Strathclyde Students Win Agreement

Students at the University of Strathclyde have just scored another victory for Palestine. After an overnight occupation of the Administration building (photos here) and following a rally earlier today the University has finally agreed to the following four demands:

  1. The university will no longer place any further orders with Eden Springs.
  2. Scholarships: The university will fund 1-3 students from Gaza.
  3. The DEC appeal will be posted all across the University and also on the University’s website.
  4. The University will issue a press release reiterating Strathclyde University’s longstanding relationship with the Islamic University of Gaza.
  5. 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.

Here is a photo of the actual handwritten, signed agreement

Shoe hurled at Israeli ambassador

Before long shoes will be banned as a security threat by ever-paranoid Israeli Ambassadors giving lectures … and dodging war crimes arrests.

A woman has thrown a shoe at the Israeli ambassador to Sweden as he was giving a lecture on Israel’s forthcoming elections.

The shoe hit Benny Dagan in the chest during a seminar held at the University of Stockholm on Wednesday, a local police official said.

Ylva Kornheffer, a board member of the Stockholm Association of Foreign Affairs, the student association which organised the seminar, said she was “sitting in the front row and suddenly a shoe was flying over my head”.

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Strathclyde Student Occupation in Pictures

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Further to our previous post there has been positive feedback from the occupation, a facebook group has been set up as well as a wordpress blog.

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Israeli Commander Cancels UK Tour

From the Muslim News:

London, (IRNA): The deputy commander of Israeli ground forces during the recent Gaza massacres has cancelled 20 speaking engagements during a planned tour of Britain, according to the Jewish organisers of his secret visit.

Colonel Geva Rapp was understood to have fled back to Israel fearing a citizens’ arrest for war crimes during his visit to Britain which was aimed to defend the slaughter of more than 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza to members of the country’s estimated 270,000 Jewish community.

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Israel Academic Boycott Movement Comes to U.S, Australia

Ha’aretz reports on the sudden growth of an American movement to boycott the Israeli academy, in protest at the Zionist ‘scholasticide’ aimed at Palestinian schools, universities, and students. Palestinians have long had the reputation of being the best educated population in the Arab world, but this is now under threat. For years, students in the occupied West Bank and Gaza have had only intermittent access to education as a result of curfews, closures and checkpoints. The Red Cross has found that children in Gaza are suffering from micronutrient deficiencies – which affect brain development – as a result of the Israeli siege of the territory. Studies have shown that more than half of children in Gaza suffered post-traumatic stress disorder before the latest massacre, a condition which results in insomnia, panic attacks, and an inability to concentrate. And during the massacre, Israel targetted schools and the Islamic university (which, despite its name, teaches secular subjects). In this context, anti-boycott lobbyists’ evocation of ‘academic freedom’ seems (to be polite about it) to miss the point. Palestinian civil society organisations, and anti-Zionist Israeli academics such as Ilan Pappe, have called for the boycott.

A call to join the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott, and then the mission statement of the Australian Academic Boycott of Israel follow. Please send on this information to all your academic contacts. Continue reading “Israel Academic Boycott Movement Comes to U.S, Australia”

International Writers and Scholars Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel

International support for the academic boycott of Israel. This time in the Progressive magazine.

We stand in support of the indigenous Palestinian people in Gaza, who are fighting for their survival against one of the most brutal uses of state power in both this century and the last.

We condemn Israel’s recent (December 2008/ January 2009) breaches of international law in the Gaza Strip, which include the bombing of densely-populated neighborhoods, illegal deployment of the chemical white phosphorous, and attacks on schools, ambulances, relief agencies, hospitals, universities, and places of worship. We condemn Israel’s restriction of access to media and aid workers.

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Pacifism as Pathology

ward churchill

In the following lecture Ward Churchill challenges the left on their tactics and discredits, what he calls, pacifism as pathology. That is not to say he discredits pacifism, quite the opposite, Ward advises that the left shouldn’t be dogmatic in only supporting non-violent movements, and that they should not get non-violence confused with non-confrontation.

In his own words: “the outright lie that I have actively sought to incite ‘violent revolution.’ I have done no such thing. To the contrary, what I have consistently advocated over the years is the rule of law.”

“I would vastly prefer that this happen through nonviolent means. However, I cannot say that nonviolence is the only legitimate response to systemic violence.”

Letters

I’ve recently written to Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Khaled Mahmood MP to complain about their positions on the massacre in occupied Palestine. I’ve also written to Gerald Kaufman and Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, to praise their calls for an arms embargo on the apartheid state. And I walked into the office of my local MP, Russell Brown, and spoke to Mr Brown’s assistant. A few days later I received a letter from Mr Brown which repeats the usual rubbish about ‘peace’ and the need to disarm the resistance so the oppressor can sleep more soundly at night. At least he bothered to send me a letter. I received responses from Brown, Cameron, Clegg and Kaufman too, but none from Khaled Mahmood. Mr Mahmood was quoted by the Guardian as “dismissing” calls for sanctions and an arms embargo. Mahmood is a Birmingham MP who no doubt receives a lot of votes because he has a Muslim name. Not only is he betraying his Muslim voters who would like to see their representatives develop a peaceful strategy of resisting the murderous British-Zionist alliance, he isn’t even capable of replying promptly to letters.

Here’s my response to Russell Brown’s letter. I won’t publish his letter because I don’t have permission and because it’s on paper, but I quote some of it. You can imagine the rest – it’s the standard New Labour magical incantation.

Continue reading “Letters”

Two Petitions

If you haven’t already done so, please consider signing these petitions, and please pass the word on. The first is for British citizens and residents  only, and it calls for the UK to impose an arms embargo on the apartheid state. The second is for all nationalities, and it calls on the UN General Assembly to create a tribunal to try Zionist war criminals.

Stop Honorary Doctorates for Terrorists

I’ve just received news from the wonderful Mona Baker (Mona has been tirelessly campaigning for the academic boycott of Israel) of a courageous student action in the UK. King’s College students have begun an occupation demanding that the honorary doctorate awarded by the college to Shimon Peres be immediately revoked, in protest at the massacre in Gaza. Birmingham University students have started an occupation in solidarity. These students need our solidarity too. Please send messages of support for King’s occupation to Principal Rick Trainor at principal@kcl.ac.uk Please call the students to congratulate them. Tony Benn already has. Please consider any similar action you could take. The students’ letter is below:
 From: “KCL Occupation” <kcloccupation@googlemail.com
 Subject: King’s College Student Occupation

Dear Sir/Madam
 
I am writing to inform you of the current occupation in Kings university in
order to revoke Shimon Peres’s Honorary Doctorate and to show solidarity
with the people of Gaza.