Thursday, 29 January 2009

Solomon storms off too to sort her head out.

Tonight the police dragged me away from a demonstration and LITERALLY tried to use my head to stop a bus. Although not directly unrelated (ie it has not shaken me), i am taking some time off to sort stuff out.

 Whilst I understand the importance of agitation i also know that a dead activist is useless-i'm sure someone must  have written on this.

This blog will be out of action for 2 maybe 3 weeks. I am not responding to emails, facebook, Flickr, Qik, Delicious, Jaiku's, Youtube or phone calls.

Please comment below this post if you have anything that is REALLY urgent. The comments are moderated so if you leave a number or something it will not show on this blog.

Thank you all for your understanding. 

I'm off to read Jameson and finish/start my essay!

In solidarity...Clare. 

Vive la revolution. Ps. Please make sure you tell me  if it happens whilst i'm incommunicado!

Taip Erdogan - Turkey PM storms off in Gaza row


Alex Callinicos

Estelle Cooch from LSE's occupation. Brilliant...

Simon assaf, journalist recently returned from Beirut

Nottingham student occupation.

Falsely reported by me previously, welcome Nottingham.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009


'With the success of occupations throughout the UK, Sheffield Hallam students and workers from around the city voted to occupy the tenth floor of the Owen building. This is to make practical demands of the university in solidarity with Palestinians and to condemn the actions of the Israeli state.'

excellent news!

Anti-anti-feminism and a return to...?

Coming soon...

Here's a delightful video for you in the meantime.

Occupation in BBC HQ update

Yesterday i was going somewhere by tube and was shocked to see we were in ALL the free papers and the Evening Standard. And, the reporting was favourable to say the least! They evenn OVER reported the number of people doing the occupation!! And it was even weirder to see it actually in print rather than these online links.

Evening Standard
Our picture was also used in the New Statesman, but no reference to who it is and the oline version does not have the pic!!

Hang on a sec...i'll find more links.

Well, as usual, i have been distracted by a brand new shiny article about anti-anti-feminism. See post above in a bit...

So, here's simply the link to my previous post.

Please email me or post below any further links you find.

UPDATE from 2 more uni's in occupation incl Queen Mary's

Updated links to the new blogs. I have just come back from a very noisy night at Queen Mary. It is really inspiring there. They have some great banners. i will try to upload photos after class. All night the security and cleaners were being very acomodating.

It is a fab room with 2 x flatscreen TV's and a big projector from which they are showing news items. It also works well for when they are planning the demands and designing posters and flyers because everyone can see what is being written and can contribute.

The Director and Vice came this morning and were clearly lefties although still playing the diplomatic/semi-impartial role.

Lecturers have already popped in to shake their hands to congratulate them. This is one of the most exciting things taht has happened on the campus for years. Everyone is learning valuable facilitation skills!

PLEASE, please send them messages of support and ideas for speakers, meeting topics.

They have planned to show Al-Jazeera every day at 4 (or 5) then Israel Social TV after. As well as the meetings and events.

Queen Mary's blog HERE

Bradford blog HERE

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Public SWSS mtg on palestine-all welcome

The Gaza Strip is effectively the world’s largest prison camp.

Zionist terror gangs drove its population from their homes during the creation of Israel in 1948.

That event – known in Arabic as the Nakba (catastrophe) – saw 750,000 Palestinians ethnically cleansed. They fled to the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and to other countries.

Come to hear Palestinian activist speak on the roots and causes of today's situation in Gaza. Questions and contributions welcome.

Disasters Emergency Committee Gaza Appeal


Public meeting hosted by the Socialist Workers Party

Author, Imperialism and Global Political Economy

Socialist Worker journalist, recently returned from Beirut

Co-author, The Nakba

Student in occupation

Thursday 29 January, 7pm
Small Hall, Friends Meeting House,
opposite Euston Station, London NW1 2BJ

Leeds uni joins wave of student occupations

We occupied the BBC on Portland place today in protest at the BBC's disgraceful decision to not show the DEC appeal....

A short clip on NEWSNIGHT! Go to minute 1.02 or so. I should be receiving more videos and photo's from the outside soon.

Found another short video so far. typically, it shows us at our smallest and quietest but hey, it's better than nothing. Does anyone know who to 'embed' it?

My exit

Article in Indymedia with loads of great photo's by Guy Smallmans.

Cops outside
The trouble with being a 'citizenjournalist' and wanting to involved in the action is that it's hard to record what you're doing when you have your arms locked to someone else's!

We received 2 texts within 3 or 4 minutes of being ejected by people who had seen us on BBC News 24 being kicked out.

More on this soon...

Called within just a few hours and hardly built at all, about 50 or 60 protesters turned up to BBC on Portland place to protest about the disgraceful decision not to air the DEC appeal.

We got there a bit early and decided to storm the entrance leaving the police behind. We immediately sat down, linked arms and started chanting. We had a lot of support from BBC staff entering the building (i hope they can pull of a strike over this) by sort-of sneaky thumbs up when no-one was looking. Loads of press turned up, AP, Morning star and loads of others-I'm just waiting for the reports to stream in!! Please let me know if you see any of them....a comment below is fine.

I was invited onto BBC World Service and had to deal with an idiot Zionist who tried, somehow, to tie in Iran and their supposed nuclear weapons!!

SOAS bannerBBC Windows

They, the BBC, said: (italics my own-there is a definite case of contradictory consciousness/reporting here)

Around 20 (i would say there was 12 of us inside!!) campaigners from the Stop the War Coalition (SOAS StW society) walked (actually we stormed) into the lobby of the central London building with a large banner proclaiming Hands off Gaza (the only banner we could find!).

They were removed by police before continuing a (fairly) noisy protest outside, during which some of them set fire to their television licences

But, it's the small things that i find interesting: Once we had finished and a few of us were waiting for my radio slot, a well dressed woman was absent mindedly walking past us, she tripped over the barriers and she shot us an angry look. I thought she was going to shout at us: BLOODY BBC she said and waved her fingers in a 'peace' sign and smiled. She clearly knew why we were there.

Another snippet that made me smile was at a Chinese/Singaporean cafe right opposite the Israeli Embassy. We asked the guy who served us if the protests were bad for business. Absolutely, he said, but it's for a very good cause. We made sure to go back there as often as we could. Serving some of the best food I have ever eaten (and, being in catering for many years I'm very fussy!) at only £4-5 or so a meal i encourage you all to go there and support this small friendly family place: they've had to endure weeks of angry protesters blocking the street outside his place. And the spicy Tiger prawns are to die for.

Monday, 26 January 2009

URGENT call for action TODAY at BBC, Portland pl.

Following the BBC's disgraceful decision not to air the fund raising appeal for Gaza, SOAS Stop the War have called a protest outside BBC TODAY at 5pm. this is now going out on national mailing lists and also Media Workers Against the War. I imagine we will definitley get press coverage. Please see Scotlands protest below...

SOAS Stop the War has been very bust recently so i apologise if you are not totally uptodate with what we are doing. We will have a planning mtg soon which i hope you will come to contribute at.

Meet SOAS steps at 4.15pm to go to BBC on Upper Regent St.

Or meet us at Regent st at 5pm.

If you are on campus, please make lecture announcements and ask your lecturer if you can leave a bit early if the time clashes.

Maybe you could do a collection for MedicAid too.

Please call on 07958 034 181 if you need to, bearing in mind i am up to my eyes today.

A number of our supporters have informed us that they have
written to the BBC saying they have cancelled their direct
debit for their TV license. If you are planning to do the
same, please inform Stop the War at

BBC feels the pressure as MPs, celebrites, and thousands of citizens condemn Gaza Appeal decision

DEC palesinian boy

Complain about BBC decision >>

Donate to DEC Gaza Crisis Appeal >>

Tony Benn, many MPs and celebrities and thousands of concerned citizens today delivered a letter to the BBC at Broadcasting House

The letter addressed to the BBC Chairman, Director General and Chief Operating Director urges the BBC to reverse what government Health Minister Ben Bradshaw calls its “inexplicable decision” to refuse a broadcast for an emergency appeal to raise desperately needed aid for Gaza.

Tony Benn, President of Stop the War, said, “To deny the help that the aid agencies and the UN need at this moment in time is incomprehensible. I appeal to the chairman of the BBC Trust to intervene to reverse this decision to save the lives of those who are now in acute danger of dying through a lack of food, fuel, water and medical supplies."

Night of the Living Dead filmshowing & fundraiser

Award winning fantasy author China Miéville will be introducing George A. Romero’s subversive 1968 zombie film Night of the Living Dead as our latest Socialist Worker Appeal fundraiser.

Saturday 31st January
Prince Charles Cinema
7 Leicester Place
Off Leicester Square
London WC2

Tickets £9.50 waged/ £6.50 concessions

To book via Prince Charles cinema: 0870 811 2559
Tickets also available from Bookmarks, 1 Bloomsbury St, WC1 or 020 7637 1848
Or Socialist Worker Appeal on 020 7819 1190

Night of the Living Dead is a criticism of 1960s American society, international Cold War politics and racism. It draws on the contentious political events and issues of the time: US’s war on Vietnam, assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, civil rights,protests and riots. At its release the film horrified reactionary critics and attempts were made to censor it as it as it was perceived to promote that period of unrest.

It remains a challenging film as the issues dealt with through the symbolism and grotesque imagery are still tangible today.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Scottish Stop the War occupation of BBC Headquarters in glasgow


BBC occupation 25.01.2009, originally uploaded by Duncan Brown.

This article should be read after: » Eyewitness report: Israel is guilty of war crimes

Over 150 supporters of Stop the War Coalition and Palestinian solidarity groups occupied the BBC's headquaters in Glasgow on Sunday evening.

The protesters say they will not end their occupation until the BBC reverses its decision to block an emergency humanitarian aid appeal for Gaza. They are demanding to meet with a senior representative of the BBC.

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)
» Student occupations in solidarity with Gaza spread around Britain
» Outrage as BBC blocks charity appeal for Gaza

» email article | » comment on article | » printable version

© Copyright Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original and leave this notice in place.

If you found this article useful please help us maintain SW by» making a donation.

Danny - age 11 | Protest For Gaza, Against BBC Charity Broadcast refusal

Protest For Gaza, Against BBC Charity Broadcast refusal. Shame on the BBC who reported 'hundreds' protesting!

Even the police and SKY reported that there were 'thousands'.  

Watch the video to see who you believe.

The BBC have also lied saying that:
ITV and Sky have also said they will not show the appeal, with an ITV spokesman saying that no consensus could be reached.

Brave Israeli's prepared to stand up and speak out about the atrocities in Gaza.

Protests silenced by mainstream media. Watch videos of their movement at Israel Social TV

The number of refusniks is growing. Bravo to the brave young people who refuse to join the IDF. They say "we will not commit war crimes, we will not bomb children and drive people out of their houses". 

We need to make their voices heard. Spread the word.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Tariq Ali's argument for a One State Solution

Sorry about the wobbly filming, i was trying to juggle 2 cameras at once!

The late Edward Said will be turning in his grave right now.

Part two can be found HERE

Part three HERE


Another great video from Brendan on capitalist economics in plain English...

Part 2 can be found HERE

BBC deny Gaza fundraising appeal in order “to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality'

If you watch BBC at all I'm am sure at times you have come across appeals made by Disaster Emergency committee appeals. They fundraise on behalf of 12 charities and BBC in the past has give peak free air time for DEC to make appeals.

The effects of these appeals are amazing ( they have been succesful and their appeals generally get brilliant response.
Today I was informed that BBC has broken the 45 year old contract with DEC and will NOT allow them to air for GAZA appeal. This is an outrage! please write to them immediately ( or call them on 03700 100 222. 


Dear Sir or Madam,

It has been brought to my attention that BBC has denied Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) Appeal; free broadcasting time to fundraise for Gaza. I am appalled and frankly disgusted by this decision. It has shocked me to the core that BBC has no human values left at all. With biased pro-Israeli broadcasting that you have shoved in our faces during the conflict, you are now denying 1.5 million Gazans of their chance to rebuild their lives.

May I remind you, which you have clearly forgotten, that like many others who have been complaining, I am too a BBC licence payer, and demand to know the REAL reason that you have denied DEC it’s free broadcasting time to raise money for Gaza.

I have read that DEC’s appeal has been denied by BBC in order “to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in the context of an ongoing news story’ is frankly absurd and meaningless. You have for forty-five years had an agreement with DEC and in the past have aired many appeals (Zimbabwe, tsunami etc.) Now you are breaking this contract because BBC apparently gets to decide who is human and who is worth getting this aid. Frankly, that is NOT for BBC to decide. You claim that you will continue to report on the humanitarian aspects in Gaza, but your reporting has questioned the pro-Israeli stand you have already taken.

BBC are contradicting themselves, by taking this stand it makes it superbly clear that you are supporting Israel and your ‘impartiality’ has already been questioned and is on the verge of deteriorating.

It has become common knowledge that pregnant women giving births during the massacre have not been able gain post pregnancy treatments till this day. Children who have lost limbs or survived close range shootings are sitting in hospitals with infections due medication depletion, families have been torn apart, livelihoods snatched. There is need for immediate medical aid, water, housing and long term aid is further needed and you are concerned with ‘risk’ of compromising public confidence? And so I am dismayed and wonder at what kind of people work at BBC? Obviously they themselves have not been brought up with basic human values.

I will advise you that before you loose all credibility, that BBC needs to reinstate DEC its free fundraising broadcasting time immediately and start to respond to the REAL humanitarian appeal for Gazans. It may come as a surprise to you but the people of Gaza are actually human beings who have been denied nearly every basic human rights by Israel, have been victims of horrendous war crimes committed by Israel and are still suffering from the consequences of the three week massacre.

I demand as a BBC licence payer for you to broadcast DEC’s appeal immediately and to take full responsibility for this cold and callous decision made.

Awaiting your reply

French president Nicolas Sarkozy recalls the student uprising in Paris in May 1968. warned his fellow rulers of a “European 1968”.

Organised Students are  a vital element of resistance writes Chris Harman

Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland. The last two months have seen a new upsurge of student struggles, leading French president Nicolas Sarkozy to recall the student uprising in Paris in May 1968. He warned his fellow rulers of a “European 1968”.

In Britain students were central to the huge demonstrations against the Iraq war six years ago and they have been a vital component of the protests against the Israeli slaughter in Gaza.

The role of students will be no less vital in the period ahead. The “war on terror” still means the bombing of peasant villages in Afghanistan and North West Pakistan.

The instability that leads to these wars will only be increased by the development of the most serious economic crisis since the 1930s.

Read the rest HERE

The following should be read alongside this article: 
» Victory to the movement
» Occupations spread across Britain
» Fighting for a better world
» Resist the 'war on terror'

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© Copyright Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original and leave this notice in place.

If you found this article useful please help us maintain SW by» making a donation.

Oxford occupation. now, where are the workers strikes?

A little bit of commentary at Jim Jay's blog

An article in the Guardian

Bradford Students' union OFFICIALLY backs the occupations

A fellow Israeli student: 'I don't know what to believe any more - my history has been taken away from me.'

Analysis of UK University Occupations.

The Fearless Theorillas | 24.01.2009 01:37 | Free Spaces | Palestine | Workers' Movements

Initial response to the wave of occupations in a dozen universities across the country in solidarity with Gaza. The Theorillas [Theory-Guerillas] are an affinity group throwing theory at the movement.

Initial Response to the UK Occupations.
Gaza / Occupation / Recession

The demands being made by UK students are directed not at some anonymous government figure head, or drudging up notions of rights and responsibilities.

Instead, they are calling for their universities themselves to actively respond to the situation, rather than passively remain a silent partner. The demands include scholarships for Palestinian students, equipment to be sent to students in Gaza, and for the universities to condemn Israel's actions. There are also calls for disinvestment from companies which support the Israeli war machine.

What these demands do is not only prove that our student body is a thinking, articulate collective, but also that there is a wide spread linking up of our systems of authority. An Israeli student I spoke with after a planning meeting for one of these occupations said: 'I don't know what to believe any more - my history has been taken away from me.' She has been radicalised by the recent conflicts - not because it has appealed to her on any particular level of identity, but because her notions of authority are being challenged.

As the recession hits deeper, and as the G20 hits London, more and more these questions of authority and legitimacy will be raised. Universities, as institutions privileged with cultural authority, are being forced to play out the ends of their own logic.

Imperialism is a method of capitalism and authority, and right now that is what is being challenged on our campuses. At SOAS the security guards brought in to deal with the protesters had their logic flipped back on them, being described as the real occupation on campus. And perhaps this is the exact kind of argument we need right now, demanding that our so-called leaders act up to their rhetoric, and then watch as they fail.

To those students yet to occupy:
Why occupy universities? Because there the system of authority is visible and normally accepted. Our acknowledged systems of authority must be challenged first, and after this the concealed schisms reveal themselves. So students, occupy. Warm up the room for the rest.

To those students in universities where the demands have been met:
They're counting on you to stop there. They're counting on you to think that you all behaved maturely and moderately, and came to a sensible conclusion. Which is great. Because it means that the next time you occupy, you can push your demands further.
The Fearless Theorillas

Friday, 23 January 2009

Article in Guardian about student occupations-we're getting there...

Gaza-Occupy your college video from LSE including clips from other occupations

E-tips for student occupations.

I am finding it hard to keep up with all the updates of new universities joining occupations.

Please add your uni to the Facebook group and also send to me too at revolution[at]

Please email me for a list of Media contacts that i have recently received. Also let me know if you have any new email addreses to add to it.

May I suggest that each uni does the following things:

1) set up a blogspot or wordpress site
2) install a counter to monitor how many visits you get. This is also useful for seeing where in the world people are visiting you from. Google analytics is much better but personally i can't work out how to install it! (help please anyone?). And, i think you can only install this on a Google supplied Blogspot. 
3) perhaps set up a Twitter and/or Jaiku account. This way you can disseminate FREE texts to people who follow you.
4) Add all the new uni's to your blog like Oxford have done:
5) Upload photo's to Flickr if you can. This makes them more accessible than on Facebook. Make sure you mark them as available on a 'Creative Commons' licence. that way we can download them to use.
6) Set-up a qik account if you have a nokia or other compatible phone. Then you can upload videos DIRECTLY to the web and stream them live. See mine for some fairly rubbish examples But, once you have got the hang of it you can stream LIVE to your site, things like your public meetings can then be watched LIVE by people who cant actually make the meeting.

Socialism or Zionism: a tale of two grandads

Socialism, not Zionism, was once the dominant political force among European Jews. It’s time to reclaim that tradition, writes Dan Mayer

I have two Jewish great-grandfathers, Leon Simon and Gustav Mayer. Their different political trajectories cast a light on the history of Jewish people in the first half of the 20th century.

Leon Simon’s family fled Russian antisemitism and came to Britain in the late 19th century. Leon became an active Zionist and took the minutes at the 1917 meeting of British Zionists where the Balfour declaration was drafted.

Gustav Mayer was a German social democratic historian who wrote a biography of Frederick Engels and attended the Zimmerwald conference of anti-war socialists in 1915.

Most Jews living in Europe at the time suffered from poverty and oppression. But there was a vibrant debate among Jews over how to fight this oppression. And Gustav’s response was more typical than Leon’s.

Of the four million Jews who left Russia between 1880 and 1929, just 120,000 emigrated to Palestine – and half of them didn’t stay. Meanwhile Jews were heavily involved in the socialist movements, and in the leadership of those movements.

Read the middle bit HERE

After the Second World War many Jews continued to join socialist movements and take a principled stand against Zionism, not least Ygael Gluckstein – also known as Tony Cliff, a Palestinian Jew who founded the Socialist Workers Party.

Many Jews who did not question Zionism nevertheless opposed what they saw as Israel’s “excesses”. But these currents were marginal to mainstream Jewish opinion.

Now things are beginning to change. The global anti-war movement, the breakdown of the “peace process” and Israel’s invasions of Lebanon and Gaza have created the first major cracks in Zionism’s domination of the Jewish community since the creation of Israel.

Gerald Kaufman, a Labour MP who was once a staunch Zionist, denounced Israel’s leaders as “mass murderers and war criminals” in parliament last week. “They bring shame on the Jewish people whose Star of David they use as a flag in Gaza, but whose morals go completely against what this Israeli government are doing,” he added.

Israel’s latest massacre in Gaza has created turmoil within the Jewish community. Many Jews, especially the younger generation, simply refuse to associate themselves with a country synonymous with racism, militarism and barbarity.

For some, participation in the mass anti-war demonstrations will lead them to the rediscovery of a rich Jewish tradition of socialist anti-Zionism, one that has lain nearly buried for decades.They will see that Leon Simon’s dream was destined to become a nightmare – and that Gustav was right all along.

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top of page

5907 Blog Visits in One Day on Oxford university occupation blog

News of the occupation reached across the world as 5907 people visited the blog yesterday, and today’s over 2000 have already also visited. News of our actions also reached the Gaza Strip where we recieved a phone call from a press office during the occupation.

Video of LSE occupation.

More uni's join the wave of Student Occupations, Kingston, Salford, Bristol and more to come...

Manchester (different from Manchester Met): email


blogs will be added once i get the addresses.

Manchester Met students refused food or acces-send emails of protest to VC

Hi from Manchester

We urgently need people to send messages of protest to Manchester Metropolitan's VC. The
students in occupation have been locked in the building and are being refused access to

Send messages of protest against the tactics used by Uni management to:

and messages of support to

Check out for updates.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Gaza Foundry Solidarity events

Gaza_Foundry eflyer, originally uploaded by solomonsmfield.

We 're devoting the whole of our monthly residency at the Foundry this month over to Gaza,
in order to contribute to building a movement to free Palestine and stop the Zionist project,
hopefully similar to the one that smashed apartheid in the eighties...

FEATURING footage from the heart of the protests including: demos at the Israeli embassy
the huge marches the current wave of occupations, including SOAS and LSE arguments to counter the Israeli propoganda machine

PLUS Ilan Pappe on the history of Palestine,

AND the brilliant film "The Iron Wall" - essential viewing for understanding the situation.

SPEAKERS from the campaigns will be present to contribute to a discussion on where the movement goes from here...

Report: Belgian court petitioned to arrest Livni upon arrival in Brussels

By Barak Ravid and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents
Tags: GazaIsrael News 

European attorneys have reportedly petitioned a Belgian court to arrest Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni upon her arrival in Brussels later Wednesday, according to the Web Site. 

The complaints was apparently lodged on behalf of Belgian and French nationals with relatives who were either wounded or killed in Gaza, and calls for Livni to be arrested for war crimes. 

The Foreign Ministry is looking into the report and the Israeli embassy in Brussels has not yet been involved in the matter, sources said. 

Most recent uni's to occupy. Student occupations are on the up again


Manchester Met-blog on it's way: email



Oxford blog with great pictures:

That's 14 so far....

Please comment below with any pics or blog addresses.

Also, Birmingham students have been forcefully evicted from their occupation by police, which is illegal. More information soon.


“Students from LSE have sent a powerful message. People will not sit idly by while Gaza burns. We will take direct action to break the link between Britain and Apartheid Israel.”

Students at LSE have ended their six day occupation after winning a substantial victory.

This includes:

1) Officially School-endorsed day of charity for MAP (Medical Aid for Palestine) co-sponsored by LSE SU Palestine Society
2) Old books and computers shipped to Gaza by LSE
3) Scholarships: Discussion with school to find suitable candidates for scholarships sponsored by 4) LSE-PSI and LSE SU PalSoc with an official school committee
5) Disinvestment: Representation on the committee of the Council discussing an ethical investment policy to make the case for divestment (presented by a school official to give it extra weight)
6) A personal statement from the director on Israel’s assault on Gaza
7) No victimisations of students involved in the occupation.

This is a fantastic victory and shows what occupations can achieve. The key to LSE's success was that they involved large numbers of students by having a constant rolling programme of meetings and lectures in the ‘liberated space’, plus going out and leafleting, petitioning and doing lecture shouts to build up support.



In the first week of term, over 80 Oxford University students have occupied the historic Bodleian building to demand that the university releases a statement condemning the attack on Gaza and cancel the lecture series at Balliol College inaugurated by Shimon Peres.

Students organised the sit in after attending an emergency meeting in Oxford organised to discuss the war on Gaza and the precarious ceasefire. Members of the University entered the Clarendon building and sat down at 1200, British time, on Thursday 22nd January. Their demands were presented to University officials.

Gordon Brown gives Israel a licence to kill

This article should be read after: » Eyewitness report: Israel is guilty of war crimes

The Israeli army’s murderous assault on Gaza has been carried out with weapons made in Britain.

The British government licensed £24 million of British arms exports to Israel in the first half of last year – a £6 million increase on exports licensed during the whole of 2007.

Exports included components for combat aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, naval radars, electronic warfare equipment, weapon sights and military communications technology.

Human rights group Amnesty International recently highlighted evidence that engines for Israel’s unmanned military aircraft are being manufactured in Britain. United Nations agencies in Gaza have reported that these “drones” were used in the assault on the Palestinian population.

Britain’s Labour government also licences components for use in Apache combat helicopters and F-16 fighter planes, both of which are used by the Israeli army.

Britain also imports arms from Israel. The Campaign Against the Arms Trade notes that the government spends “millions of pounds each year on ‘battle-tested’ arms from Israeli companies, including 2,000 cluster shells that were used in Basra in 2003”.

Israel is one of the most militarised and highly armed states in the world. It has repeatedly committed atrocities against Palestinians.

Yet Gordon Brown has refused to issue any kind of serious arms

embargo on Israel. Instead he offers the services of the British navy to help stop the “smuggling” of arms to Palestinian resistance fighters.

We should fight to force Brown to break all diplomatic, military and commercial links with Israel – including the British arms trading that helps to fuel Israel’s terrorist war on the Palestinians.

The following should be read alongside this article:
» Eyewitness report: Israel is guilty of war crimes
» 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)

» email article | » comment on article | » printable version

© Copyright Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original and leave this notice in place.

If you found this article useful please help us maintain SW by » making a donation.

Kings occupation program

Dear all,

Thank you for all your support - we have had a really successful day today in our liberated space (the doors are open to all staff and students at any time and to stay the night!). Please send messages of support about the occupation to and cc to

We have received messages of support from Palestine, Cairo and from Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn MP, trade unions and other civil society organisations.

We have received a response to our initial demands and have replied - and we have pretty much won on two demands so far which is a great victory. The two demands relate to a cross-campus fundraising facility for Gaza, and sending old books etc. to Gaza. See our blog for updates (www.kcloccupation.blogspo


The liberated room is K2.31 (near Chapel on Strand Campus)

9am - Start of day update

11am - Press Conference (major outlets invited - all welcome)

3pm - Simon Assaf, recently returned from Beirut Conference, and journalist, Socialist Worker

5pm - Ruth Turner (War on Want)

6pm - Dr Ghada Karmi (Palestinian writer and human rights activist)

Check our block for speaker updates and further news...

Joint statement from: various people/officers from Warwick Pride

Joint statement from:

Warwick Pride | Campaigns,
Warwick Pride | Entertainments and the Student’s Union LGBTUA+ officer.

The fight for LGBTUA liberation is often difficult and sometimes complex but is something we all believe in.

LGBTUA issues of liberation, are always prominent in the lives of all LGBTUA students; be it showing solidarity with those living in fear of imprisonment, or death for simply loving someone of the same sex, or actively fighting for recognition, their rights within the law, challenging discrimination and defeating stereotypes.

It is a sad fact, that organizing and fighting for LGBTUA liberation is disrupted in times of conflict - times of war.

While the struggle may be disrupted, the concerns, and realities faced by LGBTUA students remain.

It is our firm belief that conditions of war are the worst under which to fight and organize for LGBTUA liberation. This includes the current Israel Palestine conflict.

It is our resolve to stand in solidarity with all those LGBTUA students affected by situation in Gaza, by supporting the “Warwick Solidarity Sit In".

It is important that while we discuss and educate about LGBTUA awareness, as activists we engage with a contemporary issue and show solidarity with Palestinian and Israeli civilians affected by Israeli aggression.

We expect to re-organise Pink Families shortly and encourage you to find out more about current events at the sit-in.

Visit the group:

In Pride,

Warwick Pride | Campaigns

Warwick Pride | Entertainments

James Hilsdon

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Dear National Union of Students

I just wanted to let you know that student activism is only dead if you leave it to die, or kill it, just like you have tried to do.

I will continue this letter once i am out of mourning. Good job we have SEVEN student occupations on at the mo with many more to come or i don't think i would ever get over it.

Yours no more,

Clare Solomon

Demonstration For Gaza: Saturday 24 January

leaflet for protest
Click to download leaflet

Israel Out Of Gaza Now: Lift The Blockade

Assemble 2pm, BBC Broadcasting House
Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA
(Nearest Tube Regents Park and Great Portland Place)
March to Trafalgar Square via Downing Street

Click here for coaches to protest

There will be a rally with speakers in Portland Place from 2pm before the
demonstration sets off.
The demonstration will leave for Downing Street at 3pm.

Warwick university in occupation...lead by various people and the LGBT society

More details in a sec...this is an interesting one. Just started their blog HERE

Also: the lgbt (warwick pride) have suspended their lgbt awareness week to support the occupation instead :)

Following our occupation at the NUS conference yesterday we talked to group of students, who didn't join us on the stage at the time, about why we have decided to take direct action and what effect it has. They went back to their own uni, called a meeting and went about occupying their own uni.

These students are from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans society. Our national LGBT campaign has traditionally been quite apathetic and at last conference Mas and i submitted a motion against the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan calling for the campaign to adopt the slogan 'Liberation not Occupation'. LGBT liberation is often an excuse for invading countries due to the false perception that Muslims are homophobic. And, although we don't doubt that LGBT people face massive oppression around the world (or we wouldn't even need an LGBT campaign), conditions of war are the worst under which to fight for liberation.

Since the invasion of Iraq, George Bush cut all the funding to the many LGBT safe houses and now there remains only one. Ali Hili from Iraqi LGBT campaign has spoken at SOAS a couple of times and we continue to support the campaign.

See the article Queer Iraqis are finding life is now worse than it was under Saddam

And, by the way, we won the vote at LGBT conference by a landslide and injected a well needed bit of politics into the campaign.

Well done NUS LGBT.

Speakers at Warwick tomorrow, Thursday: Rob Owen NUS NEC
Mas Naina National LGBT Black students rep
Member of Islington friends of Yinba and ex-soldier of IDF

7pm in the occupied lecture theatre in the Social Sciences building


Warwick University students have claimed a space on campus as an act in solidarity with the innocent victims in Gaza and Israel, and with the other groups in the UK which have taken similar action.

We call on our University to suspend dealings with businesses which support Israel’s illegal occupation, such as BAE systems, and to support our fellow students in Palestine who are being denied their right to education.

There will be talks, films, workshops, debates and anything else we can arrange. The occupation of the space will continue until those who are involved decide to end it, and the activities which take place will reflect the wishes of the group. In keeping with our support for the right to education, we will not disrupt lectures, but will maintain a constant presence in the room.

Other universities in the country, including Birmingham, Essex, SOAS, LSE, Sussex and Kings have already seen occupations. Others are planned and will start at any moment. This is an issue which extends far beyond the borders of Warwick, and this occupation and sit-in is undertaken as part of the wider movement. Join us!

Our Demands

1.Warwick University should suspend all relations with companies which supply the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This includes BAE Systems, MBDA, GE Aviation, QinetiQ and Rolls Royce.

2.That the University donate old computer equipment and textbooks to universities in Palestine, specifically those that were partially destroyed in Gaza during the current Israeli military operation.

3.That the University fund and provide logistical support for a series of talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Iran’s 1979 revolution

A protest during the Iranian revolution

A protest during the Iranian revolution


Thirty years ago Iran’s revolt struck a blow against US imperialism and showed the power of workers in the Middle East, writes Simon Basketter

The US government hates Iran. One reason for this is that when the Iranian people overthrew a brutal dictator in 1979 they also inflicted a massive blow to US imperialism in the Middle East.

Up until the revolution, Iran – alongside Saudi Arabia and Israel – was central to upholding US policy to ensure the stability and safety of Western oil supplies in the region.

Iran’s ruler, the Shah, was a despotic monarch brought to power in 1953 by a coup organised by the CIA and British intelligence.

Read the middle bit HERE...

The left’s failure to organise independently among workers and the poor to fight for socialism allowed Khomeini to consolidate power.

But the 1979 Iranian revolution sent shockwaves around the world.

It showed that Western-backed dictators could be overthrown by a revolution from below.

It also showed the power of workers in the Middle East and raised the possibility of workers’ control of society.

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Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Can u play at LSE's gig4gaza tmrw lunchtime?

1) Essex, Sussex, LSE, Kings and Birmingham also started occupation-who says that students don't care? Who says that one uni taking a stand wont make any difference? Had loads of messages from Gaza and Egypt saying how inspiring it is to see people aroound the world standing up and speaking out.

we also occupied the stage at NUS conference today. It went down like a lead balloon with the 'right-wing bureaucrats'-they couldnt understand what this had to do with them!!
2) CAN YOU PLAY ANY MUSIC TMRW FROM 12.30? at LSE's Gig4Gaza. Please call 07886 001 855 to offer any musicians and/or advice, numbers of other people who can.

Or perhaps u could take an instrument down there and just jam with them...

If you can\'t play anything-why not pop down for support...


Well done SOAS students for starting this ripple: UNITED WE STAND...

Breaking news: 83 Sussex University students in occupation

Send texts of support to +447531 402 533 coz they dont have a blog yet. These messages really do help keep morale up through the night.

Also, Birmingham but not sure of details... blog now up

More information as soon as it becomes available.

breaking news: Kings College in occupation

i'm at conference so dont have much info but check out LSE blog. Address link should be on one of the posts below. Well done guys. Keep us updated.

Please post messages of support on the comments of

Solidarity from SOAS.

kings uni occupation in solidarity with the people of Gaza

Monday, 19 January 2009


Well done to the LSE studnets-they must be knackered. I  was exhausted after only 24hrs. It really is hard to sleep when you are lying on hard floor with loads of other people in the same room, snoring, sleep-talking and fidgeting! Especially when you are worried about the policce, school etc breaking in. Well done LSE. Keep it up.

See their blog for up-to-date info. 

Please also send them messages of support, they really do make a difference to the people inside. Send to: "> 

Not quite sure what is happening to Essex occupation. More details once i get through to them

I've heard of 2 others that are going in tmrw-will let you know

mass demonstration in Tel Aviv-Yaffa against the war in Gaza 17-1-2009

2 open meetings in the occupied space at LSE. All welcome

10:30 - Dan Gewelson of Jews for Justice for Palestine

11am - George Galloway

Old Theatre, houghton St, London, WC1-just opposite BBC, Bush house Aldwych.

Call for more details in the morning...

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Apparently, the West is feeding the fighters in Gaza

OMG, i have just read this vile report, Stop funding a Palestinian youth bulge, and the fighting will stop toofrom The Wall St Journal- what a fricking cheek. "Journalist" Gunhar Heinsohn babbles:
"The reason for Gaza's endless youth bulge is that a large majority of its population does not have to provide for its offspring. Most babies are fed, clothed, vaccinated and educated by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. "
and further:
"As long as we continue to subsidize Gaza's extreme demographic armament, young Palestinians will likely continue killing their brothers or neighbors."
So, what is he suggesting? Stop sending them food and aid? No wonder the IDF has been targeting UN aid ships and hospitals. The only way that the fighting will stop is if Israel ends the occupation of Palestinian land, frees the thousands of prisoner held without charge, stops bombing refugee camps, ends the seige of gaza, opens the border crosses and above all else respects the democratic choices of the palestinian people and their human rights... 

Our eyes are on you and hearts are with you Gaza!

From Dr Akram Habeeb from the Islamic university Gaza. What an amazing photographer-thanks to him for allowing me to download this.

Read also his letter he sent me HERE

In solidarity