Reinstate SOAS students suspended for Palestine protest

London Socialist Students statement

The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London has outrageously suspended a number of students who organised and attended a pro-Palestine solidarity rally outside the university building on 9 October.

This follows Tory education secretary Gillian Keegan calling on universities to clamp down on students who are accused of supporting Hamas (see ‘Tory hypocrites clamp down on students’ right to discuss Palestinian liberation’).

Socialist Students defends the right of students to discuss and debate the way forward for Palestinians, including the right to organise protests without the fear of being suspended or prosecuted by the police. The suspended students must be reinstated immediately, with no sanctions.

London Socialist Students campaigning at Kingston Uni

Tories and university managements are attempting to bring in draconian measures to restrict freedom of speech on university campuses.

We are in favour of the Palestinians building a mass movement and fighting for socialist change to end the brutal occupation and secure national and democratic rights for all, as well as a mass movement of the Israeli working class fighting for socialism.

Such tactics are part and parcel of trying to intimidate students and stop them from expressing support for Palestinians under attack by Israeli forces. Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, forced displacement of Palestinians and cutting of essential supplies has led to the deaths of thousands of civilians so far.

The politics and tactics of Hamas, a pro-capitalist right-wing Islamist organisation, do not offer a way forward for the Palestinian struggle. Also, its targeting and killing of Israeli civilians plays into the hands of the Israeli leaders’ agenda of brutal repression.

On the basis of capitalism, the ruling class in Israel, backed by US and European imperialism, will make sure there is no viable Palestinian state. Only workers’ unity and mass struggle for socialist change within Palestine, Israel and across the Middle East can end national oppression and conflict, and lay the basis for genuine cooperation.

Socialist Students will continue holding meetings and protests around London, as well as in other parts of the country, to discuss and debate the way forward for Palestinians. Get in touch with us for more information about our activities.