LSE under occupation over Gaddafi link
New in Ceasefire, Politics - Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 22:32 - 2 Comments
By Omayr Ghani
An emergency meeting was called by sabatical officers at the London School of Economics this morning following the apparent complicity of former alumnus Saif al Islam Gaddafi in war crimes against his own people.
Saif, son of the increasingly fragile dictator Mu’ammar Gaddafi, has recently threatened the libyan people with “civil war” and a fight “until the last bullet” after hundereds of protestors were massacred by his fathers regime; in which he holds an unofficial role. He also donated £1.5m to LSE to support a “Global Governance” research centre after being awarded a PhD by the Russell Group university.
The meeting at LSE which around 100 students just hours after it was called demanded the university rescind the alumnus status of the former heir-apparent and that his donations should be redirected to the pro-democracy movement in Libya.
In order to enforce these demands the students voted to occupy the Senior Common room, where the management of the university meets, after a lengthy discussion on how best to limit the disruption to students (whose lectures are often called off by university staff in occupied lecture theatres despite the wishes of the students that they continue)
The occupiers have issued the following statement:
LSE Students Occupy Against University’s Ties To Libyan Regime
At 7PM on February 22nd, Students at the LSE began an occupation of the Senior Common Room in the Old Building (Houghton St.) against the LSE’s regarding their association with the Libyan regime. In light of recent events the LSE administration announced that they would no longer be accepting the money from the Gaddafi family. They have already accepted £300,000 and were scheduled to receive and additional £1.2.
These students are demanding:
a) A public statement by the LSE administration denouncing the recent gross violations of human rights by the Gaddafi regime and Saif Gaddafi’s violent threats against the protesters in Libya
b) A formal commitment by the LSE refraining from cooperating with the Libyan regime and any other dictatorial regimes that are known to be implicated in gross violations of human rights.
c) Rejecting the rest of the yearly installments that are being received from the £1.5 Million donation of the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation (GICDF) and work towards creating a scholarship fund for underprivileged Libyan students using the £300k that LSE has already accepted and not spent yet.
d) Revoking Saif Gaddafi’s LSE alumni status, as his public statement on Sunday 20th of February and the various reports issued by International Human Rights Organisations clearly demonstrate that he is implicated in the killing of innocent civilians as well as other human rights violations. His association with the LSE community and particularly its student body is a disgrace that is not tolerated by the LSE staff, students and alumni.
e) Publicly committing that no grants from officials of such oppressive regimes will be accepted in the future by establishing a set of standards and a process of democratic decision-making with student representation that determines whether or not the School should accept money coming from controversial donors.
Failing to do these would not only betray the LSE’s ethical values, it would also tarnish the School’s reputation in a region whose people are currently fighting to reclaim their freedom from corrupt dictatorships–and are winning the fight so far.”
Omayr Ghani is Ceasefire‘s Political Editor.