Today : Mon 19 Aug 2019

British students solidarity with the Palestinian people

Mon 01 May - 15:08
Students at the University of Manchester demand it drop disciplinary action against activists for protest in March.
British students solidarity with the Palestinian people

Rapporteur_Hessam Karbasian: A group of students from England, in connection with the hunger strike by Palestinians in the prisons of the occupying Zionist regime, solidarity with them and sympathize with them were repeat this action at Manchester University.Human rights activists at the University of Manchester said that the hunger strike that started late last week to 7 days will continue.

Over 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners, the Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, because public awareness of the oppression of the Zionist regime have gone on hunger strike in prison.Mohammad Ezzeldin, in an interview with television network Al Jazeera has expressed, 5 students have participated in the hunger strike and explained his reasons for doing this for everyone.

"The Palestinian political prisoners are kept for 6 months without charge or fair trial.""The disgusting prison conditions they are facing and access to medical care or do not have the right to meet."

Students expressed their hope that the hunger strike on the university authorities to take disciplinary action against pro-Palestinian activists imposed, be revoked.

While the main target of the protest is the Israeli government, it comes amid deteriorating relations between pro-Palestinian activists and the University of Manchester.

Ezzeldin said he hoped the hunger strike would also pressure the university into dropping disciplinary action against two students involved in an anti-Israel protest in March.

"While we've gone on hunger strike purely in solidarity with the Palestinian political prisoners, we hope it increases pressure on the university to comply with our demands.

"Those are to drop all charges from the disciplinary hearing of the two BDS [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] campaign activists."

Disciplinary action

The pair are accused by the university of trespassing and damage to property after unfurling a banner expressing support for the BDS movement.

Palestinian activists accuse the university of censoring criticism of Israel and are demanding that it drop the case.

On the hunger strikers and their demands, a university spokesman said: "We became aware of this situation through social media, but not any direct contact with this group in relation to this particular protest.

"We are aware of their [the activists’] demands, and will respond in line with our obligations."
The university rejects the accusation of censorship and said the events were cancelled because it was informed of them at short notice.Previous allegations of censorship levelled against the university include the charge that it vetoed speakers due to speak at events organised by BDS activists, and cancelled events.

Another demand centres on the university’s ties to engineering firm Caterpillar, which makes bulldozers used by the Israelis to destroy homes of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Students at the university have the backing of dozens of academics in Manchester, including the president of the local chapter of the university and college union, Adel Nasser.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, he praised the actions of the students as "courageous" and criticised the university for using "intimidation" tactics against the students being disciplined for the March protest.

"I think they [students] are doing it with the best intentions, but their success will depend on how much they can shame the university into dropping their stance," Nasser said.

The university is not alone in having a tense relationship with pro-Palestinian activists.

The University of Central Lancashire, the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS), De Montfort University, and others are also accused of censoring critics of Israel.

On Thursday, hundreds of students at SOAS protested against a visit by the Israeli ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev.

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