Former British Prime Minister Tony
Blair will speak at the University at Buffalo at 8PM tonight as part of the
2009-10 Distinguished Speakers Series in Alumni Arena on the UB North Campus,
and sponsored this evening by Hodgson Russ Attorneys LLP.
Blair, the subject of several books,
including Blair Unbound,
Is the series’ Graduate Student Choice Speaker. He currently serves as a representative of the Middle East
Quartet, the foursome of nations and international and supranational entities
involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Speaking of conflicts, The Peace,
Justice and Anti-War Coalition of Western New York has made plans to protest
Blair’s appearance at UB, saying he is a war criminal.
This issue was posed to UB President
John Simpson on a recent radio call-in show on WBFO, and Simpson stated that it
is not the university’s wish too stifle discussion, but to promote learning
through a variety of points of view.
The group plans to begin their protest
at 7PM, stating “The university will (as it has done for other war
criminals it honored in the past) curtail discussion by allowing only
pre-screened and censored questions from the audience, in order to prevent
embarrassing Blair, and in order to allow Blair to justify the policies of his
administration without challenge.”
What is your opinion: Should UB host
public figures that are considered controversial?
Image: Courtesy of Creative Commons