Friday, 27 February 2009
Read full article: http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/4151904.Worcester_may_twin_with_war_torn_Gaza/
Thursday, 26 February 2009
Following the open letter to Vice Chancellor David Grant, the BOOKS not BOMBS demonstration outside the Student Union and the subsequent occupation of the Large Shandon, Cardiff University has divested all shares from BAe Systems and the aerospace arm of General Electric!
The university management has instructed their external fund managers to avoid future investments in the arms trade, and have promised to raise the issue of an ethical investment policy at the next Council Meeting on May 18th. They are also willing to discuss the provision of surplus computers and resources to institutions in Gaza.
Please see the Cardiff blog for further information:
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Assemble 12pm Friday 27th Feb, Central Campus
See this Facebook link for further details:
Demonstrate Wednesday 1st April, Central London.
Protest at the summit Thursday 2nd April.
The leaders of the world's big powers will meet at the G20 summitin London on April 2. It is Barack Obama's first visit to Britain. It is our chance to demand a change from Bush's war policies. The Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, The British Muslim Initiative, and CND have called two protests at the G20; a march and rally in central London on the afternoon of April 1st, and a protest to the conference itself on April 2nd. In the afternoon of April 1st we will be marching through Central London while Barack Obama speaks to Parliament. On Thursday morning we will be protesting to the summit itself atthe Excel Centre in East London.
Our message will be 'Yes We Can'. Yes we can end the siege of Gaza and free Palestine, get the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, make jobs not bombs, abolish nukes, stop arming Israel.
More information will follow.
The Stop the War Coalition is going on the road. They are organising meetings in towns and cities up and down the country,with speakers including Palestinians, activists, representatives of the Muslim community and well known figures such as Tony Benn, Bruce Kent and Jeremy Corbyn.
The title of the meetings is 'Solidarity with Gaza, end the war on terror' and they are aimed to sustain the momentum of the mass movement round Palestine whilst mobilising for the week of protests around the G20 and NATO in early April. Below is a list of meetings in the South Yorkshire area . More are being organised up and down the country. If you would like a meeting in your area, please let Stop The War Coalition know. They will provide speakers and help you to organise and publicise it.
Doncaster: 3rd March with Lindsey German & Andrew Murray.
Sheffield: 11th March with Bruce Kent CND, Muhammed Ali - Islam Channel, Lindsey German.
For more information call: 0207 278 6694
Congratulations to UWE who won their occupation a couple of days ago. Cardiff, Plymouth and the University of the Arts, London became the latest universities to occupy.
18 NYU students have been suspended following the occupation which ended on Thursday. Please check http://www.takebacknyu.com/ to see how you can support them.
St Andrews, UEL and Manchester continue to occupy, with Manchester now in their third week of occupations!
Sunday, 22 February 2009
ASSEMBLE 2 PM 4TH MARCH, MANCHESTER STUDENTS UNION
"Now 2 weeks on, University of Manchester students have occupied key buildings in the heart of the campus. The occupation has seen an unprecedented amount of support from students and academics alike most notably in an emergency general meeting in which over a thousand students attended to overwhelmingly support a motion to stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Entering their 18th day, the occupation is still strong in both numbers and spirit. The next focus is to pressure the university administration to accede to our reasonable demands but the arrogant and uncomprimising Vice Chancellor (send complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org) has failed to make any concessions for the student body claiming that the university cannot take a political position. But given the universities unethical investments in the arms trade, such an action is a political position. Notorious for his history at Melbourne University, he refused to engage in an open and just dialogue with the students of the occupation even threatening to take away the right to protest!"
Gaza was bombed from the air by F16 and Apache helicopters, shelled from the sea by Israeli gunboats and from the land by tank artillery. Many schools were reduced to rubble, 40 mosques, hospitals, UN buildings, and 21,000 homes, 4,000 of which were demolished completely. It is estimated that 100,000 people are now homeless.
The death toll is estimated at 1,350 with the numbers increasing daily, due to the severely wounded continuing to die in hospitals. 60% of those killed were children. It is estimated that of the severely injured, 1,600 will suffer permanently disabilities. These include amputations, spinal cord injuries, head injuries, large burns with crippling contractures.
READ FULL REPORT: http://stopwar.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1054&Itemid=1
UWE have ended their three day occupation of the atrium area outside of lecture theatres 2B25 and 2B20. They have been negotiating with Vice-Chancellor Steve West and Deputy Vice-Chancellor John Rushforth and won significant demands. Check out their blog.
NYU have posted a statement up on their website which includes details of the ending of the occupation and the arrest that was made.
St Andrews have written a statement expressing their disgust at the treatment NYU students received as well as the treatment that students at Nottingham, Sheffield Hallam and Cambridge suffered. The occupation has received messages of support including one from the Isalmic Univesrity of Gaza.
UEL have also been receiving messages of support from Noam Chomsky and the Friends of CAIS Maloka and ISBO Collective. Please continue to contact their acting vice chancellor Professor Susan Price at email@example.com or 020 822 34159 and urge her politely to consider their demands.
Manchester are also still struggling to be heard by their Vice Chancellor. They have called a demo on the 4th March at 2pm outside the Manchester Student Union.
Byam Shaw are also entering their third day but seem in good spirits.
Sheffield Hallam has seen the dismissal of Lewie Morris from his Sheffield Hallam Union post.
Sunday, 15 February 2009
Yesterday the ‘Viva Palestina’ convoy taking vital humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip was stopped by the British Police under the ‘Anti-Terror’ legislation. Nine of its drivers were arrested.
Since Israel’s imposition of the horrific blockade upon the 1.5 million Gazans 18 months ago, life in Gaza has become virtual hell. The list of material banned by the Israeli occupation from entering Gaza is a clear example of the collective punishment being directed against the Palestinians; it includes cement for building homes, medicine for hospitals, and even stretches into preventing some children’s books from entering one of the poorest and densely populated areas on the face of the Earth.
This strangulation of the strip was then followed by an onslaught which has instantly catapulted Israel’s war into comparisons with some of the most horrific war crimes that modern history has ever seen. Since December 27th- the day in which Israel’s bombing began, and January 3rd the onset of the ground invasion; the rockets, soldiers, fighter jets and missiles of one of the world’s most advanced armies has reduced one of the most oppressed regions in the world to looking like what the BBC calls ‘an earthquake zone’. With over 1,300 dead, thousands more injured, 20,000 houses demolished, and hospitals, schools, and aid compounds attacked; it is little wonder that the President of the UN General Assembly has described Israel’s war as ‘genocidal’.
Weeks of war crimes have taken their toll on the brave Palestinian People. Over 400,000 are now without running water, and a further 100,000 are now facing existence without even a roof over their head. Hospitals - those that are still able to function - are bit by bit being forced to turn of their equipment and shut their wards.
The ‘Viva Palestina’ convoy, driving from London to Gaza, aims to take vital aid to ease the sufferings of those trapped in what increasingly resembles the World’s largest prison camp. Crammed full of essential items including hospital aid, blankets, tools, children’s clothes and water purification equipment and driven in 12 ambulances, donated minibuses and a fire engine, the convoy is over a mile long and will potentially be some of the first aid to reach Gaza. The convoy is a lifeline being rushed to an already desperate people.
The convoy was stopped on Friday 13th as it was driving along the M62. Nine of the drivers were arrested; six were then released, with the Police confiscating passports and driving licences. This disgusting attempt to stop aid reaching Gaza should be condemned and described for what it is: a desperate attempt on behalf of the British government to continue Israel’s policy of cutting of Gaza’s 1.5 million people from the outside world and reducing their civilisation to rubble. This scarcely hidden form of war is just as aggressive and costly to human life as Israel’s Merkava tanks and F16 jets, and should be opposed as such.
We urge all those who have supported the university student occupations, those who have marched for Gaza over the last few weeks, and all those who defend a People’s right to live in peace to protest the stopping of the ‘Viva Palestina’ convoy and demand that it be allowed to continue its journey to Palestine.
Check for updates: http://www.vivapalestina.org/
Friday, 13 February 2009
This landmark move is a direct result of a two-year intensive campaign by the campus group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). The group pressured Hampshire College's Board of Trustees to divest from six specific companies due to human rights concerns in occupied Palestine. Over 800 students, professors, and alumni have signed SJP's "institutional statement" calling for the divestment.
The proposal put forth by SJP was approved on Saturday, 7 Feb 2009 by the Board. By divesting from these companies, SJP believes that Hampshire has distanced itself from complicity in the illegal occupation and war crimes of Israel.
READ FULL PRESS RELEASE:
Weds 25th Feb. Assemble 12 noon outside School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, WC1 (off Malet Street).
* Free education * Anti-war: Troops out now * Anti-fascism: Fight the BNP * Freedom for Palestine * Stop Climate Chaos *
It's time to build the movement! Our education system is under attack: students are being locked into massive debts, entire departments are under threat and our courses are being moulded by the market. Recently we have seen students in Greece, Italy and other countries resisting the onslaught. We can do it too.
Another Education is Possible sets out to unite broad layers of student activists and groups. By bringing debate back onto campus, building broad campaigns and by standing shoulder-to-shoulder we can show that another education is possible.
We'll be organising a coach down, get in touch about it.
Thursday, 12 February 2009
Following the protest we held an organising meeting to debate what to do next at Sheffield Hallam Uni. It was decided that we shall now go under the name Sheffield Hallam Free Gaza Movement. Under this name we shall build initiatives and campaigns and continue to put pressure on the university management to fulfil the demands of the occupation.
Current campaigns and initiatives:
End victimisation at Sheffield Hallam:
- Matt Vicary's displinary hearing is scheduled for Thursday 19th February (the union haven't given Matt a time yet). We aim to gather as much support for Matt as possible so we shall be meeting at 12 noon til 2pm on the Concourse outside the Owen Building everyday until the hearing to hand out leaflets and inform students on what is happening. To ensure it's not the same people flyering everyday, we encourage you to help out with this. Even if you can only come along for a short while.
- On the day of the hearing (Thurs 19th Feb) we shall be holding a rally followed by a picket at the students union. Times etc to be confirmed.
- Please continue to email Russ Swannack, the union president, to express your sentiments: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- You can also join the 'FREE GAZA; Stop victimisations at Sheffield Hallam!' Facebook group and send messages of solidarity: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=54289401540&ref=mf
Stop the War Society
- We are currently organising the formation of a Stop the War society at Hallam. If you are interested in joining this initiative or being on the committee please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Meeting: FREE GAZA! What the students are doing
- A public meeting on student activism and the free Palestine campaigns. Time and venue to be confirmed.
- A Sheffield music event to raise money and awareness for Palestine and our campaign. With local bands and DJs. Time and venue to be comfirmed.
Books Not Bombs
- We shall be organising a Books Not Bombs campaign (similarly seen at Nottingham University). Where we ask students to donate books which will be sent to Gaza. We shall be approaching the university for support in this campaign as they throw away loads of useable books and computers which could be sent to Gaza. Aswell as offering practical help to Palestine, this campaign can be a way to raise awareness amongst students and enable them to contribute.
Boycott Israeli goods
- A campaign to end the sales of Israeli goods on our campuses. We shall also be targeting food giants who support Israel. For this we shall be looking for support from the University and College Union and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
We shall keep you updated on the campaigns. If you would like to help out please do not hesitate to get in touch. Email us at: email@example.com
However, the student union has not recinded the unfounded accusations against him, or the Welfare Exectutive Lewie Morris (who's hearing went ahead today at 5:30pm).
It is clear that the disciplinaries are politically motivated as both Matt and Lewie have been the most outspoken against the governance review, and leading activists in the Free Education and Free Gaza campaigns.
Following the recent Gaza solidarity student occupation of Hallam Uni the student union added another complaint with regards to Matt's suspention. The union refuse to tell anyone what this complaint is! To ensure a fair hearing we demand the union publishes this complaint but ultimately we demand that the students union put an end to this farcical trial and drop all charges against Matt and Lewie and end victimisation at Sheffield Hallam.
It's vital to keep up the pressure on the students union and to continue your support for the Sheffield Hallam students. Please help by emailing Russ Swannack (Hallam Union president) with your sentiments: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Thank you to everyone for sending messages of solidarity to Matt and Lewie, messages of complaint to the students union and to those who attended todays protest.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
The staff will put together a UCU motion to try to get their members to agree to some more official support for students under threat from their union or from the University.
Solidarity with Sheffield Hallam lecturers and staff.
Sheffield Hallam Students' Union is victimising Matt Vicary, Equal Opportunities officer for supporting the protests and occupations against the siege of Gaza. Matt is a dedicated and committed activist trying to force his Union to take up political campaigns and has been suspended by dictat of the President without being informed of the complaints or charges against him.
The only accusation put to Matt was that he was "in breach of conduct" for taking part in a stage protest at NUS conference over its refusal to condemn Israeli aggression and for supporting the occupation at Sheffield Hallam. The student occupations have found support from around the world and we must make sure that some of our most committed activists are not victimised as a result. We are calling for the disciplinary to be postponed until Matt receives details of the evidence against him.
Lewie Morris - a second victimisation.
On the same day at 5pm the Union will discuss formalising its removal of another leftwing officer from its executive Lewie Morris, Union Welfare officer for opposing constitutional reform. That the victimisations of all the Unions leftwing representations should happen on the same day over unconnected charges is a farce.
Several students at Sheffield Hallam University have been threatened with suspension because of their participation in the recent occupation of the university. The student union has refused to condemn this and refused to fight for its own members. We should fight for the type of union that promotes student activism - not bans it.
Stand in solidarity with Matt and the students by protesting:
DEMONSTRATION AGAINST THE VICTIMISATION OF STUDENTS TAKING PART IN SOLIDARITY ACTION OVER GAZA CRISIS:
Assemble 2:30pm Thursday 12th Feb at the HUBS, Sheffield Hallam Students Union, Paternoster Row.
You can also email Russ Swannack, the union president, to express your sentiments: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
You can also join the 'FREE GAZA; Stop victimisations at Sheffield Hallam!' Facebook group and send messages of solidarity: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=54289401540&ref=mf
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Sunday, 8 February 2009
Check out their blog for more info:
Friday, 6 February 2009
The occupation of Strathclyde Uni, Glasgow Which begun on Wed 4th Feb at 2:30pm, ended yesterday, Thurs 5th Feb at 1:30. A swift and successful occupation! After a 24 hour occupation of Registry; 3 negotiation sessions with the university authorities and a students' association that opposed the actions, they managed to win a series of promises from the University administration:
-The Eden Springs contract has been CANCELLED
- Scholarships will be provided for 1-3 (and potentially more) Palestinian students
- The DEC appeal will be publicised on campus and on the University homepage
- The University will re-establish its link with the University of Gaza
- The University denies that it has any links with BAE systems beyond the company funding one student to the sum of £5000 in the engineering department. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, and we shall investigate this further.
Many congratulations to Stathclyde.
Thursday, 5 February 2009
Solidarity with Gaza. End the War on Terror.
Tony Benn, George Galloway MP, Lindsey German, Mira Hammad.
Building solidarity with Palestine on campuses.
With representatives from University campaigns.
Closing Rally: The future of the anti war movement
Jeremy Corbyn & others
To book a place email: firstname.lastname@example.org
6:30pm, Tuesday 10th February. Sheffield University, Students' Union Auditorium, Western Bank
Bellavio Ribeiro-Addy (NUS Black Students' Officer),
Lindsey German (Convenor, Stop the War Coalition),
Musheir El-Farra (Chair, Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign),
Abdul Gooljar (President, Islamic Society of Briatain - Sheffield Branch),
Fiona Edwards (Student Convenor, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament).
Chair: Al-Hussein Abutaleb (Sheffield University Black Students' Committee).
A London-wide protest has been called outside Kensington Town Hall, when the reception takes place at 5.30pm on 9 February. The Israeli Ambassador should not be feted at diplomatic receptions but expelled from Britain for the war crimes perpetrated by the country he represents.
* Israeli Ambassador Protest, Monday 9 February 5.30pm
* Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7nx
The convoy will bring clothes, medicines and other essential resources to Gaza. There are 32 vehicles pledged so far, including six ambulances. The response has been so high in London that all the vehicles are now filled with donated aid. Aid collections are still taking place outside London and supporters are also encouraged to make donations For fulldetails of the Viva Palestina convoy and how you can contribute, go to: http://www.vivapalestina.org/
A loophole in British law allows private criminal complaints of war crimes to be lodged against military personnel, even ifthey are not British citizens and the alleged crimes were committed elsewhere. Israel is working with the British government to change the law.
READ ARTICLE: http://tinyurl.com/cly8o2
The peaceful occupation is planned to continue for as long as it takes to achieve its demands, and promises to welcome high profile speakers during the week.
Please see their blog for a list of their demands, further and up to date information: http://manunioccupation.wordpress.com/
Students at Strathclyde University in Glasgow have occupied the main administration building, McCance Building, in solidarity with the people of Gaza. The occupation followed a 'march for Gaza' and despite ugly and heavy handed attempts by university security to break up the march, the students remain strong and refuse to leave the McCance building until their demands are met by the university management.
Please see their website for a list of their demands, further and up to date information:
Yours in solidarity Manchester and Strathclyde!
Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Directly copied from the Stop the War Coalition website http://stopwar.org.uk/index.php?option=com_newsfeeds&task=view&feedid=35&Itemid=230
The following motion has been submitted to the house of commons, please make sure that you ask your MP to sign it in support of the occupations across the country. Contact them at http://www.writetothem.com/
The following parliamentary motion has been tabled:
EDM 626 STUDENT OCCUPATIONS 28.01.2009 McDonnell, John 2 signatures
That this House praises the wave of student occupations across the country against Israel's unlawful invasion and bombing of Gaza; regrets that an estimated thousand Palestinians have been killed as a direct result of the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza with many more people injured and suffering ongoing hardship; and welcomes the engagement of young people in protesting against the unfolding human tragedy in Gaza by taking direct action at numerous institutions including Cambridge University, Essex University, Kings College London, Manchester Metropolitan University, Oxford University, Queen Mary University London and Sussex University.
Regards Nicolette Petersen
Office of Jeremy Corbyn MP
- Calling the university switchboard directly on 0114 225 5555,
- Sending an email to the following:
Vice Chancellor's PA: FAO Phillip Jones email@example.com
Secretary's PA: FAO Liz Winders firstname.lastname@example.org
In order that we can verify numbers of people registering complaints/sentiments should the University prove unwilling to divulge this information, you may CC or BCC your message to email@example.com, though there is no obligation to do so.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Monday, 2 February 2009
Gaza and the student occupations.
7pm this Wedenesday (4th Feb) at the Quaker Meeting House, James Street, Sheffield (by the cathedral).
Speakers are Stuart Halforty (stop the war national organiser) and Maxine Bowler (Sheffield StWC).
Sunday, 1 February 2009
Following the protest a meeting was held at the cafe at Furnival building. Speakers at the meeting included John Rees who delivered a talk on Palestine and a message of solidarity from the Stop The War Coalition. There were about 30 attendees, compared with 5 at our initial meeting! This only shows that the momentum in this struggle has gathered pace during and since the occupation.
The meeting was interupted several times by security staff trying to eject us from the cafe. We moved to another seating area only to be told we were not allowed to hold the meeting at Furnival Building by management. The meeting went ahead in defiance.
We decided to organise a public meeting on Wednesday 4th February regarding Gaza, the student occupations and asking where to go next.Venue and time tbc.
Having agreed to leave peacefully (in accordance with our exclusively peaceful protest) we were assured by the Univeristy Management that students taking part in the occupation would face no repercussions.
Today we find that many students were told that due to their taking part in the occupation, they are to be suspended from the university; effectively not being able to take part in lectures, examinations and their learning!