This morning, The Telegraph openly attacked communists and Marxists at UK universities for expressing solidarity with Palestine.
The article implies that anyone using this slogan could face up to 14 years in prison. This is a barefaced lie.
An intifada is a mass uprising by an oppressed people. Its literal meaning is a ‘shaking off’.
The Telegraph (@Telegraph) has openly attacked communists and Marxists at UK universities for expressing solidarity with Palestine. We are not intimidated. We will redouble our efforts to support Palestine by fighting to overthrow the imperialist British government. pic.twitter.com/95yx6kE7Gt
— Socialist Appeal (IMT) (@socialist_app) October 18, 2023
The word has a long history associated with the struggle of the oppressed, especially in Palestine. It embodies the idea of a movement of a whole people. Its mass character in the past – see the first Intifada of 1987 – has meant general strikes and civil disobedience.
We’ve sought specific legal advice on this slogan, which states: “Using the word ‘intifada’ is not incitement to violence.” – Professor David Renton, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
The Telegraph is using lies and slanders to attack communists because we’re exposing the complicity of the UK government in Israel’s war crimes, drawing attention to the media’s lies about Palestine, and organising young people to act against British imperialism, which bears real responsibility for the violence in the Middle East.
The Telegraph’s front pages over the last few days, meanwhile, have celebrated Israeli attacks on Gaza and their support from US warships. The newspaper has joined the chorus of western media and state support for the savagery of the IDF and the Netanyahu regime.
It is The Telegraph that incites violence, not the communists.
The Telegraph does not intimidate us. It is a right-wing rag that speaks for no one except its wealthy Tory owners.
In response to this attack, the communists will redouble our efforts to support Palestine by fighting to overthrow the imperialist British government. We urge anyone who wants to help us to get in touch immediately.
INTIFADA UNTIL VICTORY!
UCL students’ union suspends Marxist Society
On 12 October, the University College London Students’ Union (UCLSU) made the scandalous and undemocratic decision to suspend the UCL Marxist Society.
This was because of our refusal to take down posters and social media posts promoting a meeting in solidarity with Palestine.
The UCLSU claimed that we were “inciting violence” by raising the slogan of “intifada until victory” on our poster, and depicting an Israeli soldier pointing a gun at a Palestinian child.
There is absolutely nothing violent about calling for an intifada. The word simply means “uprising” and refers to previous mass movements in Palestine, which have involved general strikes and civil disobedience.
We didn’t cave into the disgraceful tactics of the SU. Instead, we turned our meeting into an open rally just outside of campus.
Fiona Lali, youth organiser for the IMT, spoke at an emergency rally outside of UCL, where @TheUnionUCL CLAMPED DOWN on a pro-Palestine meeting we had organised.
The task of workers and youth in Britain is to oppose our own imperialist ruling class, and the lying bosses’ media. pic.twitter.com/QHEbt2DHkf
— Socialist Appeal (IMT) (@socialist_app) October 12, 2023
Around 30 people turned up, and our strong presence attracted passers-by as well. We were bold, loud, and clear in our perspectives and demands for the freedom of Palestine.
Despite some Zionist hecklers and a faculty teacher threatening to call the police on us, the rally was a success.
Our social media has been filled with solidarity and supportive messages from other societies and student activists, members of the UCL UCU branch.
Already, on the back of the rally, four new people are interested in joining the IMT. The SU’s attack has clearly backfired!
We are now organising a protest against this egregious attack, alongside other groups on campus.
Lancaster communists kicked off campus
While promoting a rally that we had organised in solidarity with Palestine, our comrades were kicked off campus by the university security, and threatened with disciplinary action.
The cynical reason given was that “it’s a time of mutual grieving”. Indeed, we are grieving the thousands of innocent Palestinians that have been slaughtered by the Israeli state, with the full support of “our own” government – all the more reason to speak out!
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We stood firm, but were escorted off campus nevertheless. We are appealing to students to protest this attack by university management.
Despite this, we still managed to have a successful rally with an amazing turnout.
Norwich comrades stand down right-wingers
In Norwich, our comrades organised to pass a motion through the University of East Anglia SU in support of Palestine.
At the student council meeting, the Jewish Society put forward an amendment to our motion, which equally denounced the actions of Hamas as well as those of the Israeli state.
We came under pressure from the SU to accept this amendment into our motion before it even went to council.
Comrades instead held firm and rejected this amendment, which was clearly being made in bad faith to distract from the real causes of this bloodshed: decades of oppression and violence by the Israeli state, backed by the western imperialists.
We used this opposition as an opportunity to put forward our position: that there can be no equivalence made between the actions of Hamas, and the brutal oppression of the imperialist Israeli state.
Although the opposition amendment did unfortunately pass, our defence was met with huge applause from the room – especially from members of the Arab society.
Despite meddling from the right wing, the revolutionary content of the motion remained. And the amended motion was passed by the meeting.
Elsewhere, at a public event we held on Israel-Palestine, we were visited by guests from the security team, sent by the university! Earlier that day, the university called us to tell us what we can and can’t say at this meeting.
The meeting also attracted a handful of oppositionists. Again, we refused to back down or condemn both sides, pointing out the rottenness of their questions. The main detractors left the meeting, to applause and jeers from the room.
SOAS suspends students
Last week, SOAS University in London suspended several students, and the SOAS Palestine Society, after taking part in a solidarity rally for the people of Gaza.
This is extremely hypocritical. The management likes to portray SOAS as a ‘progressive’ university with a lot of talk about ‘decolonisation’ and fighting against oppression.
This attack from SOAS management shows that their words are empty; that they are happy to take the side of the oppressive Israeli state and their imperialist backers.
SOAS Marxist Student Federation stands in full solidarity with the suspended students and the SOAS Palestine Society.