Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Manchester occupation makes history as the first and largest student union in western Europe to call for full boycott of Israel


From Manchester Uni occupation blog
On Wednesday 11th Feb the University of Manchester Students Union passed a motion in support of the people of Gaza, which includes a resolve to boycott Israel, in an emergency general meeting [1]. The meeting, which was attended by over 1000 students, was called in response to the crisis in Gaza. It follows a week long occupation of University of Manchester buildings by students [2]. The University of Manchester Students Union is the biggest in Western Europe, and is also the first western students union to pass a motion that includes an out and out boycott of Israel.
Matt Scholey, a first year Politics and Modern History student, said “This is going to set a precedent, more and more student unions will have the confidence to take similar steps. Last year LSE SU called for divestment, now UMSU calls for a complete boycott, and tomorrow the rest of the student movement will follow suit.”


Up until now commentators in the Israeli media, and here in the UK for that matter, have comforted themselves in the delusion that it was only a relatively small number of students involved in the sit-ins. Think again.

And the occupation organisers have done another first, as far as we know, in issuing a statement in Arabic for distribution in the Middle East. Everyone please copy and paste and forward to all Arab-speaking contacts, friends and of course media.


Please forward to arab media:

احتلال جامعة مانشستر…. تضامنا مع غزة.

10 شباط/فبراير 2009

لا يزال طلاب جامعة مانشستر المتضامنون مع أهالي قطاع غزة يحتلون مباني الجامعة منذ يوم الأربعاء 2009.2.4، و مع اكتمال الاحتلال أسبوعه الأول، قرر الطلاب تقديم قرار يصوت عليه طلاب الجامعة يوم غد الأربعاء 2009.2.11 حيث يتوقع حضور أكثر من ثمانمئة طالب للتصويت بأغلبية تدعم القرار ذي الشعبية الطلابية الواسعة، بغض النظر عن وجود معارضة ضعيفة.

وقد دعا الطلاب لمظاهرة حاشدة قبل التوصيت للقرار على تمام الساعة الثانية عشر والنصف ظهرا، والتي سيلقي فيها بعض المناصرين للشعب الفلسطيني من أعضاء برلمانيين كلمات يعربون فيها عن تضامنهم مع أهالي قطاع غزة وطلاب الجامعة المقيمين في المبنى المحتل.

ولا يزال موقف نائب رئيس الجامعة من الاحتلال كما هو، رافضا التفاوض مع الطلاب المحتلين بعد لقاءه معهم في أول يوم من أيام الاحتلال والذي قدم الطلاب فيه مطالبهم مقابل إخلاء المبنى.

المطالب:

1. أن تقوم جامعة مانشستر بإصدار بيان رسمي تدين فيه العمليات الإسرائيلية في قطاع غزة، مشيرة فيه بشكل خاص إلى الأضرار التي لحقت بالهيئات التعليمية كقصف الجامعة الإسلامية في غزة، بالإصافة إلى التعبير عن قلقهم بشأن ادعاءات ارتكاب جرائم حرب الموجهة ضد إسرائيل.



2. دعم الطلاب في تنظيم يوم لجمع التبرعات يذهب ريعه لصندوق لجنة الكوارث الطارئة في بريطانيا (DEC).



3. أن تعرض الجامعة إعلان لجنة الكوارث الطارئة في بريطانيا (DEC) بأي طريقة ممكنة (بما في ذلك الشعار المعروض على موقعهم) و أن تقوم كذلك بالضغط على قناتي البي بي سي و سكاي لعرض ذات الإعلان.



4. أن يتم إرسال كل قطع الأثاث و المواد الزائدة في المباني التي يتم تحديثها إلى غزة عن طريق قافلة حملة “فيفا باليستينا“.

5. مشاركة حركة BDS في وقف بيع البضائع الإسرائيلية داخل حرم الجامعة، و على الجامعة أيضا التوقف عن شراء المستلزمات الجامعية من الشركات الإسرائيلية.



6. أن تقوم الجامعة بفك ارتباطاتها بجميع الشركات المساهمة بشكل مباشر في تصنيع الأسلحة، كما نطالب أن تأخذ الجامعة موضوع الشفافية في عين الاعتبار في استثماراتها.



7. .أن تدعم الجامعة و بصورة علنية حق الطلاب في التظاهر (كهذا الاحتلال على سبيل المثال)، و أن تقوم الجامعة بتوفير منشآتها لعقد مؤتمر “طلاب لأجل فلسطين” في الأسبوع الثاني من شهر إبريل/ نيسان عام 2009.

8. أن تقوم الجامعة بإصدار رسالة تضامنية علنية للجامعة الأسلامية في غزة و التي تم تدمير حرمها، و أن تقوم بنشر هذه الرسالة التضامنية على الموقع الالكتروني لجامعة مانشستر و أن ترسله للأعداد الكبيرة من العناوين الالكترونية التابعة إليها.

9. أن تقوم الجامعة بتقديم خمس منح دراسية لخمسة طلاب فلسطينيي..

10. أن تقوم الجامعة بتأسيس مادة اختيارية عن تاريخ فلسطين تكون متاحة لكل طلاب الجامعة.

11. معاملة الطلاب الفلسطينيين الذين سيدرسون في جامعة مانشستر على أنهم طلاب محليون من ناحية دفع الرسوم.

12.أن لا يكون هناك أي معاملة سيئة للطلاب المشاركين في احتلال مبنى الجامعة، و توفير حرية الحركة داخل و خارج المكان المحتل.




ملاحظات:

1. للمزيد من المعلومات: manuni@actionpalestine.org



2. لقد قامت المجموعة بتأسيس مدونة على الإنترنت يتم تحديثها باستمرار:

http://manunioccupation.wordpress.com

3. على الإعلاميين الاتصال ب:

اللغة العربية: أحمد 00447971469929

اللغة الإنجليزية: katan 00447917206282 \ 00441612 758007

BBC's charity board rocked by Gaza appeal resignation


From Press TV Ireland
BBC advisor quits over Gaza appeal
A member of the BBC advisory panel on charity has resigned in protest to the broadcaster's decision not to air a Gaza crisis appeal.

Niaz Alam, who was appointed to the BBC's Charity Appeals Advisory Committee in 2004, said in his resignation letter that he "strongly believed the BBC had made the wrong decision" in refusing to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee's appeal for Gaza, the British Third Sector reported.

According to Alam, the BBC had done great harm to its reputation by ignoring the DEC view that the situation in Gaza was critical and warranted an emergency appeal. more

Now Edinburgh University students join the occupation movement for Gaza


Dear friends,

We're writing to you in solidarity for your current occupation of Glasgow University in solidarity with Gaza. We started to occupy the main lecture theatre here at Edinburgh University at 1pm today. That makes us the 24th University in the UK to join this mass movement!

We have a blog set up at http://edinburghunioccupation.wordpress.com/ if you'd like to follow our progress. You can find the press release with our demands on there. We'd be really keen to have a webcam chat with you all sometime, if that's something you'd like to do!

Edinburgh's demands

1. BOYCOTT – That the university immediately suspend all contracts and relations with companies enabling the conflict and/or occupation, including Eden Springs. This demand is contingent on access to information to establish which other companies are implicated.

2. DIVESTMENT – That the university divest from and cut all links – specifically on-campus recruitment – with BAE Systems, QinetiQ and all other “arms and defence” manufacturers whose products are proven to be in use by the Israeli military.

3. SCHOLARSHIPS – That the university make full scholarships available to at least 5 students in Gaza, allowing them to attend Edinburgh University. This is a response to the destruction of their universities by the Israeli military, and to other barriers, physical and psychological, which restrict their right to education.

4. AID – That the university collect and make available non-monetary donations to war-damaged Gazan schools and hospitals, including but not limited to text-books, chairs, computers.

5. EDUCATION – That logistical and financial support are provided for a series of informative lectures and debates at Edinburgh, involving university staff and guest speakers, on the Palestine/Israel question during the academic year 2009/10.

6. STUDENT SIT-IN – Lastly, we demand that no legal, financial or academic measures be taken against those participating in, or supporting, a peaceful sit-in to ensure our calls are answered.

edinburghunioccupation@googlemail.com

Manchester student occupation wins overwhelming vote at 1000-strong meeting - action escalates

From the Manchester Uni occupation blog
VIVA VIVA - PALESTINA!

We have come back from the university to declare that the students of Manchester University have voted overwhelmingly to PASS THE MOTION!!!! This is a victory for the student movement and brings us another step closer to achieving our aims for the people of war torn Gaza.

The opposition used every trick in the book during the meeting. They submitted 16 amendments to change the nature of the motion, attempted to overthrow the chair but the students said NO, WE ARE HEAR TO SUPPORT THE PALESTINIANS, WE ARE HEAR TO TAKE A STAND AGAINST WAR CRIMES.

The rally before was hugely successful. Academics and activists alike spoke resoundingly in support of the student occupation and the motion. This was then capped of my a poem musically rapped by acclaimed UK Hiphop artist Lowkey. We began marching toward the meeting and even before the meeting commenced, quorum had already been met. Students rammed the council chambers and the lunar cafe alike. After the slimy tricks of the oppostion and the successful vote, students marched side by side toward the Vice-Chancellor’s office. They are currently scaling the gates……

Today was a victory for the students but more importantly for the suffering people of Palestine. Soon they will they will talk, not about May ‘68, but Feb ‘09…..

LONG LIVE PALESTINE!!!!! more (inc. copy of passed motion) at the Manchester Uni occupation blog

No arms on Iranian aid ship for Gaza despite Israeli claims


From BBC
Iran has denied reports that a ship detained off Cyprus is carrying Iranian weapons destined for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

The US military reportedly stopped the ship last month in the Red Sea and said it found artillery shells and other arms on board.

Cyprus says the vessel has breached a UN ban on Iranian arms exports.

The Cypriot-flagged Monchegorsk is now anchored off the port of Limassol under tight security. more

No victimisation of student activists - Support Matt Vicary

From LSE occupation blog
Solidarity with Matt Vicary, suspended from his post at Hallam Union for taking part in NUS action

During the recent NUS Extraordinary Conference a group of students took to the stage to demand that the NUS release a strong statement of condemnation of merciless Israeli bombing of Gaza.

Matt Vicary, Equal opportunities officer at Sheffield Hallam Union has been suspended from his post by President Russ Swannack for taking part. Several other students have been threatened with suspension from the University itself and the Union has done nothing to defend them.

We should be defending student activism, not banning it.

To show your support and register your disgust ring Hallam Union on 0114 225 4111 or email r.swannack@shu.ac.uk.

A video de-brief from the successful King's College occupation

Success for King's College London Student Occupation for Palestine - 7.5 out of 8 demands acheived


King's College London occupation blog

Breaking news: Student occupation for Gaza breaks out at Goldsmiths - Manchester wins EGM vote



Goldsmiths Students Union has a twinning campaign with Al Quds Open University and are organising a trip to Palestine in April
Goldsmiths occupation blog


WHAT WE ARE DEMANDING: 2 MA scholarships for Palestinian students attending Al-Quds Open University & accomodation for these students in halls of residence. The Palestine Twinning Campaign has made it clear that the SU will be responsible for their airfare, whilst Al-Quds Open University and the students themselves will bear costs regarding day to day living expenses.

We will NOT be leaving until our demands are met.


In a separate development management at Glasgow University have finally agreed to meet a delegation from the occupation to discuss their demands

From the Glasgow Uni occupation blog
Our offer to meet the Principal and members of the Glasgow University management at 12 noon today has been accepted. The location of the Fraser Building has been decided as a neutral location. We welcome this development and the opportunity to negotiate our political demands. We hope the University management will present us with an acceptable offer so that this situation can be resolved as quickly and successfully as possible.


Also, Manchester Uni Extraordinary General Meeting today at 1.30pm - result when we get it - [15.56 GMT] Motion was carried at a meeting of 900 despite 16 amendments from the zionists - go to the manuni blog for all the details

Picture - Rally at Manchester University today

Israel set to open three crossings for 'limited aid'


From Xinhua
Israel on Wednesday lifted a full closure on Gaza Strip and opened all commercial crossing points before the delivery of limited aid and basic food stuff, Palestinian officials said.

The blockade tightened Tuesday due to the Israeli elections.

Ra'ed Fatouh of the crossings' coordination committee said that three crossings will be open Wednesday before aid trucks and fuel needed for running the only power plant in Gaza Strip.

Philip Rizk released by Egyptian security - Labour Party leader sentenced to two years


From the BBC
Egyptian police have released a pro-Palestinian blogger who was detained last week during a rally.

Egyptian-German student Philip Rizk was held on Friday, north of Cairo, where he helped organise a protest in support of the Gaza Strip.

Eyewitnesses said he was bundled into a white van with no licence plates, which then sped off.

His sister Jeannette, 26, declined to elaborate on his condition or to say if he had been told he would face charges.


Thanks to everyone that signed the petition.

Meanwhile a member of the banned Labour Party has been imprisoned for the crime of visiting gaza without a passport. The US sponsors such thorough-going dictatorships
From AP
An Egyptian court official says a military tribunal has convicted an opposition lawmaker of illegally crossing into Gaza and sentenced him to two years in prison and $1,000 dollars fine.

The secretary general of the banned Labor party, Magdi Hussein, was arrested Jan. 31 after trying to re-enter Egypt from Gaza without a passport.

Student occupations just keep spreading

From Socialist Worker


Student rebellion spreads across campuses
by Siân Ruddick

The past week has seen the 27th occupation start on a university campus in as many days. For students across Britain, the first weeks of term in 2009 look set to shape the politics on campus for many months to come. more

Charles Kennedy MP to visit student occupation in Glasgow today

From Glasgow University occupation blog
Fourth Press Release - Charles Kennedy to Visit Occupation
4th Press Release- Charles Kennedy to visit protestors

Glasgow University Rector, Charles Kennedy M.P, has agreed to visit us here at the occupied space on the top floor of the Computing Science Building. Mr Kennedy gave assurances at a debate over the DEC Gaza appeal at the Glasgow University Union earlier this evening that he will be visiting at some point tomorrow morning to discuss our demands. We will be holding a press conference at this meeting. There will be a demonstration on campus at 11 am tomorrow in support of our action and demands.

Egypt police detain second pro-Palestinian blogger

From AFP
Egyptian police have detained a pro-Palestinian student and blogger who is being held at an unknown location, the second such arrest in recent days, a rights group and a security official said on Monday.

Diaeddin Gad, 22, who writes the Sawt Ghadib (Angry Voice) blog, was arrested in the Nile Delta province of Gharbiyah on Friday, a security official said, without providing further details.

A source close to the security services said Gad was detained for criticising the Cairo government's policies, especially during Israel's 22-day war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip which began on December 27.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) demanded an investigation into the blogger's arrest at his home, which it said in a statement was followed by a police beating in the street.

"Bloggers have become major targets of the police authorities in Egypt, and all these assaults are committed outside the law or under the cloak of the emergency state," ANHRI said in a statement.