stock
Trans activists who attempted to disrupt Prof Stock’s discussion left leaflets proclaiming ‘no more dead trans kids’ and another warning of ‘lost lives on waiting lists’. Neither leaflet provided details of any cases
Protesters are seen outside The Oxford Union this evening
Around 200 trans rights protesters gathered at Bonn Square, in Oxford city centre – far fewer than the 500 Oxford University’s LGBTQ+ society, who organised the demonstration, had hoped to attract.
The demonstrators held banners which read ‘resisting by existing’ and chanted ‘trans rights equal human rights’, before marching towards the university’s 200-year-old debating society.
A weekend-long programme had taken place, centred around the outrage caused by Tuesday’s speech.
President of the LGBTQ+ society, student Addi Haran Diman, who received a death threat in the lead up to the event, told MailOnline that the planned protest was a ‘celebration of trans joy’ against ‘hostile, hateful and intolerant views’.
‘We want to show that trans community in Oxford that someone is backing them and someone is fighting for them in time in which hostile, hateful and intolerant views will be amplified by the Oxford Union.
‘I really feel sorry for her. Why is she so obsessed with trans women, trans people? A small percentage of the population. We offer no threat – all of the fear around trans people just comes from fear mongering and is intended to incite hate. So why are you so obsessed?’
The student said the protest was not an issue of free speech and they supported the right but said the decision to amplify her ‘hateful’ views was ‘misguided’.
‘I have read her book, it was the biggest waste of time I have ever committed, and I am a trans person on Twitter, so I waste my time a lot.’
About five minutes into the event, two trans activists emerged from the audience waving blue, white and pink trans flags and threw leaflets before they were drowned out by shouting members of the crowd who clapped and cheered as security pulled the pair out.
Another student activist, Riz Possnett, 19, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan ‘No more dead trans kids’ and glued herself to the floor in front of Prof Stock.
Posssnett identifies as ‘they/them’ and lead a republican group named ‘No More Royals’ – which was slammed by Piers Morgan in a recent debate ahead of the King’s coronation.
Police attended the event and began trying to remove Posssnett, who was eventually freed from the floor. The Thames Valley police officers were applauded as they entered the chamber.
Several audience members then began shouting for the professor to ‘carry on’ in spite of the protester. One supportive student yelled, ‘free speech is a human right,’ and was met with a large round of applause.
Turning to the the protests outside, the Material Girls author added: ‘Most people out there have not read my book or even watched a long-form interview with me. What they have done is read someone’s blog post about me.
‘There are people hoovering up my tweets to generate narratives about how evil I am.
‘I am a really s*** baddie. I really am terrible.’
Prof Stock welcomed the activists’ rights to protest but warned against institutions being ruled by the ideology of the woke mob.
She added: ‘Then everyone else in that institution feels that they can’t say what they want to say. And that’s happened I’m afraid in lots of places and universities.’
Shouts and chants were heard throughout the Oxford Union debate, as well as music – with some activists singing Whitney Houston’s 1987 hit ‘I Want To Dance With Somebody’.
After the talk was over, many activists were heard to chant ‘F*** the Oxford Union’.
Professor Stock said in an interview after the event that she ‘couldn’t really tell’ how the speech had gone, adding: ‘It’s all a blur.’
Prof Stock (centre) pictured braving her way past the crowd before her talk at the Oxford Union this evening, which earned her a standing ovation
Trans protests carried banners proclaiming ‘Trans women are real women’ and ‘Loved the way I am’
Mr Sunak defended Professor Stock’s right to debate the subject
A previous protest by activists demanding Stock leave seen at the University of Sussex
Prof Stock received support from former Oxford Union president Charlie Mackintosh, who said free speech at universities must be protected.
He added: ‘Whilst the backlash against the talk by Dr Kathleen Stock has been remarkably vitriolic and unpleasant, I am glad that it has brought the issue of free speech at university to the forefront of public discourse.
‘It needs to be preserved and fought for and I am incredibly proud of the Oxford Union for continuing its 200 year history of doing so.’
Oxford graduate student Spencer Shia also lent his voice in support of the academic, saying: ‘I believe in the right to protest. Because I believe in a right to free speech. So as they have their right to protest, Kathleen Stock has a fundamental, god-given right to say what she wants to say.
‘And it’s frankly scary that a bunch of liberal metropolitan elites want to tell the rest of the people what they can and can’t say. Because what they want to do is cancel Kathleen Stock.
‘What they want to do is tell everybody else what they can and can’t say, unless they have a view they agree with. That’s fundamentally wrong and these people are out of touch. People can decide for themselves what they believe in.’
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also intervened in the hotly-contested free speech debate before the event began, telling The Daily Telegraph: ‘A free society requires free debate. We should all be encouraged to engage respectfully with the ideas of others.
‘University should be an environment where debate is supported, not stifled. We mustn’t allow a small but vocal few to shut down discussion. Kathleen Stock’s invitation to the Oxford Union should stand.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk