The following motions were passed at the CUCU EGM on 29 November
Support Dr Doseline Kiguru in receiving a visa for her child
Cambridge UCU notes that:
- Dr Doseline Kiguru was offered a permanent lectureship at Bristol University but has been refused a visa for her six-year-old child to join her in the UK.
- The Home Office wrote to the child claiming that it was her mother’s decision to separate.
- Similar cases have occurred in the past, particularly in 2019 and all affected scholars were from the Global South.
Cambridge UCU believes that:
- Family separations are a cruel and inhumane policy, with particularly traumatic effects on children of separated families.
- All workers deserve to be with their families.
- The ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy of the UK state is designed upon racist principles and affects scholars from the Global South disproportionately to scholars from elsewhere.
- It is the responsibility of UCU to support academics struggling with and against this racist system in particular, and to oppose racist migration policies in general.
Cambridge UCU resolves to:
- Formulate and publicise a statement of support for Dr Doseline Kiguru’s case, asking for the Home Office to allow her child to emigrate to the UK to be with her mother.
- Ask the UCU national office to campaign on behalf of Dr Doseline Kiguru and others in a similar situation.
- To oppose racist migration policies in the UK in both academia and in general.
- To support other colleagues who may find themselves in a similar situation or struggle with the migration system.
Defend Freedom of Speech, Against the Intimidation of pro-Palestine Activists!
Cambridge UCU notes:
- The Israeli state’s current war against the Palestinian people has killed at least 14854 10 492 Palestinians in Gaza (including 6,150 children and 4,000 women) and at least 237 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank (including 52 children), of which at least 4 281 were children, as of 10:24 GMT on Wednesday, 8 October, as of 26 November.
- Furthermore, IDF and settler militia attacks with state backing, have injured more than 36,000 Palestinians, 75% of whom are women and children, and 2,750 Palestinians in the West Bank as of the same date.
- According to UNRWA, over 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced in the Gaza strip during the IDF’s attack in 2023.
- The Palestinian people have the explicit right to self-determination as per the UN Resolution 3236. Furthermore, the Israeli occupation, settlements in the West Bank, and war crimes have been condemned by multiple other UN Resolutions and Israel has questioned the UN and attacked aid workers during its attack on Gaza.
- Students and workers attempting to organise in solidarity with Palestine have been subject to slanderous attacks and intimidation.
- Oxford University threatened disciplinary action against members of its UCU branch for wanting to discuss a motion calling for a mass uprising against the occupation.
- The proposer of a similar motion in solidarity with Palestine to Cambridge Student Council has had their full name published in an article by the Daily Mail; they, the motion’s seconder, and student union officers suspected of being sympathetic to Palestine have been the target of threats and harassment since the student council meeting on 23 October.
- Several such motions and actions have been misconstrued by the media to slander activists as supporters of war crimes by Hamas. In particular, calls for a mass uprising – connected with the example of an intifada – have been distorted to claim they equate to ‘antisemitism’ and ‘incitement to violence’.
- Students and workers campaigning in solidarity with Palestine around the country have faced similar attempts to shut down and suppress their views and actions, such as: media attacks on UCL UCU for passing a motion calling for a mass uprising; the suspension of students involved with a pro-Palestine rally at SOAS; Brunel University putting pressure on its Palestinian Society; and the suspension of the UCL Marxist Society.
- The former Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has labelled demonstrations gathering hundreds of thousands of people in support of Palestine “Hate marches”. Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, personally attacked two members of the UKRI Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) advisory board over statements in solidarity with Palestine. This attack was abetted by the UKRI’s Chief Executive, who decided to disband the EDI advisory board.
Cambridge UCU believes:
- The Israeli state’s ongoing campaign against the Palestinian people, and its illegal occupation of the UN-designated Occupied Palestinian Territories Palestinian land, must end, as the first step towards a long-term solution.
- To campaign in solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people is not hateful; it is unacceptable for students and union members to be targeted, intimidated, and harassed over it.
- Attacks against civilians are always unacceptable. This applies to the Hamas attacks on 7 October; however, in this conflict it has been the Israeli state which is responsible for the vast majority of violence inflicted on civilians.
- To call for ‘mass urisings’ and to refer to the First Intifada is not to advocate for violence like the Hamas terrorist attacks. The First Intifada in the 1980s was a mass movement based on class struggle methods such as strikes, protests, local committees, civil disobedience and tax revolts. To paint it as nothing other than “a series of terror attacks in Israel which primarily targeted civilians” (Daily Mail) is a disingenuous attempt to rewrite history in order to shut down solidarity with Palestine. The Arab Spring, which toppled dictatorships across the Middle East, is an example of the effectiveness of such methods.
- The attempts at suppressing and shutting down pro-Palestine views are a brazen attack on free speech, deliberately applied in order to cover up for the crimes against humanity being carried out by the Israeli state, supported by our own imperialist government.
Cambridge UCU resolves:
- To make a public statement condemning media and government attacks on workers and students who face harassment and intimidation over pro-Palestine views and activism.
- To defend any union members, or other staff and students, threatened with disciplinary action for showing solidarity with the Palestinian people or raising criticisms of Israeli and British imperialism through actions such as e.g. casework etc.
- To launch a campaign in defence of freedom of speech and academic freedoms, in association with the National Union of Students and other campus unions, particularly over the question of Palestine solidarity.
- To explicitly condemn specific cases where students or staff are attacked and slandered, should those arise.
- To also assist Union members in situations of non-institutional intimidation and slander by Zionist activists or pro-Israel academic figures.