Uni Gaza encampments – defend and build the movement

Queen Mary: ‘We won’t pack up and give up!’

by QMUL student, Tower Hamlets Socialist Party

As we go into the fourth week of the Queen Mary University student encampment for Palestine, East London, it’s becoming clear that university management has no respect for the will and demands, its students and staff. The university has refused to meet with us even after statements of support from the UCU, Unison and many other local trade unions. However, this has not deterred us; numbers at the encampment have only grown since week one and students are determined to stay until the university meets us and agrees to our demands.

Queen Mary University London. Photo: Hugo Pierre

Management have gone out of their way to try and villainize the campers to the rest of the student body. Since the start, they have been sending out emails claiming that the encampment is a risk to health and safety.

However, these slandering and insulting emails did violate the safety of protesters. Just a few days after the university sent them, two students came onto the encampment and physically assaulted some of the campers, spraying urine across the camp. Campus security, many of whom were hired specifically because of this encampment, saw this and did nothing.

University management followed up the attack with yet another email, again villainizing the encampment and implying it was the student protesters’ fault for setting up a camp in the first place!

The local community and trade unions are firmly on our side. This camp, and the entire movement for Palestinian liberation, won’t just go away. We are determined and passionate about this struggle and can see that all our struggles are connected; we will not simply pack up and give up!

Emergency Rafah Downing Street demo

by Rose Kwiecinska, East London Socialist Party

More than 10,000 people gathered outside Downing Street on 28 May for an emergency protest, after Israel carried out a horrendous attack on Rafah, bombing a refugee camp and killing at least 50 civilians.

This was despite an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling demanding an end to the Israeli state offensive.

What happened in Rafah has, once again, brought people to the streets. It was one of the biggest emergency protests, despite the fact that we have been consistently protesting for eight months. We sold a lot of copies of the Socialist and handed out all of the placards we brought. People are still ready to fight.

The Tory government is still providing support for the ongoing genocide. Labour is failing to put up any real opposition. The White House says that the Israeli military attacks still do not cross Biden’s ‘red line’ announced just weeks ago.

There is no trust in capitalist politicians. They won’t stand for Palestinians. In the election we need anti-war, anti-cuts and pro-worker candidates. That’s why Socialist Party is standing as a part of TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition).

We need to build mass parties of the working class in Britain, and internationally too, including in Palestine and Israel.

See full article on Socialist Party national site.

Newham union solidarity with Queen Mary encampment

The following was passed unanimously by Newham Trades Union Council. It was drafted and moved by Socialist Party member James Ivens, a delegate from London North Equity union. And seconded by Socialist Party member Angharad Hillier, from Newham National Education Union (NEU). It was sent to Queen Mary student occupation in support, and Colin Bailey, principal of Queen Mary, in protest.

Newham Trade Union Council expresses its full solidarity with the protest encampment against the war on Gaza at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). We stand shoulder to shoulder with those students and staff fighting the institution’s connections to war and occupation, and all those fighting oppression around the world.

We are disturbed by reports that university management has laughed off violent provocations by counter-protesters attacking the camp. We note the same administration ordered a disgraceful break-in and attack on the campus facility of the UCU, an independent campus trade union.

We demand that QMUL management:

  • Apologise for these incidents, and respect the independence and safety of students, staff and their organisations henceforward
  • Guarantee that students and staff taking part in peaceful protest will not face any punitive or discriminatory measures
  • Open QMUL accounts to democratic inspection by the student body and campus trade unions, with the power to terminate all contracts and research tied to war and occupation, while guaranteeing jobs and funding
  • We invite the protest encampment to link up with the trade unions in Newham, by sending a speaker to a future meeting, and by calling a solidarity rally which we will be pleased to support and publicise.

See full article on Socialist Party national site.