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.
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:
"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."
Sleepwalking into a police state
December 7, 2008 12:49amThis 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.