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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 October 2006

No to attacks on democratic rights

LAST WEEK the guardian reported on a leaked government draft document that "urged universities to spy on 'Asian-looking' students". Universities will be told to inform on students to Special Branch because the government believes campuses have become "fertile recruiting grounds" for extremists.

Campuses should be a forum for discussion and debate, but increasingly the 'anti-terrorist' measures are being used to divide students and to prevent protest. It is unlikely to be effective in checking the tiny minority whose anger against the government's foreign and domestic policies leads them to the mistaken methods of terrorism.

Socialist Students, with the vast majority of students including Muslims, completely oppose terrorism. We need to build a mass movement to unite all sections of the community, especially through the trades unions, to oppose war, racism and terror.

The document represents another attack on students' rights on campus, alongside the new proposals on good behaviour contracts and clocking-in systems, and comes at a time when the Muslim community is facing increased government attacks over the veil.

Socialist Students opposes the racist policies of "profiling" of Asian students and the clampdown on democratic rights on campuses. This legislation can also be used against all students who want to organise opposition to the government's policies of war and privatisation.

The document claims that Islamic societies at universities have become increasingly political in recent years and discusses monitoring their leaflets and speakers. However, students in general have become increasingly political with more and more participating in the anti-war movement and angry with other government policies of fees and privatisation.

Students are not alone with 61% of voters saying they want British troops to leave this year. Blair and Co. respond to the anger against the war by whipping up racism against Muslims and clamping down on our civil liberties such as the ban on protests within a kilometre of parliament.

This document represents an attack on students' rights to be political and to organise politically. The National Union of Students (NUS) has criticised the government draft but puts forward no programme for defending students or for building a movement against war and against fees and student poverty.

Socialist Students members from all over England and Wales marched on the anti-war demo at the Labour Party conference and will be organising meetings and protests under the slogans of "no to war, terror and racism and defend our democratic rights".

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In The Socialist 26 October 2006:

Unite and fight to save the NHS

The battle to defend the health service

How can we build an effective campaign to defend the NHS?

A socialist programme for the NHS

Protests force partial retreat from cuts

Marching for the NHS in Torquay

"Action to defend our birthright"

Sack the bosses not the nurses


Socialist Students

Students join the fightback

No to attacks on democratic rights

Chilean students fight Pinochet's legacy


Socialism 2006

Rally for socialism!

NHS SOS


Workplace analysis

How can the trade unions regain their strength?

Trade Union Freedom Bill

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

'Single status' battle continues

How to build a trade union in your workplace

Furious parents turn on councillors


War and terrorism

Bloody chaos in Iraq shatters US war strategy

Sri Lanka: Is peace possible?


 

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Related links:

Democratic rights:

triangleDodgy MP lobbied for genocidal Sri Lankan leader

triangleSpain: 'We don't want to be brave, we want to be free!'

triangleWorkers' protests against state repression in China and Hong Kong

triangleOutrageous sentence for TUSC agent in 'misleading electors' court case

triangleMay's silence is a green light for Chinese repression

Students:

triangleSocialist Students campaigns at Hull freshers fair

triangleMobilise mass student fightback

triangleStudents unite and fight - free education now!

triangleSchool students in solitary: for full funding, not exclusion!

War:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: First World War and the labour movement

triangleWhen working class women dominated football

triangle100 years since police went on strike: "never nearer to Bolshevism"

Racism:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Civil Rights struggles in the UK

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Build a movement against racism

Universities:

triangleCongress shut down by staff walkouts

Socialist Students:

triangleExam factories, cuts and violence - Fight for our future!

Anti-terrorist:

triangleStop the "elites fortifying their power"

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