Tag Archives: Tariq Ali

SOAS Occupation / Tariq Ali on the Importance of the UK Student Protests

http://soasoccupation2010.wordpress.com/

Press release and statement from the occupation

Posted on November 22, 2010 by soasoccupation2010

PRESS RELEASE

Central London college occupied by students over education cuts.

Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, have today taken over the Brunei Gallery, a central college building, in protest at the Coalition government’s plans to impose £4.3bn cuts to higher education.
SOAS is predicted to face 100% cuts to its teaching budget as it specialises in languages and humanities subjects.
Following a mass meeting of the Students’ Union last week, which voted to support occupations at the college, protestors gathered on campus at Monday lunchtime.
The Brunei Gallery was taken over shortly after by cheering students.

The demands are as follows:

Occupation Statement

“At a huge Emergency General Meeting (EGM) last week, SOAS students voted in favour of occupation as part of our fight against Coalition government plans to cut higher education funding and raise tuition fees. Today, over sixty students have occupied the Brunei Suite at SOAS. This number is growing.

We stand in solidarity with other University occupations across the country and all those resisting the government’s draconian and unnecessary cuts. We encourage all students to participate in the National Day of Action against fees and cuts on 24th November. We call on the University administration to join us in our fight to defend education. In particular, we demand:

No victimisation of participants in this occupation and in previous and future student actions against fees and cuts.

That students who participate in the walk-out organised on the 24th of November are not marked as absent from lectures or tutorials on that day

Greater transparency in the School’s budget and in the School’s financial decisions.

That Paul Webley, SOAS Director, releases a statement openly condemning all cuts to higher education and any rise in tuition fees, and writes to the Government in the form of an open letter asking Vice-Chancellors across the country to unite against all threats to Higher Education.

That Paul Webley and SOAS management refuse to budget for the cuts and commit not to raise tuition fees.

We also request that all lecturers devote 15 minutes of lecture time to discuss the impact of the cuts in their classes throughout this week.

The occupation space is open to all students and staff and we encourage everyone to participate in occupation activities.”

Leave a comment

Filed under activism, film and video, protests, student movements

Middlesex Occupation Ends, Fight Continues

The occupation is over, the campaign continues

At 8pm on Friday 14 May 2010, Middlesex University management served a High Court injunction to end a twelve-day student occupation of the Mansion building at Trent Park. The occupation began on Tuesday 4 May, when Philosophy students gathered to protest the management’s abrupt decision to close their unique and successful programmes. The occupation quickly succeeded in focusing remarkable levels of national and international attention on the scandalous situation at Middlesex.

The injunction came into effect at 8am on Saturday 15 May. The students finally decided to end their occupation on Saturday afternoon so as to join a rally, outside the Mansion, in support of the campaign to save philosophy at Middlesex. During the rally, Tariq Ali and members of the campaign spoke out forcefully against the management’s decision to close the programmes, the way this decision was taken, and the way its consequences and implications have been handled.

Today the University management had a clear choice. They could have continued a process of negotiation with the students that management initiated, belatedly and reluctantly, after immense international pressure, on Thursday 13 May. They could have discussed concrete steps for the renewal of MA and PhD recruitment. They could have considered, with their enthusiastic students and staff, options for redesigning and relaunching the BA programme in Philosophy.

Or else: they could have made an appeal to the High Court in order to gain the legal power to drive their students out.

True to form, the management has made its decision. Faced with students who were determined to protect their subject and the future of humanities teaching at Middlesex, management decided to treat them like criminals. Rather than talk to them face to face about the renewal of their programmes, management decided to bully them off the campus.

Middlesex management has been bullying its staff and students for many years now. As everyone knows, the power of a bully ends when the people he intimidates band together and confront him. Middlesex philosophy students have taken a first step towards such confrontation: we appeal to other students and staff, at Middlesex and elsewhere, to join us in this struggle.

This occupation is over; the campaign continues.

To protest the management’s decision to expel the students, please send a message to the board of governors and members of the University executive, to the email addresses below; if you are willing for us to post your letter on our website along with other letters of support, please BCC it to savemdxphil@gmail.com.

Please check this website (www.savemdxphil.com) for future events and regular updates.

The Campaign to Save Philosophy at Middlesex
Saturday 15 May 2010
www.savemdxphil.com
savemdxphil@gmail.com

===========

Email addresses of the Middlesex University management and board of governors:

michael@partridges.org.uk; A.Gajownik@mdx.ac.uk; A.Durant@mdx.ac.uk; thelindens@googlemail.com; andrew.parsons@rlb-law.com; avrobinson1@tiscali.co.uk; l_spence1@sky.com; Bridget.Rulski@guardian.co.uk; colin.hughes@guardian.co.uk; T.Cockerton@mdx.ac.uk; P.A.Johnson@mdx.ac.uk; jritterman@blueyonder.co.uk; dinagray@btinternet.com; j.alleyne@mdx.ac.uk; geoff.lambert2@ntlworld.com; W.Ahmad@mdx.ac.uk; J.Compton-Bishop@mdx.ac.uk; j.mulroy1@btinternet.com; K.A.Bell@mdx.ac.uk; lorna.cocking@btinternet.com; M.House@mdx.ac.uk; M.Keen@mdx.ac.uk; m.driscoll@mdx.ac.uk; PeterCheeseman1@aol.com; Peter.Thomas2@justice.gsi.gov.uk; RS1000@live.mdx.ac.uk; stephen.hand@lr.org; s.knight@mdx.ac.uk; T.Kelly@mdx.ac.uk; T.Butland@mdx.ac.uk; e.esche@mdx.ac.uk

Leave a comment

Filed under activism, open letters, manifestos, appeals, protests, student movements

Tariq Ali: Obama and Empire

Video of a lecture by Tariq Ali at the Marxism 2009 festival in London, “The American Empire in Crisis: Obama at Home and Abroad.” Filmed by Ady Cousins. The video can also be viewed at the Counterfire website.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under critical thought, film and video, international affairs

Chto Delat Weekly Reader No. 7: The All-Obama Issue

obama_victory_unicorn1This past week the whole world has been buzzing, celebrating, and puzzling over the election of Barack Obama to the US presidency. Will his presidency usher in a new era of peace, friendship, and social justice the world over? Or his advent just new window dressing on a bad game that is getting worse? This week’s reader is devoted to skeptical voices on the left who wonder whether we all haven’t been sold a bill of goods. Featuring: Simon Critchley, Judith Butler, Louis Proyect, Alexander Cockburn, Ralph Nader, Unión del Barrio, Richard Seymour, Howard Zinn, Mike Davis, and Tariq Ali. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized