Don't agree with homosexual and transgender propaganda? At a leading London university, a group of students claims gulags are a viable solution, because “sending a bigot to one is actually a compassionate, non-violent course of action.”
Originally appeared at: The Daily Telegraph
Students at a leading London university have been condemned as blind to reality after defending the system of Soviet Gulag labour camps where thousands perished as “compassionate” places of rehabilitation.
Trans rights campaigners at Goldsmiths University described the Gulags as benign places where inmates received education, training and enjoyed the opportunity to take part in clubs, sports and theatre groups.
In fact most historians agree they were a brutal network of labour camps used by Stalin’s Soviet dictatorship to incarcerate internal opponents and so-called "enemies of the state", resulting in the death of more than an estimated 1.05 million people.
During a bizarre exchange on Twitter the LGBTQ group at Goldsmiths Student Union described life in the Gulags as “rehabilitatory” and “educational”.
Paradoxically the thread was written as an apparent justification for an earlier post by the same group which threatened to send a political opponent “to the gulag”.
The threat was made against Claire Graham, a special education needs teacher, who wrote objecting to LGBTQ Goldsmith’s threat to target feminist academics who they claimed were prejudiced against transgender individuals.
Trans activists refer to these women by the derogatory term TERFS, claiming they are guilty of hate crimes for their opposition to allowing men undergoing gender transition to use women’s toilets and other female only spaces.
In its Tweets, Goldsmith LGBTQ said: “The ideas of TERFS and anti-trans bigots literally *kill* and must be eradicated through re-education.”
Ms Graham said: “I said that I thought their choice of language, in talking about lists and purging people was intended to shut down debate about trans people and the law. I then received unpleasant and dehumanising threats about being sent to the Gulag. I feel bad for other trans people because this kind of response by some makes them seem so extreme and intolerant.”
Goldsmith LGBTQ subsequently attempted to justify the threat to send Ms Graham to the Gulag by stating that “sending a bigot to one is actually a compassionate, non-violent course of action.”
The Twitter thread went on to state that the CIA had spread “lies” about the Gulag system, adding:
“First myth to debunk: ‘u work until u die in gulags!’ The Soviets did away with life sentences and the longest sentence was 10 years. Capital punishment was reserved for the most heinous, serious crimes.
“The penal system was a rehabilitatory one. The aim was to correct and change the ways of criminals.”
“Much like wider Soviet society, everyone who was ‘able’ to work did so at a wage proportionate to those who weren’t incapacitated and, as they gained skills, were able to move up the ranks and work under less supervision.
“Educational work was also a prominent feature of the Soviet penal system. There were regular classes, book clubs, newspaper editorial teams, sports theatre and performance groups.”
In contrast, mainstream historians have concluded that the gulag system, which reached its peak under Joseph Stalin's rule, was a system of forced labour camps used to incarcerate a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners - including Stalin’s left-wing, Trotskyist opponents and gay men and women.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, who survived eight years imprisoned in a Gulag incarceration, brought its horrors to the world's attention in his 1973 book The Gulag Archipelago.
Soviet files show that 1,053,829 people died in the camps between 1934 and 1953, mostly as a result of deliberate starvation.
The historian Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag: A History, said: “It was an incredibly brutal system designed to eliminate Stalin's’ enemies and terrorise the wider population. Most of the inmates were innocent of anything we would regard as a crime.”
Ms Graham said: “The LGBTQ group’s interpretation of the history of the Gulag system is madness.”
Goldsmiths Students’ Union has now suspended the group and withdrawn its support for its activities, saying the Gulag threat - and subsequent refusal by the group to apologise for it - clearly breached the students' union code of conduct.
In a statement backed by Goldsmiths University the students’ union said: “We condemn the abhorrent content of the tweets and they are in complete opposition to the views and values of the Students’ Union.”
Members of Goldsmiths LGBTQ refused to comment when approached by The Daily Telegraph.