179 Views
2 Comments

Pro-Palestinian students occupy lecture theatre after anti-war talk

The Union council was evenly split over whether to allow Dr. Azzam Tamimi to speak (Photo: Nick Blumsom)

The Union council was evenly split over whether to allow Dr. Azzam Tamimi to speak (Photo: Nick Blumsom)

Students occupied the Arts A2 lecture theatre in protest over the continuing Israeli military action in Gaza, following a speech from a controversial British-Palestinian academic that drew an audience of hundreds of students last Tuesday evening.

Dr. Azzam Tamimi joined other pro-Palestinian advocates from the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Stop the War Coalition at an event in the Arts A2 lecture theatre, where he passionately defended Hamas and emphasized the need for an international coalition to stand against Israel’s occupation of Gaza.
Dr. Tamimi spoke for about 20 minutes in his initial speech, denouncing Zionist principles and the Israeli action in Gaza.

A spokeswoman from the Stop the War Coalition said the British Government and British corporations ought to sever their ties with the “fascist war machine” Israel, highlighting its history of repeated human rights violations and war crimes.

The majority of the audience was in strong support, cheering loudly and banging the tables. One dissenting voice said it would have been nice to have had a pro-Israeli presence, indicating that the meeting was one-sided.

But Dr. Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought and a prominent member of the Stop the War Coalition, was almost not allowed to appear at the University at all, after a meeting of the Union Council was split evenly over whether to allow him to speak. Laura Tazzioli, University of Sussex Students’ Union President, made the casting vote in favour of Tamimi after the eighteen votes on the council were split with eight for, eight against, and two abstaining.

Dr. Tamimi faces opposition because of his associations with Hamas and his previous comments in support of suicide bombing. In an interview with the BBC in 2006, Tamimi said he would be a suicide bomber if he could get into Palestine.

“I cannot get in because I am not counted as a Palestinian”, he said. “Sacrificing myself for Palestine is a noble cause. It is the straight way to pleasing my God and I would do it if I had the opportunity.”

Those against Dr. Tamimi’s visit to Sussex also cited his links to Hamas, claiming that the group is a terrorist organisation and that allowing Tamimi to speak would violate the No Platform for Fascists policy. Supporters for Dr. Tamimi’s visit pushed the idea that Hamas isn’t officially a fascist organisation, and therefore does not violate the No Platform Policy. The policy prevents racist and fascist organisations like the BNP and Hizb ut-Tahrir from participating in union affairs or speaking on campus.

‘Dr. Tamimi faces opposition because of his associations with Hamas and his previous comments in support of suicide bombing.’

Hamas is defined as a terrorist organisation by many governments around the world. Hamas’ military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades, is defined as a terrorist organisation by the British government.
Reactions to the decision were divided. One student, who chose to be anonymous, stated: “Allowing [Dr. Tamimi] to speak really improves Sussex’s free speech image.” Others felt that someone with links to Hamas and who had endorsed suicide bombing had no place at Sussex.

Following the event, 83 of the 270 attendees stayed to occupy the Arts A2 lecture theatre, demanding that the University officially condemn Israel’s actions in Gaza, cease pro-Israeli investments, boycott Israeli goods, create three fully paid scholarships for those unable to attend university in Gaza, send surplus university resources to Gaza University, and agree to take no action against the students involved in the occupation.

Students at the LSE have been occupying a lecture theatre for the past week, as a protest against the LSE’s investment in Israeli corporations. Students developed a plan to occupy the lecture hall until LSE cuts off its ties with the corporations and awards scholarships to children caught up in the Gaza crisis.
One of the students in the occupation came to talk about the success so far, and how this strategy has caught on in a few other universities across Britain, including Kings College London, Essex University and Birmingham University.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

2 Comments

  1. As someone who campaigned and voted to keep the No Platform policy last year, I can’t help but feel I wasted my time when someone who supports the murder of Jewsih civilians is welcomed onto campus.

    The ultra-authoritarian Hamas meet the definition of a fascist organisation just as the likes of the BNP do.

    Reply
  2. Pro-Hamas or not, the council meeting decided that they were not intrinsically anti-semitic. i can sympathise with the feeling of threat that is felt in some members of the community feel (and they dont have to be jewish) it seems that the split vote in council reflected the split feeling on campus in the AGM last year before the referendum on the issue of no platform.

    I would just note that the occupation that happened after the talk does not represent a homogeneous group of Pro-Hamas individuals, but rather a collection of concerned individuals with very different feelings and backgrounds on the issues surrounding Israel, Palestine and the Middle East in general.

    Please come and see for yourself if you have not already and sign our petition if you are convinced.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
537 views1
Campus News
537 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
75 views
Arts
75 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
109 views
Arts
109 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
107 views
Arts
107 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
132 views
Arts
132 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
148 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
158 views
Arts
158 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
150 views
Arts
150 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
244 views
Campus News
244 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
116 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
230 views
Arts
230 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
149 views
Arts
149 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
222 views
Artist Focus
222 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
158 views
Interview
158 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
223 views
Arts
223 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
250 views
Arts
250 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
288 views
Arts
288 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
200 views
Artist Focus
200 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
214 views
Books
214 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
267 views
Science
267 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
273 views
News
273 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…