It has recently been announced that Mr Assange will be delivering the keynote address via video link to the ConventionCamp conference in Hanover, Germany, on 27th November. This announcement comes only one day after his spokesperson claimed that his Q&A at the Cambridge Union Society must be cancelled because his preferred broadcaster, Russia Today, was unable to arrange the technical aspects of the video link. The Union Society is disappointed in Mr Assange’s apparent dishonesty. We would have hoped that any individual or institution claiming to represent the interests of free speech and openness would be more straightforward in their dealings. We apologise to members for the confusion this has caused and the doubts that have arisen following Mr Assange’s misleading statement.
Had Mr Assange not cancelled, the question of his appearance would have been put to a vote this weekend. Had that vote decided to hold the event, it would have gone forward next week. The Union Committee hopes that the developments of the past week will galvanise more member involvement and feedback - while we reach out to members through feedback forms, college representatives, our website, our supplementary committee, and many other means, it is clear that we need a more representative way of gauging what members want. We hope members will consider joining us next term to discuss No Platform policies and the Union's invitation policy going forward. Only when we know exactly what members joined to participate in can we be certain how to provide for their wishes.