Wes Streeting supports student occupations for Palestine

If you’ve read the article from The Independent (see previous post). You will have no doubt noticed that student occupations are receiving widespread support. This includes support from NUS president Wes Streeting. Just in case you missed it here’s what he said:

What we’ve seen over the Gaza issue is a resurgence of a particular type of protest: the occupation. It’s a long time since we’ve seen student occupations on such a scale. It’s about time we got the student movement going again and had an impact.

The Manchester Uni occupation applauds Wes for this sentiment. We would be very happy if he came over to address our occupation on the importance of building a fighting student movement for Palestine as well as using his position to push the NUS to put pressure on our Vice-Chancellor Alan Gilbert to concede to our demands, send a letter to our union’s Gen Sec Rob Pinfold congratulating us for our actions as well as Labour Students in Manchester who have been hostile to us. We would also be very happy if the NUS pledged to campaign to defend occupying students against any reprisals from management.

Get cracking Wes!

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7 Comments »

  1. is it really me? said

    My heartiest wishes for the campaign you have been involved with. The people of Palestine need our support, which the governments of the European and American countries are denying. Each and every human right is being violated but still the governments refuse to move just to get the brownie points over the middle east politics. It’s hard to believe that to what level these politicians can stoop. After Afghanistan and Iraq we are going to have one more ravaged state but no body seems to care.
    Let the struggle continue…
    With best wishes
    Gorvika Rao
    India

  2. Kenneth William Atherton said

    You have made the biggest challenge in UK HE by throwing down the gauntlet to Professor Alan Gilbert! (please read references at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Gilbert) This will not be a battle won in the short term, and you are brave indeed to take him on!

  3. […] Manchester point out the article contains a quote from Wes Streeting, the president of the National Union of […]

  4. […] Wes Streeting, NUS careerist, has woken up- “What we’ve seen over the Gaza issue is a resurgence of a particular type of protest: the occupation. It’s a long time since we’ve […]

  5. […] the Manchester University occupation The Manchester Uni occupation applauds Wes for this sentiment. We would be very happy if he came […]

  6. On the face of it this is a very laudable statement by Wes Streeting. However it may be advisable to treat this with caution given his centrist politics and position as a member of Labour Students, not to mention his role in dismantling the democratic structures of the NUS and his lurch to the right in the fight over fees.

    I would ask you to consider whether Streeting would have supported occupation were it not already an accomplished fact. Had an attempt been made to achieve the goals of the occupation through the NUS would he not have insisted on tempering your demands to what is “achievable” and counseled that a process of debate was the only means for progress? As he stated during the fees debate last April, “just shouting ‘free education’ would not work, that’s the real sell out, the retreat to dogma, you retreat from the debate.” And yet as I am sure you are well aware the students of King’s College, Soas, LSE and Oxford have occupied their universities shouting ‘free Palestine’ and won many of their demands. They have also won the support of the UCU lecturer’s union and a huge section of the public.

    So here Wes is only half right, “just shouting” of course does not work, but the real sell out (and what a loaded term that is to be throwing around as a young politician these days) is not as he would have it “the retreat to dogma”, but quite the contrary “the retreat from the impossible.” A few weeks ago who among you would have dared believe that you would be part of a growing international movement occupying your place of education in solidarity with an embattled people in a distant land let alone that this movement would have won a range of concessions? And yet there you are, by your very actions redefining the co-ordinates of the possible.

    I applaud your bravery and implore you not to turn your faces from “the impossible”, Wes Streeting has made his statement knowing that if all those that these occupations have inspired were to embrace it as you have done that he will quickly be consigned to the fate of historical irrelevance.

  7. Gary said

    National President Wes Streeting ‘misrepresented’ by the Independent says NUS – release official statement

    http://gazasolidarity.blogspot.com/2009/02/uk-student-occupations-national.html

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