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The Birkbeck Students’ Union has cancelled a panel discussion due to be held at the university today. The event titled ‘Women’s self-defence in the face of global violence’ has been cancelled for being ‘too political’ and ‘receiving too much external advertising’. The cancellation only 2 days before the event is due to take place triggers concerns about the involvement of outside influences.

The Kurdistan Students Union contacted the Birkbeck Women’s Officer on the 15th of November. The event was welcomed with enthusiasm and an efficient planning process. Shortly after the event was announced on social media, the official YPG page shared the event which gained a lot of attention. The Birkbeck Women’s Officer immediately suggested cancelling the event due to ‘external advertising’ and the risk of ‘too much attention’. On 28 November 2017, two days before the panel discussion was to be held, our event was cancelled due to ‘room complications’, despite written information from Birkbeck on 27 November, stating the room booking procedure was complete.

The Kurdistan Students Union asks for full transparency by Birkbeck Students’ Union about the abrupt disinterest in accommodating such an important discussion. We demand an explanation, retraction, and rebooking!

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