Thursday, 5 March 2009

Details of achievements!

Sorry that we have been very quiet on here.... We have all continued to be very busy organising a victory rally, and publicising our victory around our campus.
We were completely amazed at our achievements, especially considering our initial reponse from the Vice Chancellor who claimed that the University was not in a financial position to offer scholarships, and was rather negative in considering links with the Islamic Univerity in

Anyway... here is the news you have all been waiting for...

1. The Vice Chancellor has issued the following statement which will be printed in all of UELs publications to promote the DEC collection day:

UEL strongly supports the statement issued by Universities UK on behalf of its member institutions, calling for an end to the conflict in and beyond Gaza. We are particularly aware that many of the civilian casualties have occurred in educational establishments. Higher education is a force for understanding, tolerance and mutual respect across the world. Civilian casualties in higher educational institutions strike at the heart of the values which higher education does so much to promote, including the right to education as enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

2. UEL holds not investements in Israeli Companies, instead it has only cash deposits in banks. The Finance Commitee welcomes the proposal of an 'ethical investment' policy and shall consider such a proposal at it's next meeting in 2 weeks time.

3. UEL is to set up a humanitarian scholarship scheme for students in areas affected by conflict throughout the world, which results in their human right to education being denied to them. This would comprise the funding of scholarships, including payment of programme fees and of residential fees, for six students on a yearly basis, commencing next academic year. In the first year of operation, three of these scholarships will be exculsively offered to students in Gaza.

4. All individual schools within UEL are encouraged to develop academic collaboration with individual schools within the Islamic University of Gaza. We shall be supporting schools here and providing them with the necessary information on how to go about such partnerships.

5. Surplus equipment from UEL shall be sent to the Islamic University of Gaza when there is appropriate equiment available.

6. UEL shall be holding an official DEC collection day on the 19th March - to be fully promoted, endorsed, and facilitated by the University.The DEC appeal shall be screened in a lecture theatre throughout the day.

7. Free access was granted to the student occupiers, and we can confirm that no reprisals have been taken against any students involved.

We applaud the University for agreeing to our demands, and we look forward to continuing to raise awareness about the history of
Palestine around campus. For the UEL Stop the War Society this is only the beginning of our campaigns!

We encourage all UEL students who have supported our actions to join the UEL StWS, and attend our weekly meetings at every Wednesday.

Thanks again to all our supporters, you too have played an important role in what was achieved. And to all those who said we couldn't make a difference - ask the 6 students who shall arrive to study here in September. Without our bold actions they would have such opportunities!

Love always,

UEL student occupiers

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


We are completely overjoyed at the news from the Vice Chancellor that all 7 of our demands have been met!
Right now we are clearing away our occupied room in a hasty attempt to get to the bar and start celebrating... although obviously there is still a lot things to do, writing press releases, organising victory rally for tomorrow, and of course, setting up a delegation of students and staff to ensure that all points are followed up.
Our greatest success has to be the scholarships. Having asked for 5 (in the hope of gaining 2 or 3!) we have gained 6! All including residential and tuition fees - and totally funded by the University! In the first year 3 are guaranteed for students from the Islamic University in Gaza, and this will of course be followed up depending on the success for the following years. The remaining three are for students from conflict zones all around the world. This is a real achievement, and to think that in a few months we shall have 6 students studying here with us at UEL, who otherwise would be struggling to study in a war zone, is incredible.

We shall give full details later of each demand - now we have to clean and celebrate!

Thanks to everyone who has supported us, and who has visited us, spoken to us, brought us food, and most importantly - joined us in the struggle for justice for Palestine!


Monday, 2 March 2009

End of Day 13...

Today was a great day, full of interesting discussions, a live web talk with an Israeli activist and plenty of cakes!
The sun was shining and we saw lots of new faces which is always grand. We raised over £100 for the DEC appeal through a cake stall (and generous UEL'ers) as well as continuing to collect signatures for our petition. We now have almost 3,000 signatures which is a fantastic acheivement and shows the extent of support we have.
UEL feels really exciting, with political discussions and debates happening all around - a real break-through! Spreading awareness is the most important step in justice.
At Betty Hunter from Palestine Solidarity Campaign talked to us about the importance of student activism and the recent events in Gaza, including the election of Hamas and the continued blockade which destroys so many lives. Haim Bresheeth was as inspiring as ever, and spoke about the origins of Zionism by Hertzl and how the creation of a Jewish State was a colonial project based on exclusion and extermination of the indigineous Palestinian people.
The live link up with Naomi, an Israeli student activist based in Beer Sheva, was absolutely amazing. To hear first hand of the experiences of speaking out against the crimes of the Israeli government was incredible, and is a real inspiration for all of us. Being able to ask her questions about the reality of growing up in Israel was an education for us all. We salute all those in Israel who stand up for Palestinian rights, refuse to serve in the IDF, face exclusion from Israeli society and by doing so, brings justice for Palesinians ever closer. Together we are stronger!

Following our meeting spirits were high, and we began to plan for out meeting tomorrow with Azzam Tamimi and Hicham Yezza at This will be a great talk and we look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible!

Tomorrow the UEL deans of the schools are meeting with the VC and we await the outcome from this meeting and the discussion of our demands. We shall not be leaving until our demands are signed, sealed and delivered to us....

Good luck to Manchester, who have been invited to meet with their VC on wednesday... their strength has forced him to listen, and now he has to have his ears fully open!

In solidarity with Palestine always - Viva Viva Palestina xxx

Sunday, 1 March 2009

....Effects of white phosphorus horrifically killed civilians in Gaza

White Phosphorus, illegal chemical weapon - used by the IDF throughout 'Operation Cast Lead' on the Gazan population...

A busy weekend....

Sorry to have been so silent this weekend, we have been busy preparing for a "Day for Palestine" tomorrow, making banners, organising speakers, booking ice cream vans etc etc!
We are hoping the grey skies will stay far away - and that there will be huge support for our rally in the square at one. Everyone from all Universities are welcome to join us, we plan to march around the Uni and to have as much presence as possible before the CMT meeting on Tuesday morning where are demands shall be decided.

Having received a seemingly positive response from 7 CMT members last wednesday there are strong feelings that we should have our demands met on Tuesday, although there were a few issues that the scholarships should be open for students from all areas of conflict and that the Vice-Chancellor will only agree to issue the standard statement released by Universities UK calling for an end to the conflict in Gaza.

The 3 week 'Cast Lead' Operation killed an estimated 1,300 Palestinians, caused more than $2 Billion damage in Gaza, and destroyed more than 4,100 homes.
Also destroyed were 25 schools, structures on university campuses and hospitals; 31 structures belonging to the security services; an entire compound of government offices; and 17 other structures housing government offices. The list of destroyed infrastructure includes two bridges, five municipalities and public spaces, four gas stations; and a total of 1500 factories, metal workshops, shops and other commercial structures. The list also includes 20 ambulances.

Yet Israel refuses to open Gaza's blockaded border crossings, without which any major rebuilding will be impossible.

If anyone is free tomorrow at all, even just for half an hour, please pop in and help building for the rally at 1. We shall be petitioning, face painting, hot dog making, you name it - we've got it planned! There will be collections for Gaza and we hope to raise lots of dosh, awareness and support. Get involved!

Friday, 27 February 2009

end of day 10

Today we had a presentation from Naomi Idrissi Wimborne from Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods. In the afternoon we had a film showing from the people from Reel News, saw some films about the January demos against the Israeli attack on Gaza, fellow students in occupation and the Black Panthers. Afterwards we spoke to the directors, who told us about the campaigns they are involved in. Hopefully they will be coming back to film our meeting on Monday.

We have been building for Monday, letting as many people as possible know about Dr Tamimi coming to visit us, some of the occupiers were invited to give out leaflets at Friday prayers.

We’re trying to make Monday as big as possible and really make our presence felt on campus so make sure you come along and tell everyone you know!