De pogingen om de Actief Linkse Studenten uit te sluiten aan de Gentse universiteit, en dat omwille van de politieke standpunten die we innemen, worden niet zomaar aanvaard. Zowel aan de Gentse universiteit zelf als elders is een campagne opgezet tegen de mogelijke uitsluiting. Hieronder publiceren we een aantal steunbetuigingen die we ontvingen van kameraden uit andere landen. We kregen nog verschillende gelijkaardige reacties.
To whom it may concern,
Aktief Linkse Studenten (ALS) members at Ghent University are facing the risk of being denied the right to their own political opinion and to organize on campus. They must have the democratic right to an opinion and to express this opinion. Therefore, we fully support their strong stand for campaigning on campus and actively oppose any attempts to stop them from doing so or to intimidate them in any way.
Any attempt to stop ALS members from organizing on campus is unacceptable, and will meet worldwide opposition from groups on the left. Students can and should however demand that racist organizations like the Vlams Belang are driven out of campus as they have reactionary offensive ideas and would use these to oppress the democratic rights of minority groups and workers in general. In order to combat discrimination and intimidation of minority groups in Ghent University carried out by the Vlams Belang and their student representatives who are seen here by the student movement as the neo-fascist organization in the Flemish part of Belgium the work of ALS has been necessary and invaluable.
Combating the far-right should be recognized as an essential part of the work of student societies to prevent racist and sexist threat to sections of the student population.
We demand the immediate backing down from any attacks on their right to organize, recognition of their political rights. We will be fully supporting them through continuing to give them our solidarity and through following up this situation.
Zena Awad (on behalf of Socialist Students in England and Wales)
Socialist Alternative, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis
It has recently come to our attention that the student group called Active Left Students, ALS, is under threat of expulsion by certain members of the Political and Philosophical Council, PFK. We here at the University of Minnesota believe that such action would represent an atrocious attack on civil liberties and democratic rights.
Even more disappointing is that it would take place at a university; a place where, traditionally, young people have expressed and celebrated the right to political organization and action. Our student group, Socialist Alternative, is very active here on the U of M campus, which is one of the largest universities in the entire country, and we have many other branches across the country. We now voice our solidarity with the ALS and demand that this attempt to expel them be dropped immediately and that they are given full democratic rights to carry out their political work.
We find it ever more necessary to express our solidarity knowing how strongly the ALS has led the fight against the rise of neo-fascist influence at your university and at others. From our perspective, that is of the utmost importance at this time in Belgium.
The threat of rising neo-fascism and everything that goes with it is becoming very real in a number of key countries of Europe. Neo-fascism is anti-democratic by nature and breeds hatred and oppression. Disallowing the ALS to continue its work is only opening the door to these anti-democratic, hateful groups. Strong, powerful movements of students, which the ALS have shown to be capable of leading, are necessary to combat the neo-fascist threat; the absence of such action could lead to disaster.
We urge all those who see the need to uphold democratic rights in these turbulent times to not allow the expulsion of the ALS and to immediately drop the motion put forward at the PFK.
In Solidarity with ALS,
Alec Johnson and other members of Socialist Alternative
University of Minnesota in Minneapolis
Socialistische gemeenteraadsleden uit Umeå in Zweden
Support the ALS´s anti-fascist activity !
We are three city councillors in the north of Sweden, who have heard about the coming threat against ALS (Active Left Students) at the Ghent University. The Political and Philosophical Council at the university will discuss a motion demanding to expel the ALS from the university.
This is outrageus! We are well informed about the actions taken by the ALS against fascism and rasism. A decision to ban the ALS will be seen as a victory by the fascist groups. We urge you to do whatever you can to prevent this from happening.
Members of city council in Umeå, Sweden
For Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna
Ruth Coppinger, gemeenteraadslid in Dublin
I am writing as an elected member of Fingal County Council in Dublin, Ireland.
I have been informed that the Belgian student organisation, ALS, is coming under discussion on March 15th with a view to possibly banning this organisation from Ghent University.
I would ask that any such attempt to ban this organisation be stopped. ALS has been extremely active in fighting the resurgence of fascist groups in Belgium. Anti racism is a vital activity as the racist menace is growing throughout Europe.
Censorship and banning of any political expression goes against all democratic tenets.
I would appreciate a response on this matter.
Cllr Ruth Coppinger,
Member Fingal County Council.
Joe Higgins, parlementslid in Ierland
To whom it may concern,
I have been informed by my colleagues in Belgium that the Political and Philosophical Council (PFK), which groups all political student organisations at Ghent University, will shortly debate a motion put forward by the Christian Democratic Students and the Liberal Union of Flemish Students to expel the Active Left Students (ALS) from the University.
The main reason why the student wings of the traditional parties have put forward this motion is the principled stand that the ALS has taken against allowing the neo-fascist Vlaams Belang a speaking-platform at the university. The traditional parties are also disconcerted by the uncompromising political stand of the ALS against their neo-liberal policies, against cuts in social services at the university and against the bureaucratic way the students representation functions.
I would urge you do take all possible steps to ensure that the attempt to ban the ALS is dropped and to uphold the democratic right of its members to campaign and mobilise amongst the students.
I would also like to commend the ALS for all of its campaigning work and most especially for its valuable anti-fascist work.
Joe Higgins T.D.
Member of Parliament, Republic of Ireland
Sheila Caffrey, National Union of Students Wales’ Women’s Committee
It is a disgusting attack on the democratic rights of Aktief Linkse Studenten (ALS) members at Ghent University by attempting to deny them the right to their own political opinion and to organize on campus.
It is essential that groups like ALS can organize to combat the ideas of reactionary and offensive organizations such as the Vlams Block/Belang, whom promote racist and sexist ideas which intimidate and discriminate against many students.
Any attacks on ALS’ right to organize should be halted immediately in recognition of their political rights, whilst neo-fascist groups such as the Vlams Block/Belang should be driven off campuses to stop their threat to other students. Combating the far-right should be recognized as an essential part of the work of student societies to prevent racist and sexist threat to sections of the student population.
I hope this matter will soon be resolved,
National Union of Students Wales’ Women’s Committee (personal capacity) and Swansea University Students’ Union Childcare Officer
Socialist Society Queens University, Belfast
The Socialist Society of Queen’s University, Belfast, completely opposes the attempt by CDS and LVSV to expel Actief Linkse Studenten from the Univeristy of Ghent for their anti-fascist activities.
ALS should be applauded for their campaigning against the Vlaams Belang and their neo-fascist student front, the NSV, not banned themselves! We fully support ALS’s ‘no platform for fascists’ stance and their use of political campaigns and direct action to prevent these racist fascists organising on campus.
The Vlaams Belang scapegoat immigrants and ethnic minorities for the conditions faced by working class people in society, stirring up racism, when these problems are in fact caused by the capitalist system. History has shown what groups like the Vlaams Belang stand for; eroding democratic rights, attacking the conditions of the working class and oppressing minorities. Why should those who have no regard for democracy benefit from it?
We call on you to oppose the expulsion of ALS from the University of Ghent and join their fight against fascism and racism today!
Chairperson, Socialist Society, QUB.
Studenten uit Dublin
We the undersigned students in University College Dublin (UCD) are writing to you to express our opposition to the attempts to remove Actief Links Studenten (ALS) from Ghent University. We are asking you to oppose the motion before the Political and Philosophical Council (PFK) on Tuesday 15th March.
It is a fundamental right of all students to organise politically. Members of ALS are entitled to organise in the University and have all the benefits that other political groups have.
Members of ALS have done excellant work in opposing racism and fascism in the University. In particular in organising opposition to the Vlaams Belang and their anti-immigrant and racist views.
Oisín Kelly, UCDSU Vice President 03-04, Member of UCDSU Council,
Laura FitzGerald, Member of UCDSU Council,
Megan Ní Ghabhláin, Member of UCDSU Council,
Kevin Croke, Member of UCDSU Council,
David Murphy, Member of UCD Academic Council 03-04,
Paul Murphy, Member of UCD Academic Council 03-04,
Olivia O’Neill, Member of UCD Academic Council 03-04,
Feargal de Buiteléir, Treasurer, Socialist Party South Dublin branch.