Demonstration outside the appeal tomorrow!
Owen’s appeal begins at 10am tomorrow. Join us at 9.30am outside Great St. Mary’s Church to march to the University Centre, where we will silently show our solidarity with him outside the appeal. Supporters from outside Cambridge especially welcome. Bring banners, bring friends, bring yourselves!
GREAT ST. MARY’S, CAMBRIDGE – 9.30am June 22
Last term, a PhD student, Owen Holland, was rusticated for 2 and ½ years for his role in a peaceful demonstration against David Willets in November 2011. This exemplary sentence caused outrage among students and academics. Owen will be appealing before the Septemviri (University Appeals Court) in the University Centre (near Mill Pond) on FRIDAY 22ND JUNE at 10am.
At the last CUSU council, a motion was passed backing a demonstration against Owen’s sentence in the event of his appeal, and supporting the Reinstate Owen Holland Campaign, which is also backed by GU, Cambridge UCU and NUS. We are calling for as many people as possible to assemble at Great St. Mary’s Church at 9.30am to demonstrate our solidarity with Owen.
Why you should come along:
1. We believe that it is fundamentally wrong to single out one student for what was clearly the actions of many. A “Spartacus letter” signed by junior and senior members of the University and submitted to the University Advocate, shows that if there is any culpability for the disruption, it should not, and must not, be placed on the shoulders of one individual (http://tinyurl.com/cdkwvzg).
2. That this sentence amounts to an attack on the freedom to protest. Whilst opinions of the original action vary greatly among students and staff, we believe that it is possible to oppose this decision without endorsing the actions taken in November 2011. By setting a precedent of two and a half years rustication for any act the University deems to have impinged freedom of speech, this sentence sends a simple message – that if an individual steps out of line, the University has the power to ruin their career.
3 .Over 3,000 students signed a CUSU petition (http://tinyurl.com/d4j7v9r) calling for the charges to be dropped. A further online Petition (http://tinyurl.com/bwkbfot) condemning the sentence has gathered over 5,500 signatures, including those of Liam Burns (NUS President), John McDonnell (Labour MP), Michael Mansfield QC, Professor Terry Eagleton, the author Tariq Ali, and many other notable and respected figures.
Bring banners, bring friends, bring yourselves!