aaron porter .
(photo credit: Courtesy)
LONDON – A student leader was rescued by police at a protest in Manchester on
Saturday after he was surrounded and subjected to anti-Semitic abuse by angry
Protesters screamed “Tory Jew” and “Tory Jew scum” at the
president of the National Union of Students Aaron Porter during a protest
against the rise in tuition fees, a decision made by the Conservative- Liberal
Democrat coalition government that has led to a number of riots in central
London in recent months.
There were also calls for him to
Aaron Porter, 25, had been due to address the rally.
stage, Porter was surrounded by demonstrators who broke away from the main
protest outside the University of Manchester campus.
He was rescued by
police who led him to safety and advised him not to address the
Witnesses reported that he was visibly shaken.
the march started, I was surrounded by a particularly vicious minority of
protesters more intent on shouting threatening and racist abuse at me rather
than focusing on the issues,” Porter said in an e-mail to NUS
“Instead of standing together and fighting the cuts, they
instead chose to pursue me along Manchester’s Oxford Road and drive me away from
the start of the march.
“As a result, under the strong advice of the
police, I had to withdraw myself from the rally,” he said.
“[I] will not
back down to intimidation, and certainly not to racial abuse. We need unity to
win for students,” Porter tweeted on Sunday.
Police arrested around 20
people after and during the protest, and have launched an investigation into the
incident involving Porter.
Writing in The Times
on Monday, Porter condemned the anti-Semitic chants.
“Before I was able to speak to the rally of thousands, a small group of people started to chant abuse to try to intimidate me, and there were audible anti-Semitic comments,” he said. “Racism is something that student activists have been fighting to eliminate for decades and this was a sobering reminder that there was still work to do.”