Monday, 9 February 2009

Glasgow University occupation makes it 23 and counting - students demand cut in links with BAe. The arms company is recruiting on campus tomorrow

Well done Glasgow University! See the statement and demands from the Glasgow occupation below, plus contact details:
Glasgow University occupation pics on flickr

At 2pm this afternoon over 50 students at the University of Glasgow went into occupation to protest against the current siege of Gaza, in solidarity with the Palestinians, and against the involvement of arms manufacturers at our university. After weeks of campaigning, we presented the Principal with a set of demands (following at the end of this press release) and petitions signed by over one thousand Glasgow University students and staff in support of the people of Gaza. Following an unsatisfactory response from the Principal Sir Muir Russell we have decided to occupy the Computing Science building at the university. The university has proven funding and investment links to BAE systems and other arms manufacturers who supply weapons to the state of Israel. The Computing Science department is one of the departments with major links to BAE systems. This action is taking place against the background of a wave of successful occupations around Britain.

We demand:

The severing of links between the university and arms manufacturers, such as BAE Systems.

An official university statement condemning the Israeli army’s atrocities in Gaza.

A boycott of all Israeli produce on campus, such as Eden Springs water.

Donations of academic resources to help rebuild Gaza’s battered schools and universities.

A day of fundraising across campus in support of the DEC appeal.

A commitment to fund scholarships for Palestinian students.

We, the students, will remain in occupation indefinitely until our demands are met.


David Lynch: 07838661699

Raymie Kiernan: 07920403766

Eileen Boyle : 07884345731

Glasgow University Student Occupation: First Press Release

Glasgow University Student Occupation

Breaking news: UK student occupations - National President Wes Streeting 'misrepresented' by the Independent says NUS - release official statement

GazaSolidarity spoke to John Carroll in the National Union of Students press office concerning the reported support of the President for the wave of student occupations sweeping the UK.

The official position of NUS is being sent to us and will be posted as soon as we get it.

[update 17.25 GMT] see the official NUS position sent to us a moment ago:
NUS President Wes Streeting said: "I do believe that student political activism is alive and kicking, and is to be encouraged, but I do not believe that these occupations have been the student movement's finest hour.

"Students have every right to campaign actively and vocally on the situation in the Middle East, as well as wider political issues of the day, but all students also have the right to study in an environment that is free from disruption, intimidation or harassment. Where students are currently occupying teaching and learning spaces on campuses up and down the country, they are causing significant disruption to the education of their peers. Not only is this unacceptable, but it also undermines broader student support for the issues the protesters are seeking to highlight and they should reconsider their tactics.

"I also remain alarmed by reports of antisemitism on too many of our campuses. While criticism of Israel is perfectly acceptable and many of the protesters have campaigned peacefully, there can be no justification for the kinds of incidents that have been recorded on our campuses and in our communities. It is the responsibility of us all to not only face this reality, but to challenge this kind of racism head on."

True to form NUS has bottled it and gone for the anti-semitism slur instead. Streeting needs to be challenged on his (and Melanie Phillips's) attempt to place the blame for anti-semitism at the door of pro-Palestinian students. This is an outrageous slur against the student movement from a supposed leader of the student movement. GazaSolidarity will be contacting NUS tomorrow to challenge them to provide evidence of the linkage to anti-semitism.

'Netanyahu sets collision course with US'

From The Age

Nethanyahu says he won't give back the Golan to Syria or get out of the West Bank or Jerusalem. Put it another way, even the much vaunted 'two states solution' which would resemble the bantustans of Aparthied South Africa is too much for him. This man is likely to win the election for Likud.

But whether it will really be a collision with the US is another question. Obama will more than likely just let them get on with it, as he has until now.

Manchester uni student occupation needs your support - send emails now to the Vice Chancellor

Alan Gilbert, our vice chancellor, has still refused to address our demands in a satisfactory tone. You can send letters of support to his email address:

Please bcc letters to
(Offensive emails will not help!)

Trucks waiting at Kerem Shalom border crossing despite reports of opening

Report on China View that Israel has opened Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza.
Israel on Sunday opened commercial crossings into Gaza Strip shortly after Palestinian militants fired a rocket into its southern territory.

Up to 121 trucks are scheduled to enter Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing point, and 77 trucks, laden with wheat and animal fodders, are expected to get in via Karni crossing in eastern Gaza City, according to Ra'ed Fatouh, head of a private committee that arranges the crossings' movement with Israel.

Israel previously claimed no crossings would be opened until their prisoner of war was freed.

Student occupation victory at University of Rochester (UR) - more reports

From Socialist Worker (US)
Rochester's show of solidarity with Gaza

Kyle Brown reports from a campus occupation at the University of Rochester.
STUDENTS AT the University of Rochester (UR) and their supporters from the community occupied a campus building February 6 in solidarity with the victims of Israel's siege of Gaza--and in a matter of half a day declared victory after winning important concessions from the administration...

...Members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) took the lead in raising the issue. Leading up to the occupation, the group submitted an op-ed article in the campus newspaper and issued a letter to the administration, which called for UR to divest from corporations that manufacture weapons and profit from the siege of Gaza, and to provide direct support for the people of Gaza...

...Burns met again with the occupiers' representatives shortly before midnight, and agreed to each of the demands. When he left, the group voted overwhelmingly to accept the plan of action he signed, and declared a victory for the occupation. full report

German-Egyptian blogger detained and moved to secret location by Egyptian security

[Update 10.45am GMT] Egypt police scour home of German-Egyptian activist detained after Gaza protest (AP)
[update 16.32 GMT] Sign the petition here

Earth Times report

Cairo - Egypt's domestic intelligence service, State Security Investigations, has detained a German-Egyptian graduate student after a march in support of Gaza, witnesses and his sister said Sunday. State Security briefly detained a group of 15 protesters on a rural road in Egypt's Qalubiya province, northeast of Cairo, late Friday after the group had marched 10 kilometres from Cairo to the neighboring province, witnesses told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The officers brought them to the local police station where high-ranking security officers interrogated Philip Rizk, a German-Egyptian graduate student, blogger, and film-maker.

Ahmed Droubi, a 26-year-old environmental consultant who participated in the march, said the officers seemed most interested in Rizk.

He said that he was briefly allowed to sit in on the officers' questioning of the German-Egyptian graduate student, and that Rizk had told him in that time that he had just received calls from the German ambassador and consul in Cairo.

AFP report
Egyptian security detained an Egyptian-German student pro-Palestinian blogger who helped organise a demonstration in support of the Gaza Strip, his family and a rights group said on Sunday.

Philip Rizk, a 26-year-old postgraduate student in Cairo, was detained on Friday in Qalubia, north of Cairo, where he and other activists had organised a protest in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, his sister Jeanette told AFP.

"He is still detained, and we have not heard from him directly," she said.

Nadim, an Egyptian rights group, said in a statement that Rizk was taken away in a car with concealed licence plates to an unknown destination.

The killing goes on - Israeli tank shell kills at least one Palestinian

AP report

An Israeli tank shell struck a house Monday in the northern Gaza Strip, killing a 22-year-old man, Palestinian officials said, just hours after Israeli aircraft struck two militant positions in the territory.

Gaza and the world: lets compare

Manchester University refuses to negotiate - occupiers plan surprise action today

Another EGM has been called for Wednesday 11 February by the students union. The previous meeting was wrecked by three zionists on the student union exec who prevented a quorum count even though the meeting of 500 plus was patently quorate. These sort of shenanigans are nothing new at Manchester where the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) has been misrepresenting Jewish students for years. It has always been one of their strongest bases in the universities - which makes the ongoing occupation all the more remarkable. Stay strong Manchester. more at Man uni occupation blog

AP: Israeli aircraft hit Gaza and navy attacks fishing boat - Palestinians send rescue team