Friday, 10 April 2009

Muslim overseas students who hand in late essays 'terrorist suspects'

The 'visa rules terror plot' interrogators have nothing for the security apparatus to present to an expectant media, so in the meantime how about getting that McCarthyite witch hunt of Muslims going in the universities as we seem to be making headway elsewhere. Being a Muslim in Britain gets scarier by the day.

The government has recently introduced immigration rules requiring university lecturers to report any overseas student that fails to attend a lecture, seminar or tutorial or hands in essays late. WTF

But if we all let this stuff stand, the state will keep coming back for more powers and more repression.

There has been a recent wave of incredibly successful student occupations for Gaza as you can see further down the page. Many Muslim students, although most were non-Muslim, were involved. Is that the real target of these raids - radical political activism that challenges the government's misguided and counter-productive 'war on terror'? As it happens there wasn't a sit-in at Liverpool John Moores, but there was at both Manchester universities and over 25 others.

But don't get paralysed by their state of fear - get organised. Protest tomorrow (Saturday 10 April) 11am Bethnal Green police station - Justice for Ian Tomlinson.

Muhammad Adil, a Pakistani student at Liverpool John Moores University, is the only one of the twelve that has been released so far and his encounter with counter-terror police was predictably and depressingly brutal.

"Special forces with telescopes on their machine guns came and said 'hands up'," he said. "I thought maybe they are students playing with me. My friend was sitting on the bench. They grabbed my wrists and pushed my friend and he fell down on the other side of the [flowerbed] wall."...

...Adil said he was kept lying face down on the floor with his hands tied behind his back for an hour with the officers pointing guns at him...

Adil said he told the officers he was a student and was told to "shut up". The police made him lay down, and tied his hands behind his back. "I kept saying 'I'm normal'. I couldn't see my friend but the officers were on him. They said 'don't move'...

..."This has totally changed what I have learned about this country and my time here," he said. "They are clearly identifying Muslim students. It's a big insult … The first thing I will do is leave this country as soon as possible. The police officer said your country [Pakistan] is not secure but I still prefer to live there. I love my country."
William Buiter, ex-member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, and a professor at the London School of Economics, whose work on the financialisation of the British economy (borrowing of UK banking system as proportion of GDP -x2.5 - is almost as bad as Iceland where it was five times largern than the entire annual product of the country). As it happens I recently sub-edited an article of his for a financial magazine I work on - I suspect he doesn't share my politics but on this brewing attempt at formenting a witch hunt on campus he is spot on:

Sleepwalking into a police state

December 7, 2008 12:49am

This post will start with a report on a prima-facie parochial issue: whether to record student attendance at classes and seminars in British universities. It ends with an issue that ought to be of general concern, in the UK and elsewhere: the hammering of yet another nail into freedom’s coffin in the UK, as the state requires universities and those that work in them to act as informers for the immigration authorities...

...It may be enough to record students that are absent as ‘absent with reason’ - I intend to find out more about this. But under no circumstances will I, in my capacity as a faculty member, collect and pass on information regarding student attendance that can be used by the government to harass - even to deport - students or others living in this country.

It is unfortunate that one may be forced to lie, indeed to lie ‘in writing’, if one is to do one’s job - one’s duty - as an educator and teacher. But this is preferable to turning informer for the government. As that great conservative, Barry Goldwater said: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. . .. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

When morality and justice are increasingly at odds with the law, it is time to challenge and change the law and the government that created it.

Justice for Ian Tomlinson campaign launch

Campaign launch meeting

Try and get along to this important meeting to help carry the fight against police brutality forward. I'll be in Mallorca next week but will of course be reporting on the launch meetings deliberations.

Backed by: Sue Bond Vice-President PCS (pc), Jane Loftus Vice-President CWU (pc), Essex University Students' Union, Hind Hassan NUS NEC (pc), Rob Owen NUS NEC (pc), James Haywood NUS NEC elect (pc), Tom Wills Sussex University Students' Union president elect, Aled Fisher LSE Students' Union general secretary (pc), Bonolo Woracker Coventry University Students' Union vice-president, Jennifer Jones Goldsmiths College Students' Union executive (pc), Assed Baig Staffordshire University Students' Union executive (pc), Ben Sellers SOAS Students' Union vice-president, SWP, G20 Meltdown

8:00pm, Wednesday 15 April
Exmouth Arms, 1 Starcross Street, London, NW1 2HR
Nearest tube/station: Euston

Bloggers still under attack in Egypt

Blogger Wael Abbas and his mother have been assaulted in their house by a police major and his brother. Wael said over the phone he had one of his teeth broken, and is suffering from a head injury.


A personal disagreement with his neighbor, Wael said, evolved into this mess, by the neighbor summoning his brother, a police officer, who broke into Wael’s apartment and assaulted him and his mother.

Spread the word!

I guess we are lucky we don't live in Egypt - although the British police seem to be catching up fast in the repression game

Egyptian workers on the move - Mubarak watchout

There has been something of a strike wave in Egypt over the past few months as working people fight economic depression and a pro-Israeli/US dictatorship. Hossam el-Hamalawy on his Arabawy blog has extensive coverage and links.

Hossam has been critical of people and organisations with no real social weight calling 'general strikes' as if such things can just be conjured up out of thin air. The April 6 Youth Movement would probably be seen as one such organisation. The April 6 Youth movement called for a general strike on 6 April but without really pulling the workers and unions that had been leading the strikes behind it, as I understand it.

Despite the ongoing arguments over strategy and tactics in Egypt, we republish the article below which I think is a balance sheet of what their 'general strike' call achieved.



April 6 Youth movement

Kerri Percay (Egypt) wrote

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=8641&post=40277&uid=38588398289#post40277

There is a big difference between resistance and opposition-- It's a battle in a long war.

We did not pretend that we are the organizers of the general strike and did not pretend that we have arms everywhere.
April 6, 2009 is considered a game in the middle of the League Cup, we won a match and gained a lot but there were also some casualties.
The anger day contained many forms of protest; the students strike succeeded in the Egyptian universities, students abstained from studying.
Helwan, Cairo, Alexandria, Mansoura, Assiut and Sohag Universities have seen many angry protest activities, Ranging from exhibitions and dozens of stopovers and even hundreds of thousands of marches took place students in some universities.
And the security forces derailed the activities in the Ain Shams University and arrested 5 students using violence and bullying.

As For the manifestations of anger in the streets Pause, the State Council stand and the Nubians stand were successful, Security Disengagement of Federation of Trade Unions of Egypt stand and the protest and stand in front of the Press Syndicate was Successful. And without any assortment 150 employees at the POST AUTHORITY organized a stand in front of the post authority office, but the security resolved it quickly but the owners of the bakeries in Dakahlia stand were successful.

In the provinces
Security prevented any demonstrations in Alexandria and Port-said.

And for the first time in the history of Egypt's parliamentary all the opposition parties and independent deputies Pulled out from the People's Assembly session during Ahmed Nazif’s speech and declared their solidarity with of 6 April youth in front of the media and made a protest in front of the Parliament.

And actually dozens joined the movement either to the group or during the universities activities.

We didn’t succeed in organizing protest activities in the streets but we succeeded in our main advertiser goal, we also have succeeded in spreading the word of anger and protest in every home and we have succeeded in guiding thousands of people and sectors to the right path
“Stay positive -- That is the only solution”
“Demanded your right-- That is the only right”

No alternative to the opposition coalition
Today we have succeeded in t the opposition circumvents on the same day and tomorrow we will succeed in circumvent opposition with all their different communities to the same demands, goals and activities.

April 6, 2009 the anger is the beginning of a new era
That young people will have their own word
That young people have the will power and will be respected from everyone.

Our enemy is dirty, oppressive and unfair
April 6, 2009 is just a game in a dozens of games in a long League Cup in-front of a team who plays unfairly with all means of illicit.

April 6, 2009 is just a battle in a long series of battles

April 6, 2009 is a day among so many days.

We gained a lot and may be we did not succeed in achieving all our hopes.. But it was expected.

Our enemy used all illicit means to break our bones, made pre-emptive strikes and a campaign of mass arrests but of course, will not surrender, we are not just opponents, we strugglers.

And there is a big difference between the opposition and resistance.

Let us rejoice with our gains and monitor our mistakes gently and continue the accumulation of events and activities; we will not be like the rest.

We will not be accepting the viewer role.

We will not be accepting to be a reaction, but we will continue our initiatives by all means and forms.

6 April Youth
Are Coming
And are immovable

Still no Tomlinson arrests - demonstrate this Saturday

We rang the IPCC yesterday and got the same stonewalling (see below) the Guardian received when we asked if anyone had been interviewed, let alone arrested.
Justice for Ian Tomlinson

Demonstration
Assemble 11.30am, Saturday 11 April
Bethnal Green Police Station, 12 Victoria Park Square
off Roman Road, 2 minutes from Bethnal Green tube
March to Bank
Called by G20 Meltdown, who ask people to wear black and bring flowers to lay where Ian Tomlinson died.

Campaign launch meeting

Backed by: Sue Bond Vice-President PCS (pc), Jane Loftus Vice-President CWU (pc), Essex University Students' Union, Hind Hassan NUS NEC (pc), Rob Owen NUS NEC (pc), James Haywood NUS NEC elect (pc), Tom Wills Sussex University Students' Union president elect, Aled Fisher LSE Students' Union general secretary (pc), Bonolo Woracker Coventry University Students' Union vice-president, Jennifer Jones Goldsmiths College Students' Union executive (pc), Assed Baig Staffordshire University Students' Union executive (pc), Ben Sellers SOAS Students' Union vice-president, SWP, G20 Meltdown

8:00pm, Wednesday 15 April
Exmouth Arms, 1 Starcross Street, London, NW1 2HR
Nearest tube/station: Euston