ALS-Gent: internationale solidariteit

De steunberichten voor de Gentse ALS blijven binnenstromen. Dit weekend lag de internetpetitie even plat, maar inmiddels is deze terug online. Hieronder publiceren we enkele uittreksels uit internationale solidariteitsberichten. Zo schrijft het Ierse parlementslid Joe Higgins aan de rector en vicerector onder meer: "De ALS heeft slechts gebruik gemaakt van haar democratisch recht om te protesteren tegen een activiteit waar racistische en fascistische ideeën aan de unief zouden worden verdedigd." De algemeen secretaris van de Socialistische Partij van Maleisië stelt dat de mogelijke uitsluiting van ALS een bewuste poging is om de activiteiten van de progressieve studentenbeweging te beperken.

Overzicht van solidariteitsboodschappen en protestbrieven aan de rector en vice-rector

ALS have also been accused of breaking the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the universities code of conduct, yet both documents clearly state that promoting racist ideas is unacceptable. ALS were supporting these codes, not breaking them!

Bob Severn, Socialist Students

I demand that the threat of expulsion, de-recognition or any other measure taken against ALS is removed. I solemnly pledge to assist in every possible way in this campaign to defend ALS and its right to free speech and free association.

"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." (Frederick Douglass, 1857)

Daniel DiMaggio, Harvard University Class of 2004

You cannot ban an antifascist action or an antifascist organization because in almost every european country racist ideas are considered illegal.

Anastasiades Nikolaos, Thessaloniki, Greece

I am writing from Wales as a Socialist, academic and writer, in support of Aktief Linkse Studenten (ALS). In my own town of Swansea there has been a vigorous political campaign by the extreme-Right nationalists of the British National Party (which enthusiastically supports the Vlaams Blok), and this has been accompanied by violent racial attacks and the murder of a Kurdish refugee from Iraq. (The police accept that this was a racially motivated crime, and the attacker has pleaded guilty to manslaughter. His supporters taunted the vigil held for the dead man with a BNP banner and verbal abuse.) Such parties pose as respectable participants in civic life whilst promoting intolerance and campaigns of violence and terror against individuals and communities, on grounds such as ethnicity, disability or the membership of trade unions and parties of the left. Given the high international reputation Belgium has in the field of Jewish Studies, I am very concerned by the implications of the predicament ALS now faces as a consequence of a principled campaign against the racist Right.

Actually, the young activists of the ALS plays are a credit the University of Ghent, as well as at other universities, for their work in organising against racist and fascist forces, and for their commitment to the rights of working people everywhere. By contrast, I ask you to consider the damage that would be done to your university if the Vlaams Blok/Belang or its youth organisation were to be allowed to use their methods of fear and intimidation openly. Ironically, there would be direct funding implications to your institution if it became impossible to attract foreign students to a campus whose political and social life were malformed by racist extremists, with their bigotry and violence.

I certainly attend to assist in every possible way in the international campaign to defend ALS and its right to free speech and free association, and I will be urgently contacting academic colleagues and friends throughout Wales, the UK, Europe, Asia and the USA by email asking them for their support as well. I am not a manual labourer any longer, but workers of the word can unite, too!

Dr Victor Golightly, Wales, UK

I am writing to you as an elected councillor in Dublin and shop-steward in the state airline Aer Lingus, and indeed as a former President of the Students’ Union in Dublin City University. I have been fortunate to attend your campus to participate in events organised by Aktief Linkse Studenten (ALS) in the past and have been very impressed by this group.

I sincerely hope that this issue will be addressed promptly and that all moves against ALS are dropped in the interests of the standing of your university and its image in the minds of foreign students in particular.

Councillor Clare Daly, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Apart from the fact that the university’s code of conduct must surely oppose the promotion of racist and fascist ideas of which the Vlaams Blok and its representatives are clearly guilty; it was the university authorities who stopped the debate from taking place. The ALS only exercised their democratic right of protest against an event promoting racist and fascist ideas at the university.

Joe Higgins T.D. Member of Parliament, the Republic of Ireland, Socialist Party

We believe that ALS plays a hugely important role at the University of Ghent, as well as at other universities, in organising against racist and fascist forces. It would be impossible to recommend students from Umeå to your university if the Vlaams Blok/Belang or its youth organisation were to be allowed to use their methods of fear and intimidation openly.

We demand that the threat of expulsion, de-recognition or any other measure taken against ALS is removed.

Yours truly,

Jan Hägglund, councillor of Umeå city council

Ingrid Eriksson, councillor of Umeå city council

Yvonne Lantto, councillor of Umeå city council, Sweden

My name is Michael Wilson and I am a student at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. I recently heard that your University is trying to ban the student organization Active Left Students from your University. This is unacceptable. I have read the allegations against ALS and they clearly do not warrant banning the group. ALS is vital to Ghent University and has proven their commitment and engagement. They should not be banned and I hope you will reconsider your campaign against them. I will continue to follow the situation from here and I hope to hear from you soon that you have stopped attacking this group.

Michael Wilson, Georgetown Solidarity Committee

Any attempt to deregister ALS as student body would convince us that the University authorities has a clear agenda to curb activities of progressive student movement and our party here in Malaysia would protest against such undemocratic practices.

The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) calls upon the University Board to reject any attempt to deregister ALS and such an attempt would only redeem the name of the University in the eyes of the world.

S.Arutchelvan, Secretary General, Socialist Party of Malaysia

Delen: Printen: