Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Urgent petition to keep UEL open during G20 Summit


Dear friends,

the University of East London (UEL) was supposed to host analternative summit on April 1st in the context of the upcoming G20 meeting on April 2nd. Following the media and police hype about possible disruptions to the city, the University withdrew its support for the alternative summit.

Subsequently, management of the University decided to close down the university all together on April the 1st and 2nd, cancelling lectures and closing the library, effectively trying to turn the university into a wasteland in the very moment when the university should instead be up to the task of hosting critical debate and be a hub of creative energies.

As the text of the petition makes clear, this is not just about UEL,but about reclaiming universities and education in these times of crisis.


Open UEL Now collective

Friday, 27 March 2009

CGS holds Vigil for Peace Activist

We held a vigil in Cambridge on the 19th March outside the Guildhall, in solidarity with Tristan Anderson, who has been seriously injured by Israeli military forces during a non-violent protest against the 'separation' wall. It was also to show solidarity with the Palestinian people who experience daily brutality and oppression at the hands of the Israeli military, and many of whose deaths go unreported and uncontested. Tristan is currently in critical condition in hospital having been shot in the head with a tear gas canister.

Tristan is the good friend of a Cambridge student, who took part in our recent occupation at the University Law Faculty, and who regularly demonstrates peacefully alongside Palestinian people in West Bank villages, against the 'separation' wall, the confiscation of Palestinian land, the demolition of Palestinian homes and the oppression of Palestinian people. We seek to show our support to Tristan and to the people of Palestine for whom this violence is a commonplace reality of life under occupation.




Our vigil was covered in the Cambridge News here: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/cn_news_home/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=401488

Green Party Support

The following emergency motion was passed unanimously at the Green Party Spring conference in Blackpool. It is particularly apt in the light of the recent articles in the Guardian concerning human shields etc being used in the Gaza campaign (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/23/israel-gaza-war-crimes-guardian).

5. Support for students

Item 4 of the Green Party Core Values states: "Electoral politics is not the only way to achieve change in society, and we will use a variety of methods to help effect change, providing these methods do not conflict with our other core principles."

In this spirit, and in recognition of the value of Non-Violent Direct Action, conference pledges its support to the students occupying University buildings across the country, and fully endorses their campaign to demand that universities divest both from the arms trade and other organisations which directly or indirectly have financially contributed to the military and economic oppression of the people of Gaza. Furthermore, conference condemns any universities taking disciplinary action against the occupying students who are exercising their right to protest; these students, as stakeholders in their University, have a valid right to demand that their university is investing funds ethically.

Conference thus calls for the following action to be taken: International committee and the International Coordinator to pledge support for the student campaign, and also to back our (Green) MEPs' call for an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza, in particular in light of recent revelations in the press about Israeli actions in Gaza.