IMT communists at the University of Nottingham are under attack from the Students’ Union (SU) for the use of the slogan “intifada until victory”. The university has thrown slanderous accusations of ‘inciting hatred’ at the Marxist Society, and threatened one comrade with police action.
It is clear that this has nothing to do with “protecting students”, as they claim, but it is in fact a political attack on our revolutionary position on the Israel-Palestine conflict. This is why, despite meeting with us and accepting our explanation of the intifada slogan, an SU official insisted that we had to stop using it or face suspension.
This was demonstrated when, in the meeting with the SU official, one comrade asked that if “intifada until victory” is unacceptable, then could they give us an example of what would be acceptable wording. They refused.
We have not capitulated to their baseless accusations and demands, and so the society has been suspended.
We will not let this stand in our way.
We are asking comrades to sign our petition as part of a wider campaign that the Nottingham communists have launched to oppose the university’s scandalous actions.
And on Thursday 14th we will host a rally on campus, followed by a viewing of the BBC intifada documentary.
We have already reached out to the Left Society and The Justice for Palestine Society who we have been working closely with since Israel’s recent offensive began. On Saturday our comrades held a rally and spoke at Nottingham Trent University as part of the fightback.
Comrades can support us in many ways.
Please sign the petition and get others to sign it too. If you are close enough to Nottingham please join our rally on Thursday. And you can record messages of solidarity that we can use in various ways.
They attacked us thinking they would dismantle our influence on campus. But instead they have given us a golden opportunity to point out the hypocrisy of the British imperialists and universities that claim to defend ‘freedom of speech’.
Free Palestine! Hands off MarxSoc!
To Students and Staff at the University of Nottingham,
The University of Nottingham is attempting to clamp down on all those who are showing support and solidarity with Palestine.
They have accused the Marxist Society of ‘inciting hatred and or violence’ for the use of our phrase “Intifada until Victory” and are threatening suspension claiming it may cause distress to students .
These accusations are baseless and a blatant attempt to censor our basic rights to free speech.
We ask, is the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people not a far graver and more distressing event than the Palestinians’ resistance against such genocide?
This is not an isolated incident but a part of a larger, concerted effort to suppress Pro-Palestine and revolutionary voices.
The British government wishes for a free hand to pursue its own imperialist interests in the region. The mass solidarity protests across the country risk undermining this aim, so the Tory Party has responded with full force encouraging Vice Chancellors and police to clamp down on pro-Palestinian activity.
One of our own comrades has been individually targeted by the university, who have begun an investigation into accusations of inciting hatred during a speech, and have even threatened police action.
The university’s refusal to specify the language in question that supposedly incited racial hatred, exposes the hollowness of its claims. We reject this clear attempt at intimidation.
Our stance, “Intifada until Victory,” is not a call for racial violence, but a call for persistent and unyielding resistance against the genocide in Palestine using the methods of class struggle.
The first intifada was a mass uprising by the Palestinian people against their occupation, which utilised mass protests, general and commercial strikes, and were directed by Palestinian communities on both sides of the border.
Despite now trying to dirty the banner of intifada with accusations of terrorism, the BBC’s own documentary ‘The Fifty Years War: Israel and the Arabs’ exposed exactly how the Intifada rejected terroristic methods and instead adopted the methods of class struggle that we are now calling for.
The university’s attempts to paint this as hatred are not only intentionally misleading, but themselves attempt to divide students and workers against themselves by painting all Palestinian resistance as terrorism and all Jews and Israelis as supporting Netanyahu and the Israeli ruling class.
These actions by the university are not in isolation. They reflect external pressures from political groups that support imperialism and the continued oppression of the Palestinian people.
The influence of Tory and Zionist pressures cannot be ignored in this context. Their intent is clear: to stifle any form of support for Palestine and to undermine the movements that dare to challenge capitalism and Imperialism.
We, the undersigned, reject this intimidation unequivocally. We refuse to bend to these tactics designed to silence us. Our commitment to Marxist principles and our solidarity with the Palestinian cause remains unshaken.
We call upon the wider movement, students, academics, and all who stand for justice, to join us in resisting this repression.
We call for:
An end to investigation and harassment of the Marxist Society for calling for Intifada until victory
An immediate end to the investigation of Jack Woodward by the University and for a formal apology to be issued
For the Student Union of Nottingham to come out clearly in favour of the end of Palestinian Occupation
We invite all to Join us for our open meeting on Thursday the 14th of December at 1pm in Monica Partridge Building.
Intifada Until Victory!
MarxSoc, University of Nottingham (affiliated to the International Marxist Tendency)
We have received the following from a student union officer comrade, written in response to the above article:
Having joined the IMT in recent months, my political education has helped expose to me just how bureaucratic, careerist, and crippled students’ unions in Britain truly are.
Ever since the reorganisation of SUs under charity structures, they are now governed by so-called ‘charitable objectives.’ This gives the right to the CEOs; directors, and trustees to ride roughshod over the electoral mandate of sabbatical officers so that any ‘political’ messaging (say, supporting Palestinian liberation) is shot down, and any dissent is met with the threat of expulsion from their posts.
Not only do these careerists undermine the highest level of student democracy, we have seen their reactionary officers target our comrades from London to Nottingham; from to Leeds to Norwich.
A comrade at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) was even targeted by the uni’s special armed men (‘safety and security team’) for leading a 10 person walkout in support of the Palestinian struggle, going so far as to threaten them with police action.
However, comrades can take heart in the fact that these bureaucrats and their hounds are totally disorganised.
The report from Nottingham’s MarxSoc comrades that upon interview of their apparent “misconduct” the SU could not allude to exactly what language had been an incitement to racial violence (because there was none!).
At ARU our comrade bravely confronted security members to demand to know why they were being harassed and that it cease immediately. The ‘security’ team acquiesced straight away and even apologised.
The same comparison can be drawn between this and the treatment of comrades by the Met Police, unable to draw a single string of evidence of ‘inciting racial violence’ against them and forcing them into retreat.
We can see then that the universities, and their guards against students daring to be political, have no basis for their slander and know it.
I have seen the Nottingham comrades’ open letter reach over 170 signatories. And the ARU has recently had its own MarxSoc founded – this is the first time Marxists have had a foothold in the university. Appetite for our perspectives on campuses, which have been devoid of any useful philosophy for decades, is clearly growing.
It is clear that the youth are seeking radical solutions to not just the ongoing genocide, but to many of the woes found in modern capitalist society. The universities and SUs are incapable of providing those solutions or any amount of leadership.
It is up to our cadres, branches, and societies to continue to put forth our revolutionary conclusions and win over the youth. After all, if we have one generation of youth, we will transform the world.
So to all the MarxSocs and student comrades who have faced suppression by their SUs, take it from your comrade on the inside: they haven’t a clue what they’re doing!