*Owing to an accidental double booking by our original venue, this debate will no be held in the Old Cock Tavern by the Central London Debating Society
DATE: Thursday 30 May
TIME: 7.30 PM
VENUE: Ye Old Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
MOTION: This House Would make it easier to ban extremist groups in the UK
The horrific murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich last week stunned the country and prompted a new debate on the nature of violent extremism in Britain and how to tackle it. Home Secretary, Theresa May, has vowed to ‘get tough’ on UK extremists, warning that there may be thousands of people vulnerable to radicalisation, while former cabinet minister, Hazel Blears claimed that the government’s strategy for detecting and countering extremism early on had been weakened by spending cuts.
Mrs May has suggested that the government needs new powers to ban organisations that it suspects of harbouring extremists and ban offensive websites by placing restrictions on Internet Service Providers too.
Is the government right to launch a new crackdown or are they overreacting? Will the high profile response to Drummer Rigby’s murder make the country safer or reward budding extremists with the attention they crave and inspire copycat attacks? Does this crime even constitute a terror attack or is it simply an isolated, albeit tragic, incident?
Speaking in this debate:
Each debate is contested by two teams of two speakers – one in favour of the motion and the other against. We rely on you to volunteer to speak in any debate that interests you, while our over-arching aim is to hear from people who have little or no previous experience of debating and wish to improve the public speaking skills because this club is for you.
However, everyone will get a chance to speak as the bulk of the debate is made up of an interactive Q&A session where audience members put their questions and comments to the panel who then respond. Of course, there is no obligation to speak at all if you would rather just watch and enjoy the debate.
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1) Government overreaction will make copycat attacks more likely (Guardian)
2) Should we feel terrorised? (Huffington Post)
3) Terrorist threat exploited to curb civil liberties (ex Head of MI5 in the Independent)
4) Fighting Islamist extremism in universities (Public Service Europe)
5) Banned organisations in the UK (UK Home Office)
6) Lords call to revive internet monitoring bill after Woolwich (TechWeek)
Admission to this event is free – maximum capacity: 50