Victory for student movement: Strathclyde University to end complicity with Gaza conflict

Photo by Zuraeda Ibrahim
Photo by Zuraeda Ibrahim

A vibrant and wonderful student movement has flowered a the Strathclyde University which has scored two major victories for peace and justice within this month. We at PULSE salute all the students, in particular Strathclyde Stop the War, Action Palestine, and the Strathclyde University Muslim Students Association (SUMSA) for their indispensable work. In today’s excellent guest editorial, Kim Bizzarri, who has himself lead from the front, reports on these successes and the prospects for future.

GLASGOW, February 21 – Students at Strathclyde University won the vote on Thursday to cut the university’s ties with arms manufacturer BAe Systems which supplied components used by the Israeli military in the recent massacre of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Students win majority support in historic AGM

The vote, which took place in relation to a motion submitted by a group of students to their Union’s General Meeting (AGM) – the student’s highest decision-making body – won with an overwhelming majority of the over 200 students who queued in the union’s corridors and stairs to participate in the event. Such a high student attendance had been unprecedented in any previous AGM, most of which failed in the past 10 years to even reach quorum.

Despite attempts by the Union’s administration to dilute the substance of the motion and have it voted upon by the conservative Student Representative Council (SRC) – who had already rejected a similar popular motion two years earlier given the uncomfortable position it placed the University vis-à-vis its corporate funders – the fervent group of passionate students were successful in galvanising sufficient support amongst their fellows to turn the motion into student policy.

Within weeks of occupying the McCance Building – heart of the University’s administration – the original 60 students involved in the occupation have already gained the support of a sizable number of their fellow students.

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Edinburgh University Student Occupation

Edinburgh University students have occupied the George Square Lecture Theatre.  This is the 19th occupation (3rd in Scotland) in what has been described as a reawakening of the spirit of ’68. (Edinburgh Blog / Facebook).

Around 30 students of Edinburgh Unviersity are currently peacefully occupying George Square Lecture Theatre in protest at Israel’s actions in Gaza, and to encourage the University to accept a list of demands which were put to them in the form of a petition this morning. The petition has been signed by more than 300 students at Edinburgh University.

The demands are as follows:
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