This would have been a rare opportunity in this country to attend a talk by Professor Steven Best, who as well as being associate professor of philosophy at the University of Texas, is also one of the foremost thinkers and philosophers in the international animal rights and environmentalist movement.
This would have been Dr Best's first visit to the UK since he was was banned by the previous Labour government in 2005, after he spoke out in defence of activists who break the law as part of campaigning, even though he himself has no criminal record or involvement with illegal groups or activity. The ban only covered the UK, and he has continued to speak in many other countries in the years since then, including countries such as Russia and South Africa, without any interference or repercussion. Indeed, prior to coming to the UK, Dr Best will be visiting several other European countries, including Germany, Poland and Luxembourg, where he will be speaking to university departments, student groups, and community audiences on a number of topics.
Over the years Dr Best has published 10 books, over 150 articles and reviews, spoken in over a dozen countries, interviewed with media throughout the world and appeared in numerous documentaries. In recent years he has become well known for his advocacy of "total liberation" in which he seeks to draw parallels between the various human, animal and earth liberation struggles.
Dr Best first came to prominence in the 1990's with a series of award winning books on postmodern theory, written with the renowned philosopher Douglas Kellner, which have been translated into many languages and sold tens of thousands of copies, and which are now standard text books on graduate courses in many countries.
Poland. When he arrived to check in for his flight from Gdansk airport to
London Stansted, the woman who inspected his passport immediately
contacted her supervisor who politely explained that the UK government is
upholding its ban on him entering the UK and he would not be allowed to
Steve immediately contacted us to let us know the situation, and added "so
it's official, you live in a police state". Steve is currently on a tour
of European countries, and once again it is only the UK which has decided
that our citizens should be protected from listening to what he has to
Despite this, we are going ahead with the meeting tomorrow at Conway Hall,
and Steve will give his talk and answer questions via an internet link
No doubt this is disappointing news, so we understand if you won't be
attending now, but if you are planning to attend and haven't let us know, please do so as space may be limited.
In the meantime we'll be looking into ideas to fight to overturn the ban
on Steve and other activists, and we'll keep you informed.
freedom to protest (ftp) list repost