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PACBI-UMSU General Meeting: A Victory for Justice

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UMSU Activist | November 15, 2007

UMSU General Meeting: A Victory for Justice

Yesterday, a great victory was won at the University of Manchester Students' Union. In attempt to hold to ransom the Palestinian University that we had twinned with, Al Najah in Nablus, the right in the Union put forward the Peace Through Education motion that sought to label Al Najah students as supporting terrorism. Students at Manchester, however, saw through the lies perpetrated by the supporters of Motion 1 and realised that this was a negative motion that sought to break our twinning, demonise Palestinians and to silence any criticism of Israeli atrocities on campus. Amid intimidation, racist abuse and childish insults, Palestinian activists put the case for their Amendment and for Palestine. In the best attended General Meeting since the 1990s, more than 1,100 students turned out to deliver a massive majority in favour of the amendment (634 for, 372 against, 13 abstentions) and subsequently in favour of the Amended Motion (531 for, 210 against, 17 abstentions).

What Wednesday proved was that support for our Twinning Agreement with Al Najah is overwhelming on campus. The campaign to defend it drew many other societies which at first glance would seem uninvolved. It politicised our campus and showed that the sometimes complex arguments about Palestine can become a mass campaign for justice and freedom.

The vote yesterday challenged the prevailing ideas in society at the moment, that Palestinians are suicide bombers, that people who resist imperialism and colonialism are terrorists and that the enemies of US and UK Imperialism and Israeli colonialism are inhuman religious fanatics. Instead, students at Manchester overwhelmingly backed the resistance in Palestine, it saw that the root of the problem was the colonial state of Israel and it recognised that under brutal occupation ordinary people can heroically resist.

Malcolm X said "You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom" and I salute Manchester students for endorsing that statement and for endorsing peace, justice and solidarity in Palestine.

For more information and to get involved with the biggest student Palestine Campaign in the country, please visit [url=][/url]

Posted on 16-11-2007

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