"Student day of action against attacks on Iran"
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Tuesday 27 November 2007
Students from the School of Oriental and African Studies held a die-in on Thursday of last week (Pic: Claire Solomon)
Students across Britain held protests, meetings and street theatre on Thursday of last week as part of the Stop the War Coalition’s student day of action against an attack on Iran.
Activists used the day’s events to collect pledges from fellow students to take direct action in the case of any attack on Iran.
Dominic Kavakeb from Essex university told Socialist Worker that the Stop the War group organised activities with the Amnesty society. They hung a huge banner in the main square and paraded in orange Guantanamo Bay style jumpsuits.
“By the end of the day over 500 students had pledged to take action if there is an attack on Iran,” Dominic said.
At University College, London, campaigners dressed as George Bush and Gordon Brown towered over kneeling hooded figures representing Afghanistan and Iraq. Students were asked to add their own handprints to a “Hands Off Iran” banner.
Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies dropped a banner from the roof of the Brunei gallery and around 200 students held a die-in on the steps.
In Portsmouth, art students designed and displayed their own anti-war art.
At Leeds university, Míchéal MacUidhir reports that students set up a “tent state” teach-in with a giant marquee, a “creative space” and smaller tents. They put on music, meetings, banner making and provided food.
Students from Glasgow and Strathclyde universities dropped banners and chalked messages at their campuses before marching to meet up in Glasgow city centre. Julie Sherry from Glasgow university said, “We marched together to the military recruitment office and blockaded the building – shutting down the office for the rest of the day.”
Stop the war activists from Manchester university and Manchester Metropolitan University marched together to demonstrate at the BBC offices in protest at biased pro-war reporting.
Across the country many new Stop the War groups used the day of action to establish themselves on campus and attract new members.
John Cooper, a student at Kings College in London, told Socialist Worker that 50 students came to the first Stop the War meeting at the college in four years. He said, “Many were keen to get involved in the movement. Eight people signed up to go to the World Against War conference.”
At Imperial College in London, a very new Stop the War group organised an “eat-in”.
Student Henrique Sa Earp explained, “We set up a stall in the common room and engaged with people passing by or having their lunch. We also used the day to publicise a meeting we held on Friday to discuss the threat against Iran.”