On the UCU Activists List, 2009 began with a polite request:
Can I make a personal plea, notwithstanding what is going on in the world, that 2009 sees this list more focussed on supporting activists in their activities representing members? We have challenging economic circumstances inside and outside of HE/FE. In HE we have just had the RAE results, which may just be the excuse some institutions have been waiting for to close departments and we also need to sort out pay negotiation and pay claims.
Up pipes Keith Hammond, a professional trot from Glasgow who “tutors in European philosophy and the postcolonialist writings of Edward Said in adult education”
Can I ask how members of the list are seeing the horrendous work of Israel right now? How does this fit with the debate on the list about Zionism? Can the boycott work not now go much further? I think real ‘events on the ground’ have made the case clear enough …
Where are all these right thinking Israeli academics? I know … they are in the army as reservists doing God knows what because there are no international observers or members of the free international press in Gaza to watch what they are doing …
If ever there were a case for stepping up our boycott campaign it is now. Various trade union groups are now looking at how they can put some muscle behind the campaign … Surely we should be in there arguing with the other unions for a broadening of boycott action …
There is no holding back Israel. It will only be in a complete rejection of their whole Zionist state in a boycott – that is argued right across the trade union movement – that there will be real peace.
All the best,
… followed by a postalanche of similar I/P emails from Mike Cushman of the LSE, Sue Blackwell of Brum, Shirley Franklin the Vice-Chair of London Region UCU, Terry Brotherstone the UCU Scotland President, Ruth Aylett of Heriot-Watt University, Gavin Reid of Leeds, and of course our old friend Haim Bresheeth, Professor of Watching TV at the University of 6th Form College.