Many thanks for your recent focus on opposing racism and fascism on campus.
In relation to this, we cannot do enough to highlight the grave injustice that is the prosecution of the ‘Stansted 15’ for taking courageous direct action to halt charter flight deportations – a despicable and legally dubious practice that directly endangers the lives of deportees. For the crime of acting in defence of human rights and taking on Theresa May’s beloved ‘hostile environment’, these brave people are being charged with ‘Endangerment of an Aerodrome’, contrary to section 1(2)(b) of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990, which is a very serious charge carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. This has prompted Amnesty International to express ‘serious concern’:
It is worth noting that Laura Clayson, former LUSU President, is one of those facing prosecution. I’m sure many on campus will still remember this very popular, principled, energetic young woman. They may also remember that she was, in all probability, reported to police by the University for holding ‘extremist views’ – namely, that bombing Palestine and fracking should be opposed:
(Following the mandatory ‘Prevent’ training, I’m given to understand that labelling your left-wing students ‘extremists’ is a practice officially known as ‘safeguarding’…)
For those who desperately want to oppose the upward surge of racism and fascistic ideas in recent years, here is an opportunity: there are many positive things that can be done to support the Stansted 15 in opposing racist Home Office policies, including writing to MPs, letters to the press and donations to support the Stansted 15 and their cause.
More information on this can be found here:
There must be a group of people who when they hear/see/read the name Mark E Smith automatically think of our esteemed Vice Chancellor. Within this assembly of folk, there will be some who read the New Statesman. This particular weekly journal has a regular slot where a subscriber is invited to select whom they would like to see on the cover of the New Statesman. Imagine how perplexed and concerned (or elated) the said group of people were, when perusing a recent (9-15th November 2018) edition, to discover that Fergal Kinney of Hackney, East London had chosen Mark E Smith.
I feel like wading in somewhat on the white t-shirt issue that’s been plastered all over the news. Honestly I’m a little disappointed that some drunken idiots trolling for reactions has caused such an uproar while more physical safety concerns have ended up being swept under the carpet.
In my fresher’s week, someone I was living with was displaying outright predatory behaviour towards myself and at least two other girls, and though we all complained nothing was done and we got to feel unsafe in our accommodation for the rest of the year. I know someone else (also female) who was the victim of a physical attack by a male student and to my knowledge, no action was ever taken against the perpetrator.
I can’t help feeling like the University cares more about maintaining an illusion of safety, than actually making the University safe.