Defend solidarity with Palestine! Defend freedom of speech! Campaign statement

On 11 October, UCL Marxist Society was suspended by the UCL Student Union. The ‘crime’ committed by the society was to put up posters and posts on social media for a meeting on Palestine that apparently “could be construed as inciting violence”.

Our posters and social media posts showed a Palestinian flag with the slogan: ‘Intifada until victory! The fight for a free Palestine.’ The posters also featured an illustration of an Israel Defence Forces soldier pointing his gun at a Palestinian teenager.

We say: Is it wrong to call for mass resistance to brutal oppression? Is an image of an IDF soldier aiming at a young Palestinian not the sad reality for the Palestinians who live under a violent system of apartheid?

But as shown on the 11th, if you acknowledge this reality and speak out in defence of the Palestinians you will be vilified, slandered, and censored. Sadly this is endemic of a greater attack on freedom of speech for those showing solidarity with Palestine, not just at UCL but across Britain.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has stated to senior police officers that even waving a Palestinian flag could be considered a criminal offence. Already, a protestor in Manchester has been arrested for wearing the Palestine flag – supposedly for ‘breach of the peace’, while other bystanders were also threatened with arrest.

At universities, academics and student activists are coming under attack for declaring solidarity with Palestine or voicing opposition to Israeli occupation. Trade unions are also being criticised. This includes the UCU, who have faced backlash for stating how recent events are “part of a continuing cycle of violence that has been the result of decades of brutal occupation.”

We, the undersigned, condemn all attempts to shut down solidarity with the Palestinian people and these outrageous attacks on a fundamental democratic right, freedom of speech.

We call on all student societies and trade unions, all workers and students, who are in solidarity with Palestine and want to defend democratic rights to:

  • Sign and share this statement widely;
  • Pass motions of solidarity with Palestine and in defence of free speech in student unions and trade unions, that include pledges not to suspend any individual or organisation for showing solidarity with Palestine;
  • Use all means possible including mass meetings, rallies, and social media to show solidarity with the Palestinians and tell the truth about what’s going on; defend freedom of speech; and defend any staff or students who are silenced or sanctioned on this matter.
UCL Marxist Society
UCL Students for Justice in Palestine
Fiona Lali, Organiser for Marxist Student Federation
Jack Tye Wilson, Organiser for Marxist Student Federation
Kent Communist Society
Falmouth Marxist Society
Durham Marxist Society
Long Road Communist Society UCL Ahlulbayt Society 
Manchester Marxist Society
Leeds University Marxist Society 
Manchester Metropolitan Marxist Society
LSESU Marxist Society Sheffield Hallam Marxist Society
Cardiff Marxist Society UCL Islamic Society  Sheffield Marxist Society
UEL Marxist Society
UCL Islamic Society
Soton Marxist Society
UCL Conservatives
UCL Student Socialist Alternative
Socialist Workers' Student Society
Socialist Fightback McGill University (Canada)
Workers' Fight
Nottingham Marxist Society
UCL Bangla Society
Catriona Gold, UCL UCU
Matthew Lee, IWGB & Unison Rep (personal capacity)
Mike Hogan Unison Steward, (personal capacity)
Gabriel Rahman, MA Race, Ethnicity, and Postcolonial Studies Jenna Ali, Natural Sciences BSc (Physics with STS) 
Callie McIntyre, University of Sheffield UCU 
Abel Harvie-Clark, SOAS student 
Professor David Renton, SOAS
Junayd Ul Islam, UCL
Owen Walsh, (University of Aberdeen UCU)
Russ Blakely, Unite Health sector (personal capacity) 
Edgar Sait-Jones, UCL Marxist Society alumni
Arsalan, Unite the Union (personal capacity)
Rara Reines, MA Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies
Niklas Albin Svensson, former student, UCL
Betty Rhaza, Red Internacional Todas las Sangres / Movimiento Micaela Bastidas UK
Cesar Burga Idrogo - Izquierda Socialista Perú
Diego Motta, por la dirección de Izquierda Socialista, Perú
M Murpy Unite Branch secretary
M Todd, Unite Community member.
Harvey Tingle, Lincoln RMT
Miguel Santos 
Zac L 
Leonardo Torres Llerena
Matthew Bridson
Shreya Dua
Tom Wood
Ishika Seal
Nour Rouabah
Adam Parker
Maryam C
Huda Javed
James Mcatee
Justine C.
Shaghil Athar
Yusuf M
Rehan Malik
Ahmed Elsayed
Hamish Grime
Jake Richardson, Greenwich Student Marxists
Lahmia Hoque
Sara Al Disi
Jannat Ahmed
Lujain Khan
Zahra Ahmed
Umme sobia Taiba
Haniah Khan
Rob Parker
Javier Villasante
H Noor BA History UCL
Mona Faham
Zahra Ahmed
Fatma Nusser 
James Laverick 
Jayla Scott 
Natasha Polomski
Mia R
Nahida H
Rahma Virjee
Lella VH
Mahdi Hasan
Zainab Siddique

Nobina Uddin
Ubay Muhammad Noor

Sami Chowdhury
A Khan

Shmuel Halpern-Matthews
Lucas Pärnerteg

Emil Mekhtiev
Artemisia Stevenson
Olivia Chapman
Nahidah Rahman
Tooba Fakhravar
Harriet Soulsby
Sunetra Webb
Faidda G
Robin Holdaway
Mark Newman (personal)
Ciaron Rune H.
Tooba Fakhravar
Sayedah Ali
Maryam A
Ayman Farid
Hebah G
Zakir Choudhury
Beck Marong
Ayman Farid
Suhani R
Hossain Takir
Fardowsa Osman
F Younus
Fariha Siddique
Saptadeepa Chowdhury
Fatima Khatun
Iman Monir
Sunai T
T Ahamed
Angus r
Nasrin Begum
Julie Molenaar
Eeshan Banerjee
Owen Fortunato Brakspear
Brendan Foster
Kisha T
Shihab A
Lauren Vince
Joseph McCloskey
Alice Andermahr
Rachel C
Georgie Craven
Jade McKenna
Lucie Dumont
Owen Rees-Hattersley
Lamiya Gafoor
Halimah Lodhi
Fabien C
Ali Afsharmoqaddam
Zainab W
Aamina J
Fatimah A
Samer Hamadeh
Bilal Arabi
Alina Hussain
Noor Garawi
Oliver Small
Ali Mosa
Kay Denissen
Thomas Crozier
Naqi Rizvi, UCL ABsoc
AJ Swain
Subhan Choudhury
Halima S A
Zara Kidwai - UCL alumni
Hugh Nankervis
Alberto Pezzotta
Nour Abdulzahra
Maryam Sarwar
Aliakber Dewji
Sjoerd Smit
Joe Simpson
Rui Cardoso
saira chowdhry
Calum McDonald-Heffernan

Dilawar Ahmed Warriach 
Kate Holmes
Mehran Mirza
Aysha A
Frankie Chappell
Katie M
Raffaele Mazzella
Cristina Aparicio
Jay Kesav
Nottingham Marxist Society
Jack Woodward
Stephen Owen
Ali Mohammad
Alex Jeffery
Karl Lonsdale
nura seteha

Rodriguez Sz Matyas

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