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Free speech

Letters: Fascists and Communists

 We have received the following letter criticising a statement contained in our July editorial: —

Clapham, S.W.4.
July 3rd, 1934.

Editorial Committee.

Dear Comrades,

            Re Editorial, July issue, 1934, referring to Blackshirt meeting at Olympia, I am astonished when you say that they, i.e., members of the audience, "only got what they asked for,” surely this should not be the considered expression of a Socialist organisation when referring to members of an audience who make slight interruptions. It is apparent from eye witnesses’ accounts (see Daily Herald, June 9th, 1034) that interruptors were brutally treated; you put it rather mildly when you say they were "roughly handled," for people to be knocked unconscious, then kicked.

At the street corner

 One of our earliest, and one of our wisest decisions of policy, was that wherein we allowed an opponent access to our platform. Having heard our case, and subject only to the common usages and decencies of debate, we offer any opponent the right to oppose us, on our own platform. We believe that, as a party, we are unique in this respect. But then, of course, we are unique in having a position that we know will stand the test. Obviously a case can be made out for anything, even the most absurd proposition, if you ignore enough, and throttle the opposition. So that propagandist parties of all sorts, religious or political, who decline to allow their statements to be combated, where and when uttered, stand self-convicted of cowardice or dishonesty.

Letters: Every Point But The One At Issue

Dear Sir,

May I, as one who disagrees with your remarks in this month’s Socialist Standard with reference to the Socialist Labour Party and the fight for their Press, be permitted to say a few words on the subject?

Party News: The Attempted Suppression of Free Speech in Islington

 The attempt of the Islington Borough Council to suppress Socialist propaganda in their midst has proved ineffectual. Refused the hall of the Caledonian-road Baths, the Islington Branch of the Socialist Party commemorated the 40th. anniversary of the Paris Commune on Monday, March 20, at Myddleton Hall, Almeida Street. N. The meeting was largely attended, and, unlike so many Tory and Liberal gatherings, was marked by equal enthusiasm and orderliness.

 Islington ratepayers may with advantage be reminded of the circumstances that led to this futile effort on the part of their municipal representatives to dictate what subjects may or may not be discussed in the borough.

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