Over 50 Students and activists protested and disrupted a lecture tonight at the London School of Economics (LSE) by Daniel Ayalon, the controversial Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel. Protesters greeted Ayalon outside of the lecture on LSE’s campus with placards and banners, whilst inside audience members heckled the controversial Minister as a "racist" and "murderer" in relation to the illegal occupation and violence carried out by the Israeli state.So anything US students can do, UK students can also do. Sadly, anything US academic institutions can do their counterparts in the UK can do too. Look forward to more of these invites and the protests too.
Ayalon was in the UK to meet British government officials and speaking at the LSE ahead of these talks in a lecture s titled "The Middle East: The View From Israel". Security at the university was tight, with private security and police officers keeping a close watch on protesters. The Minister began and ended his lecture amid boos and chants of “Free, Free, Palestine” whilst his speech was interrupted relentlessly throughout with audience members questioning Israel’s atrocities.
The action was organized by the LSE Students’ Union Palestine Society and the Palestine Solidarity Initiative. The London School of Economics Students' Union is officially twinned with Al-Najah University and has previously voted to divest funds from those companies profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The motion also called on LSE to respect human rights and follow suit in embracing a divestment agenda with regards to such companies. Students also held a week long occupation in January as a response to the Israeli attacks on Gaza last winter, resulting in LSE aggreeing to practically support Palestinian students affected by the violence.
Mira Hamed who attended the lecture and is the Chair of the LSE SU Palestine Society said after the protest, "The Palestine Society at LSE has grown in support since the atrocities committed in Gaza which explains the huge turnout tonight. We will continue to support the growing international resistance against the occupation of Palestine until a just peace is achieved."
Merna Al Azzeh, a Palestinian Masters student who was in the audience added, "As an LSE student, I find it disgusting that LSE could invite a Minister to speak from a racist government that has been committing war crimes for the last 60 years."
"The recent Goldstone Report overwhelmingly condemns the genocide waged against Gazan civilians last winter and as a Palestinian I am reassured by the growing international resistance to Israeli Apartheid".
For more information:
1. LSE SU Palestine Society: www.palsoc.org.uk
2. Palestine Solidarity Initiative: www.palestinesolidarity.org
Mira Hammad ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
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