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Action has shamed firms complicit with Israeli genocide off Liverpool campus

BAE systems and Hewlett Packard Enterprise pull out of LJMU jobs fair after pressure from campaign
Issue 2894
A demonstration for Palestine in Liverpool earlier this year (Picture: John Carr)

A demonstration for Palestine in Liverpool earlier this year (Picture: John Carr)

We are thrilled to announce a significant victory in our campaign for ethical engagement and accountability at Liverpool John Morres University (LJMU).
Following a campaign, BAE Systems and Hewlett Packard Enterprise decided to withdraw from the jobs fair last week. Both firms are linked to the slaughter in Gaza.
We achieved this small but important win with the unwavering solidarity of students, staff and the wider Liverpool community. 
This decision marks a moment of triumph in our continuous effort to align the university’s practices with its professed values of inclusivity, courage and making a positive difference. 
However, our struggle does not end here. While we celebrate this achievement, we acknowledge it as a single step in a much longer journey.
LJMU has indicated that it does not intend to exclude these companies from future events. 
This response underscores the challenge we face in holding institutions accountable and ensuring that our educational spaces do not become complicit in systems of oppression. 
This victory serves as a reminder of the power of collective action. 
Through solidarity among staff and students we mounted sufficient pressure to challenge the constraints of oppressive institutions. 
Our success is a testament to the strength of our united front, driven by a shared commitment to freedom for Palestinians from Israeli apartheid. 
Let us use this momentum to continue our advocacy, not just within LJMU but across all spaces where we see injustice.
Our fight goes beyond a single event. It is a continuous push for systemic change.  
We call on the entire university community to remain engaged, informed, and ready to stand together against any form of complicity with oppression. 
We must immediately act to end the ongoing genocide of Palestinians. We must take a stand in solidarity and escalate our actions for Palestine. 
Danny, Liverpool student

I backed Galloway in Rochdale
I have to take fraternal issue with Socialist Worker (21 February) not advocating a vote for George Galloway in the Rochdale by-election. 
I have no dispute about his reactionary political positions. However when we vote Labour we do not make our vote conditional on a candidates politics. 
Indeed we say we have no illusions in Labour, but others do, so we say we will “Vote Labour, but hold our noses”.  
A large number of prospective Labour candidates have worst reactionary viewpoints. I would only not vote Labour if the candidate was a racist or a socialist candidate was standing. 
The current movement has seen the back of the vile Suella Braverman as home secretary and a shift in the Labour leadership’s position on Palestine
This helps us when discussing with Labour Party members and suggest they would be more effective outside the party. 
To relate to Asians in Rochdale we have to be seen to be on the side of the Palestinians. And like it or not this by-election is a plebiscite on Palestine. 
The issue of the environmental disaster is vitally important to people. But I would politely suggest it is not a crucial issue in this particular by-election. 
Peter Marsden, Preston

Solidarity with trans kids
Nex Benedict, a 16-year- old Cherokee non-binary teen, was murdered in the girls’ bathroom by fellow students in Oklahoma, United States, recently. 
Nex initially survived the attack. The school failed to call an ambulance and Nex died the following day. 
The murder comes one month after the appointment of anti-trans bigot Chaya Raichik to a local advisory committee to “make schools safer”.
Raichik runs the infamous “Libs of TikTok” Twitter account, which whips up anti-trans hate, resulting in death threats against pro-trans education workers. 
In Britain, one year on from the murder of trans teen Brianna Ghey, the Tories are trying to introduce new guidelines for schools.
These will force schools to “out” trans kids and ban them from using their preferred facilities. Trans kids are under attack. We must organise with them. 
Liam Tuckwood, Newcastle

Stop university censorship of staff 
On Tuesday last week UCU union staff at Queen Mary (QM) university in London discovered their office had been broken into by maintenance.
Posters with “From the River to the Sea” written on them had been confiscated. Why physically censor staff’s speech? To protect free speech, of course.  
According to management, students might confuse staff’s posters for Queen Mary taking a principled stand against Israeli occupation.
Management has argued the free speech of staff somehow suppresses students’ free speech. This doesn’t surprise us. 
The 100 percent wage deductions against striking QM staff last year were justified as “protecting students’ education”. 
But QM students won’t be shields for management attacks. 
We continue to stand in solidarity with Palestine and our educators, as we did on the day of workplace and student action on 7 February.  
We recognise the same capitalist system that exploits staff is fleecing us with rising rents and fees. 
That system backs Israel—not to defend Jewish people but as a watchdog for imperialist profits and geopolitical interests.  
QM’s claims of free speech will be a joke until workers, students and the wider society—not highly paid senior mangement— democratically control our universities and society.
Sean, Queen Mary student 

Why I think it’s a mistake to back Galloway

Peter Marsden argues that “To relate to Asians in Rochdale we have to be seen to be on the side of the Palestinians. And like it or not this by-election is a plebiscite on Palestine”, and that therefore we should vote for George Galloway.

I was in Rochdale a couple of weeks ago for a Palestine rally where George Galloway was the main speaker.

While we were not calling for a vote for George Galloway. I can report that we had no problem at all relating to Palestinian supporters in Rochdale, whether they were Asian or not.

I am part of Bury Stop the War. Bury is close to Rochdale.

Many of the students in Bury Stop the War come from Rochdale and we have activists who attend pro-Palestine events.

A lot of the Bury activists are desperate to see an electoral alternative to Labour and therefore support Galloway, despite his reactionary politics on many issues apart from Palestine.

But when I explained why the SWP couldn’t support Galloway, it was seen as a perfectly reasonable point of view.

These comradely differences didn’t stop us all lobbying Bury council last week, asking questions from the gallery, and eventually getting thrown out for being too disruptive!

The problem with Galloway’s politics are not just about the environment.

He also has reactionary positions on the police, defence, immigration, LGBT+ issues and women’s rights.

At a time when the extreme right inside and outside the Tory party are on the offensive, Galloway’s politics do not provide the kind of alternative the movement needs.

Corbyn and the other left Labour MPs should have had the courage to resign from the Labour Party.

They could’ve announced they were standing in a number of constituencies and everyone would be going to their rallies and talking about their politics.

Frankly it’s a bit of a tragedy that the first pro-Palestinian candidate to win a by-election might be someone with such reactionary politics.

Adam Rose, Bury

Sudan on famine brink 
The ongoing war has destroyed Sudan’s agriculture and production, with the harvest declared a failure.
Around 18 million people have been pushed into famine —double the number last year. Sudan is on the brink of being the world’s largest hunger crisis for decades. 
The United Nations and the world’s governments have failed the Sudanese people. Urgent action is needed—global humanitarian support and solidarity. 
Khalid Taha, of the Alliance of Demand-Based Campaigns (TAM) 

Protesting, not policing  
Stop the War posted on Twitter that arrests made on the recent national Palestine demo represent just 0.006 percent of the protesters.
The tweet goes on to say, “Police on today’s march would have been better employed arresting shoplifters on Oxford Street.” 
Our movement is taking on the government and arms of the state. We shouldn’t scapegoat others suggesting the police should target them instead. 
Miriam Scharf, East London

Get rid of the house speaker
MPs calling for a vote of no confidence in the speaker of the House of Commons are absolutely right. 
If not to assist basic debate and more importantly convene MPs’ votes, what is the role of the speaker? 
Steven, Edinburgh

Rishi Sunak reassures rich 

Rishi Sunak told farmers at the annual National Farmers’ Union conference “I have your back”. 

This was from a millionaire who knows nothing about farming. Rishi was reassuring the rich that the Tories won’t squeeze their profits. 
Sara, Coventry

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