Feb 19, 2009

Support the student occupations against the illegal occupation in Palestine!

The Israeli government has named the UK as the anti-Zionist capital of Europe. They are right! Zionism is really not in favour around here, after years of evidence and proof of what it really is about… At the moment, more than 30 UK universities are under occupation by their students, who are protesting about the Gaza carnage, and are making a range of demands on their Vice Chancellors – Bursaries for Palestinian students, statements in support of Gaza, twinning arrangements, boycott of Israeli links, Divestment where appropriate – the number of universities is growing daily, and they are now coordinating and orchestrating events across the sector, assisting each other, collecting vast sums for Gaza assistance, and raising the level of political awareness in the Higher Education institutions across Britain.

Yesterday, after a large meeting at which Lindey German (Stop the War Coalition) and myself were speaking, the students in my own university, the University of East London, have at last joined the fray and became the 30th to occupy. Since then, three other s have joined. Across this growing group, one gets the clear impression that Gaza and its terrible plight has become the new Vietnam – an iconic case of First World countries – Israel, USA and the EU – subjugating and oppressingĀ  a Third World country under aggressive colonisation. Through the action against the continued Israeli crimes of occupation and aggression, students are learning about non-violent direct action, about civic society, about human rights and the ability to make yourself heard, and for one’s voice to make a difference. This is an exciting development for what some have termediPod generation – supposedly made of of young upwardly-mobile Tory voters, without political interests or social commitments. They were wrong, and this generation of students with their just anger about the Gaza carnage and Israel’s illegal occupation seem to just get stronger and clearer as time goes on.

UEL Students occupy university in support of Palestine/Gaza!

Our Demands
To the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of East London and any others it may concern
We the student occupation for Palestine demand that the University of East London:

1. Issues a clear statement condemning Israel’s blockade of Gaza and the recent atrocities committed against the civilians of Gaza.
2. Immediately divests itself of any and all interests and investments in companies directly or indirectly linked with arms sales to Israel and to make publicly available all UEL current and future investments.
3. Grants five Palestinian students every year full scholarships funded by UEL (similar to the Commonwealth scholarships)
4. Twins itself with the Islamic University of Gaza and provides support for the rebuilding effort following the recent destruction.
5. Provides any surplus equipment to Universities in Gaza i.e. books, computers etc.
6. Authorises, facilitates and promotes an official DEC collection day around campus.
7. Grants free access at all times to all participants in the occupation and takes no reprisals against any participants in the occupation for their actions. We will continue to occupy WB.G.02 until all of our demands are met.

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