MANCHESTER STUDENT UNION members sprang into action when the university offered to host one of the main national events ‘celebrating’ the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration being organised by the Israeli embassy and Zionist Federation.
An open letter to the university, from nine student societies asked if “by agreeing to this, is the University…. unaware that the Balfour Declaration ultimately led to massacres of innocent people, and the ongoing illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza for 50 years?”
Many organisations, activists and university alumni wrote to the vice-chancellor, Nancy Rothwell, and planned a protest for the night of the event, 31st October.
There have been increasing conditions imposed by the University of Manchester, after they met the Israeli embassy, including censoring student organised Palestinian solidarity events.
On 31st October, in response to the protest, the university announced the Balfour event was cancelled. The event was actually relocating - the university was no longer hosting.
A well supported demonstration went ahead, marching to the new location at the Hilton Hotel. Labour Party activists who fight against all forms of racism and oppose antisemitism must not be silenced in opposing the actions of the Israeli state which continues to commit crimes against the Palestinian people.