Solidarity with Sussex!

Sheffield Autonomous Students express masses of solidarity with those at Sussex University who have occupied one of their arts buildings in solidarity with striking staff. 

Students and staff at Sussex University have been incredibly active and militant in the past year, in the face of privatisation, jobs cuts and threats to terms and conditions. We thoroughly support today’s action.

For more information, see https://twitter.com/occupy_sussex and https://twitter.com/Aut_Omnia, who are tweeting information about today’s occupation and generally about autonomous struggle in Sussex.

Advertisements

Cops off Campus

Dangerous Dillusions

 

           police sussex

This week police and security forces were once again harassing students on their own campus.

On Tuesday the 8th of October, two students at the university of Edinburgh were detained and body searched while studying on campus.

The pair were detained by security guards before being handed to armed Royalty Protection Officers and the police. The occasion for this minority report-style attack on students was the visit of royal parasite Princess Anne, the (un)elected chancellor of Edinburgh university.

This is the latest in a series of police incursions on campuses, to arrest and assault students resisting privilege, the marketisation of education and attacks on the working conditions of university employees.

On the 16th of July police entered the University of London student’s union (ULU) in order to violently assault and arrest a woman for allegedly chalking on a university building. Here’s a video of the…

View original post 586 more words

Syria: The Unacceptable Notion of Western Intervention

With the issue of intervention into the Syrian Civil War occupying the deliberation of many conscientious people at the moment, I wanted to do my best to clarify a position that I think is worth maintaining: the notion of Western intervention in Syria is completely unacceptable. This is not to say that the notion of intervention as a whole is necessarily unacceptable (that is not an issue that I will be addressing here) but rather that the governments currently pushing for an invasion, namely the USA, UK, and France, have no legitimate basis to do so.  In order to make this point, I would like to scrutinise the three principal alleged motivations for intervention that these governments profess to maintain.

The first is that the usage of chemical weapons as a supposed ‘red line’ that must be adhered to. It should be made clear that there is considerable evidence that the rebels themselves carried out a chemical weapons attack in Khan-al-Asal near Aleppo using sarin gas last March. A 100-page report was delivered to the UN by Russia in July, but fell on largely deaf ears, which strikes a deep contrast to the focus that the West has granted to the recent allegation of a similarly substantiated attack committed by the opposite faction. Even more worryingly however, is the fact that the USA have admitted to using chemical weapons in recent history, for example the usage of white phosphorus and depleted uranium during the invasion of Iraq in the town of Fallujah in April 2003. With rates of infant mortality, cancer, and leukaemia exceeding those reported by survivors both of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the USA’s legacy of chemical-weapons usage could be argued to surpass that of either side in Syria.

The second motivation to be considered is the notion of the West supporting the rebels, which is grossly incompatible with its purported primary interest for its more general foreign policy, namely the ‘War on Terror’. Launched largely in response to the 9/11 attacks on the USA, the campaign has seen an aggressive international effort to eliminate extremist-Islamist organisations, most notably al-Qaeda. However the West’s alleged intentions are profoundly discordant with any consistent level of support for the rebels in Syria, be it by arming them, providing them with a no-fly zone, or openly intervening on their side, as they are comprised significantly of the very Islamists, many of whom have links to al-Qaeda, that have been declared the principal enemies of the last decade of the West’s foreign policy.

The third alleged motivation to be scrutinised is the supposed respect by Western governments for the ideals of democracy and human rights, which again is completely incompatible with their historical record. For one, the USA is thoroughly supportive of the Israeli state in Palestine, which is one that has repeatedly transgressed international law and UN-sanctioned restrictions whilst establishing a racist two-tier apartheid system that could not inaccurately be described as amounting to an ethnic cleansing. This goes in addition to further campaigns that encompass examples such as the installation of Pinochet’s military dictatorship in Chile, funding the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, and supporting the Indonesian government whilst it commited genocide in East Timor, as well as more contemporary examples such as the lending of crucial endorsement to subsequent repressive regimes in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Beyond this we should not forget the unapologetic colonialism pursued by the UK and France in the past few centuries that have in some cases amounted to instances of mass murder occurring that were far greater in proportion to anything that could ever be conceived being committed in Syria.

In the light of the West’s unmitigated eagerness to invade Syria, which can be explained away as grossly incompatible with actions that it has and is continuing to commit, an implicit agenda that the mainstream media is much more hesitant to make explicit emerges. This is one of a sustained strategic effort to establish its hegemony in the Middle East, and more specifically of neutralising Iran’s principal geopolitical ally in the region, whilst deceiving popular support (or at the least maintaining apathy) under the guise of unquestionably noble, but undoubtedly untenable, premises. The West’s professed motivations to invade are nothing more than a figurative buffet of lies of which only those willing to poison themselves would take a bite.

Written by Sylvester.

syrian-civil-war-7682577ef739bf9b-1

(Re)creating an Autonomous Student Network

Image

This is a call out for radical anti-authoritarian students and student groups interested in (re)creating a national Autonomous Students Network.

Following the statement of the original ASN(active in 2010-2011), we are proposing a network for building solidarity and grassroots power in our campuses, workplaces and communities as part of the struggle for radical social change.

The ASN would be a project aiming to highlight the problems facing higher education and the student movement and taking action to resolve these problems. In the bog of trotskyist soundbites, we need an anarchist discourse on education and student organisation that has a sustainable network of contact and support behind it. The network should have both a local and a UK-wide focus, allowing local groups to support each other’s actions and projects while also coordinating groups for joint action on wider issues.

We hear plenty about cuts to education but we hear nothing about how our universities have been taken over by oligarchies of professional managers running undemocratic institutions for business interests. Our universities depend on students, lecturers and staff to function. We should be the ones deciding how they are run.

Similarly, there are few voices pointing out that the NUS is perhaps the single biggest obstacle to the realisation of a strong student movement capable of bringing meaningful change. It is little more than a careerist ladder for future Labour politicians whose vested interest it is to suppress radical student action. The NUS is unreformable and unrepentant. It should be opposed with creative alternatives.

This is merely a post to test the waters. We look forward to hearing what people think. Get in touch by commenting here or by messaging Sheffieldautonomousstudents@riseup.net

In solidarity,

Sheffield Autonomous Students.