Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/564/6818
Solidarity with Gaza
Students' angry sit-ins
The huge demonstrations against the slaughter in Gaza once again gave the lie to the idea that young people are apathetic or apolitical. The call to protest against the horror of this war was responded to by young people in their thousands.
Socialist Students members
But they did not limit themselves to the main national and local demonstrations. Around 80 students at Keele University joined the Socialist Students initiated protest on 14 January. Socialist Students received a very good response to their call for a protest at Hackney Community College.
Even since the ceasefire a number of student sit-ins have been organised. Where these have taken place Socialist Students members have participated and offered solidarity. In the discussions and debates that have been a feature of the sit-ins Socialist Students have explained the need to involve the wider student population and the trade unions on campus.
Sit-ins have taken place at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where partial concessions to students' demands were won, at the London School of Economics where management agreed to condemn the bombing and send education aid to Gaza and at Essex University where the management agreed to send old textbooks.
They have also taken place at Sussex, Leeds, Manchester Met, Kings College, Oxford and Cambridge universities. At Birmingham University police intimidation ended the sit-in after twelve hours. This was a clear illustration of what the university thinks of peaceful protest and students caring about political issues - they paid scant attention to the demands put to the university by the students. Angered by the police response, around 200 students staged a demonstration for Gaza in the centre of the Birmingham University campus two days later.
Socialist Party councillor Rob Windsor addressed protesters at the Warwick protest in Coventry. He emphasised the need to stay united after this occupation, and after this campaign.
In The Socialist 28 January 2009:
Slaughter in Gaza
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
Marxist analysis: history
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news
Socialist Party reviews