Students mobilise on Palestine

Submitted by AWL on 25 May, 2021 - 5:38 Author: Abel Harvie-Clark
Palestinian flag at demo

The student union at SOAS university in London joined the Palestinian call for a strike on 18 May, and finished the week with a campus vigil for lives lost to colonial violence. London students went on to join the internationalist bloc at the Palestine demo in London on Saturday, connecting struggles from Colombia, Ethiopia and Palestine as a common struggle against oppression and state violence.

Apartheid off Campus, a student campaign group, has called a day of action for Friday 28 May: “a call for students to unite for BDS”. The student union at SOAS university in London voted to reaffirm “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS) last week, resolving that the union will boycott all Israeli goods and cut ties with all Israeli universities. A wide range of student societies at UCL also signed their commitment to BDS in the last week, and campus protests against their universities’ connections with Israel are taking place at UCL and LSE.

Workers’ Liberty has long argued against such academic boycotts, and counterposed building links with democratic movements in Israel, including on Israeli campuses. (31% of the students at Haifa University are Palestinian, and 18% at the Technion).

Antisemitic threats of violence against Jewish students at UCL have led to increased police patrol on UCL campus. The threats are seriously worrying, but the police presence also threatens students on campus. Student organisation and education, not police presence, is needed to root out antisemitism on campus.

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