UK Student Palestine Conference
The UK Student Palestine Activists Forum calls on student activists from around the UK to join us at the University of Manchester Student Union for the UK Student Palestine Conference, on Sunday September 23 2012, 12pm – 6.30pm.
(Conference Program below)
The UK Student Conference is aimed at gathering all students from Palestinian society groups at different Universities from England, Scotland and Wales. Together we will form the steps necessary to guarantee that this year our commitment to justice in Palestine exceeds all previous years; our activism brings achievement and that our campaigns bring results. With the rising Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and the threat it poses to the Israeli Apartheid system, it is now time that we as students go beyond just being members of our Palestinian solidarity group and become change-makers – on campus and across Britain.
GOALS OF THE CONFERENCE:
– To Give students the ideas and tools they need to build effective campaigns, particularly Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions efforts.
– To Link Palestine Societies with other national and international organizations, so that they have better access to outreach, speakers and resources.
– To Develop effective and safe methods of communication between UK student activists.
These goals mean building creative and engaging campus campaigns which seek freedom, justice and equality for all Palestinians; involving new people on the issues; challenging academic discourses; and with Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, creating real political and economic pressures while narrating Palestinian identity.
The conference is also to prioritise developing our communication, support and skill-sharing networks across the UK. As students it has become imperative that we connect our struggle with all those who seek justice and freedom from oppression. United, we can turn our organizing efforts at the local level into a united campaign to better achieve liberation and justice for Palestine.
Palestinian students must show courage everyday just to exist, to get to school or university, to gain an education amidst the curfews, the shortages, the bombings and the demolitions. If we don’t take every step necessary towards justice for our Palestinian brothers and sisters this year, injustice in Palestine will prevail.
The conference is specifically geared towards:
· New students who wish to find out more and get involved
· Current Palestine student activists
· Students wishing to organise a campus Palestinian society
· Alumni who wish to contribute to campus activism
Groups should try to send at least six delegates. It is suggested that at least one participant from each University be a student in academic year 2012-13.
It is an exciting time to be involved in Palestinian activism and this conference will be the springboard to a year of amazing campaigns across UK campuses. We need your active involvement to make it happen!
To express interest and book a place email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*We are requesting that those wishing to book a place e-mail from their Palestine society’s e-mail address. If for any reason you are unable to do so (i.e. there is no active Palestine society at your university/college, or you are not a member) please let us know and we will arrange for you to register individually*
“As we head into a new academic year, this student conference is an excellent start to coordinating creative BDS campaigns across universities and setting plans for the most successful Israeli Apartheid week yet!”
– Rafeef Ziadah, Palestinian spoken word artist and activist and representative of the BDS National Committee
“Students were at the forefront of the BDS movement to end apartheid in South Africa. We expect no less from British students in support of the Palestinian BDS call. I call on all British students to stand and act on the right side of history, beginning with this important conference on the 23rd September in Manchester.”
– Haidar Eid, Steering Committee of the Palestinian Academic and Cultural boycott of Israel (PACBI) Gaza
“The UK Student Palestine Conference will be taking place this year amid unprecedented growth of the BDS movement around the world. This growth has brought debates, discussions, and as of late, numerous successes, proving that organized civil society action is a precursor to the success of any global solidarity movement. At this significant interval, the UK students are gathering to facilitate further action and coordinate their efforts like never before. The success of this conference (to be held at the University of Manchester – September 23, 2012) will energize Palestinian society groups at UK universities, mobilize greater civil society involvement, and provide solidarity models for other universities around the world. One is immensely proud of UK students for leading such a major endeavor, which deserves all of our support and encouragement.
– Ramzy Baroud, Palestinian-US author and journalist
“Students in Britain have been at the forefront of Palestine solidarity activism for some years, from the Gaza massacre protests to BDS initiatives that raise awareness and challenge complicity. The successes to date – and the potential for much more – has got the apologists for Israeli apartheid on the defensive. Despite attempts to smear or water-down campaigns of education and action, the focus and creativity of activists will ensure the continued growth on campuses of a movement for Palestinian rights and accountability for Israel’s crimes.”
– Ben White, writer, journalist, activist @benabyad
12pm coffee and tea, registration – pal society, university, emails, name badge, ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’ will be made available to each Pal Soc, as will Tears of Gaza (waiting for confirmation) and Occupation 101. The posters which are made and editable will also be provided. Other student resources you can think of too.
12:30pm Keynote speaker BDS activist Haidar Eid and professor at Al Aqsa University will introduce the meeting from Gaza through Skype outlining the need for increased solidarity from Universities, and the rising successes of the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
12:45pm: 3 short videos of some actions on campus
13:00: What does a successful campaign look like, introductory panel with Maev McDaid, John Bennett, Mike Deas
Introduction to Student Activity in the UK, What some universities have achieved with focussed and coordinated activism on campus with bds at its heart. How can we emulate and improve on them this year? Group discussion 4-5 people talking about, how to start a successful group, maintain numbers, experiences on campus, what happened last year, what didn’t work, what is needed both in action, resources and targets. 5 minute Feedback to the main group. Short responses
14:10: Talk from Amena Saleem (PSC) about media action
14:20: Skype feed to West Bank from the right to Education campaign
14:45: Feedback and Q&A between West Bank and the UK
15:00: Lunch (provided at the conference)
15:45: 3 Collaborative workshops with student facilitators on:
§ Procurement (G4S, Veolia, Eden Springs): John Snowdon from the Boycott Israel Network (BIN)
§ Divestment: Sofiah Macleod from Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Boycott Israel Network (BIN)
§ Academic Boycott Research Collaboration: Monica Wusteman and British Committee for Universities for Palestine (BRICUP)
17:15: tea/coffee break
17:30: Workshop feedback
17:50: Final Plenary with Maha Rezeq and others tbc.
Discussing Major dates like Right to Education Week and Israeli Apartheid Week, Effective and Safe Communication. Networking between student societies and national organisations.
18:15: Conclusions on objectives for the year ahead. How fruitful has the conference been, how can we be accountable to turn our actions plans into results.
18:30 End – A Palestine QUIZ follows for those who have time. (Prizes)
Please assist us in funding this conference. Food and drinks will be provided free of charge and all students should ask their Union and local PSC branch to help with travel costs. You can either send us cheques, or pay the money in directly online. If you do it online, please just put STUDENT in the reference.
Bank account details:
A/c. Name Northern Palestine Solidarity Network
a/c No. 65364736
Sort: 08 92 99
Cheques payable to: Northern Palestine Solidarity Network and sent to:
Boycott Israel Network (Student Conference)
c/o Peace & Justice Centre