Students give Palestinians a better kind of occupation

In the seventies and eighties, there was a movement in this country opposed to apartheid in South Africa. It looks as though a comparable movement is developing now against Israel’s occupations…

From Socialist Worker:

Student occupations in solidarity with Gaza spread around Britain online only

A wave of student occupations in solidarity with the people of Gaza is continuing to spread across Britain. There are currently occupations at Kings College London and Oxford, Sussex, Newcastle and Kingston universities. There have also been sit ins at Warwick and Manchester Metropolitan.

These have been inspired by successful protests and occupations at Soas and LSE in London and Essex University. The first three occupations have all ended now, as their main demands have been met.

In Oxford more than 80 students have occupied the historic Bodleian building.

The demands put forward by individual universities are similar, but vary depending on the specific circumstances of each institution. Oxford’s give a typical flavour.

  1. Statement
    Oxford University should release a statement in support of the right of Palestinians to education and its support to the Palestinian Academic community. The University should condemn in particular the attack on the Islamic University in Gaza.
  2. Divestment
    Oxford University currently holds investments in BAE Systems, a firm that the Campaign Against the Arms Trade ( states provides weapons and ammunition for the Israeli military. This means that our university is being directly funded by the Israeli war on Gaza. Oxford University must divest from BAE and other companies which supply arms to Israel.
  3. Five fully paid scholarships for Palestinian students
    Particularly after the attack on Gaza and the ongoing hardships suffered by Palestinians, Oxford University should offer 5 fully-funded scholarships to Palestinian students as a way to contribute to greater access to education for those affected by the conflict.
  4. Cancellation lecture series inaugurated by Shimon Peres
    The group demands that the Master of Balliol College cancel the lecture series that was inaugurated by the Israeli President Shimon Peres. It is not appropriate to have such a lecture series in light of the attack on Gaza and the ongoing siege.
  5. Resources for Education
    The Oxford University should donate resources to, and support, the University and educational infrastructure that have been bombed in Gaza.
  6. Right to Peaceful Protest
    Oxford University has a proud history of student activism. Students united to campaign against apartheid, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. All students have a democratic right to peaceful protest and students should not be prevented from expressing their opinions by fear of reprisals.

Occupation blogs

Essex »

Kings »


Oxford »

Soas »

Sussex »

Warwick »

The following should be read alongside this article:
» Eyewitness report: Israel is guilty of war crimes
» Gordon Brown gives Israel a licence to kill
» Israel’s bloody war fails to achieve aims
» Beirut conference calls for solidarity with Palestine
» A revival of student militancy over Gaza
» Activists take to the streets against the slaughter in Gaza
» Councillors condemn Israeli terror
» London demo targets Israeli embassy
» Mass march in Middlesbrough
» Gaza protests continue around Britain
» Pictures of Gaza protests around Britain (1)
» Pictures of Gaza protests around Britain (2)
» Pictures of Gaza protests around Britain (3)

Party leadership and party policy – South Africa and England compared


No, this post is not about Jacob Zuma (the picture above illustrates what the Western worries are, for the spectre of communism is haunting the “end of history“).

I may have mentioned this before, but I don’t like to use this blog to comment on affairs outside of the Anglo-Celtic Isles. One must have an aim and stick to it – mine is to examine English politics.

So, whilst Zuma’s election reflects the growing strength of working class opposition to the neoliberal consensus in South Africa and is a positive development, I won’t be saying any more.

The leadership election in England today was for the Liberal Democrats – the ideologically feeble third-party of “British” as well as English politics.

The winner, one Nick Clegg, whom I rudely referred to earlier today as “David Cleggeron”, is an Orange Booker.

What does this mean?

The FT tries to explain:

Mr Clegg, a 40-year-old former MEP from the right of his party, won 20,988 votes to edge past Mr Huhne, who amassed 20,477 votes through a tenacious outsider’s campaign.

The lack of a resounding endorsement from the party’s left-leaning activists may make it harder for Mr Clegg to establish his authority and pursue more radical public service reforms to extend choice and diversity.

Now, understand that “choice and diversity” refers not to what is offered to service users and providers, but rather the fat cat corporations that are hungry for some guaranteed profits from the state…

Greenman gives us the lowdown from our perspective:

The chink of light is that there might be a hung parliament at the next election. This might give an opportunity for the Lib Dems to force through (as their main demand when the post-election discussions begin) a referendum on the introduction of a form of PR. This is one of the few uses for which that particular political party is fit – and something the leadership would presumably find it difficult to trade away given its’ totemic value to the bulk of their membership.

I expect Clegg will have to walk the tightrope between his economic liberalism and his need to assuage the party’s left – so, this means out-playing Cameron as “progressive“, downplaying the neoliberal aspects as a consequence. He’s done this already during the campaign, backing away from his previous support for NHS privatisation. That’s total privatisation, note.

In light of Toque’s analysis, I may have to reverse ferret on my prediction the next Liberal leader would pounce upon the English Question and come out for devolution to be extended to England. We’ll have to see if Clegg will continue to be as evasive as he has thusfar…