Bristol Uni’s Jewish Society protest outside event featuring David Miller

The event, where Miller was the main speaker, was discussing the ‘weaponisation of anti-semitism’

The University of Bristol’s Jewish Society protested this afternoon (11th February) against David Miller outside of an event where he was the main speaker.

It comes after an Employment Tribunal ruled on Monday (5th February) that Miller was wrongfully dismissed and discriminated against by Bristol University, after he was sacked in October 2021 subsequent to allegedly calling for “an end to Zionism” during an online conference.

The protest took place outside the Malcolm X Community Centre in St Paul’s, where Miller was giving a speech at an event organised by the Bristol Palestine Alliance entitled “Genocide in Gaza: Zionism, Islamophobia and the weaponisation of anti-semitism”.

Approximately 50 protesters, who were not only members of the Jewish Society but also individuals from the wider community, gathered just before 1:30pm armed with picket signs which displayed various comments allegedly made by Professor Miller.

This included signs saying Miller believes that Jewish students are the “pawns” of Israel and that Jews aren’t discriminated against.

The picket signs displayed several comments allegedly made by Miller

Edgar Santos, the President of Jewish Society, led the protesters who relentlessly chanted that “Miller loves Jewish hate” and “David Miller shame on you”.

The protesters also continuously reiterated that “Jewish students stand against hate” and that they “will not let hate take over our campus”.

Several members of the Jewish Society gave speeches during the protest, which lasted roughly an hour, including former president Harry Issacs.

During his speech, Issacs said they were here “in the face of vile anti-semitism” before imploring the protesters “to be proud of being Jewish”.

He said: “We are fuelled by the hatred of David Miller; it burns a light inside of us to show how amazing it is to all be Jewish.”

In response to the protest, several attendees of the Palestine Alliance event began arguing with the protesters, with one waving a Palestinian flag in front of them.

Police officers quickly arrived at the protest in case the arguments escalated into anything further.

Attendees of the event stood outside the building with several shouting at the protesters

Speaking exclusively to The Bristol Tab, Edgar Santos said: “It’s amazing to see that so many members of Jewish Society are here today as well as members of the wider community to create a peaceful yet powerful protest.

“Jewish students have displayed that they’ll always stand against hatred and against conspiratorial prejudice.

“We’ve had meetings with the university about the security of Jewish students on campus, but Jewish students continue to feel marginalised at university.

“We want more from our university, and from universities across the country, to tackle the rampant antisemitism and support for extremism since October 7th.”

An investigation into Miller began in March 2021 following several comments he made, including allegedly saying that Zionism is “fundamental” to “encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism” and that the “Zionist Movement” is “the enemy”.

The university’s internal investigation, which ran alongside a police investigation, reached its conclusion after 200 days, and the university decided to terminate Professor Miller’s employment in October 2021.

Professor David Miller

However, earlier this week, an Employment Tribunal ruled that Miller suffered “direct discrimination” from the university both when they decided to dismiss him and when they rejected his subsequent appeal.

Miller was also said to have been wrongfully dismissed when there was no payment of notice made to him, and Judge Rohan Pirani concluded that he was entitled to compensation.

Following the ruling, a spokesperson for the University of Bristol said: “The University of Bristol acknowledges the judgment of the Employment Tribunal but is disappointed with its findings.

“After a full investigation and careful deliberation, the University concluded that Dr Miller did not meet the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff in relation to comments he made in February 2021 about students and student societies linked to the University. As a result and considering our responsibilities to our students and the wider university community, his employment was terminated.

“We recognise that these matters have caused deep concern for many, and that members of our community hold very different views from one another. We would, therefore, encourage everyone to respond in a responsible and sensitive way in the current climate.

“The University of Bristol remains committed to fostering a positive working and learning environment that enriches lives and where the essential principles of academic freedom are preserved.

“The university is reviewing the tribunal’s lengthy judgment carefully and in light of that review, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

The Bristol Tab were unable to contact David Miller for comment.

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