In February 2018 we organised a Woman’s Place UK (WPUK) meeting in Bristol. This meeting came under attack from an anonymous open letter which was circulated to academics and students connected to Bristol University.
This letter called for the meeting to be cancelled and made claims about WPUK which were entirely untrue and which we consider to be defamatory.
In response we published this open letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Bristol University rebutting the slurs and defamation.
The meeting was chaired by Dominican writer, Raquel Rosario Sanchez, who is a PHD student at Bristol University. The meeting was held at a city venue with no connection to the university.
Following ongoing disputes about her involvement with our campaign, she complained to the university about intimidation at the hands of another student at the University. She has pursued her complaint in good faith and in line with agreed procedures. As such we have not commented on these matters because they have been the subject of an internal, independent process.
The university now appear to have failed to carry out their responsibility to conclude an investigation and issue a decision. We link to a statement from Dr Emma Williamson, the Head of the Centre for Gender and Violence Research, which we publish in full here.
Free speech must be protected in our universities and women must be supported to exercise their rights to free speech without fear. We express out thanks to both Raquel and Emma for their bravery in speaking out and their tenacity in defending free speech and women’s rights.
21st August 2019
Read our statement on free speech in academia
Read this letter of support for WPUK from academics
Read this account of the meeting by local organisers
Watch the films from our Bristol meeting here:
Stephanie Davies Arai
We believe that it is important to share a range of viewpoints on women’s rights and advancement from different perspectives. WPUK does not necessarily agree or endorse all the views that we share.