I am neither a historian, decent author or a journalist and the chances are, unless there is a link or reference to somewhere else, the perpetrator is your's truly-Renaud Sarda.
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Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Palestine Solidarity Society disrupts Law lecture
The Palestinian Solidarity Society today disrupted a lecture by Solon Solomon, former member of the Israeli Parliament’s legal department, on Israel’s right to self-defence. Entering the lecture, members of the society heckled the lecturer forcing it to be brought to a close after seven minutes. Members of the panel had to be removed from the room by security in the interests of their own safety to calls of “Cheerio, cheerio, cheerio.” The PSS was apparently videoing the lecture without permission.
BY BEN FINCH
There followed a heated discussion between members of the society and Sally Wheeler, head of the School of Law, who invited Solomon to speak. Much of this discussion centred around the legality of the Gaza Wall, but Wheeler pointed out that there was an opportunity for discussion with Solomon after the lecture when a civilised debate could take place. Wheeler left the room visibly upset.
As the PSS left the seminar room, members congregated around the security presence blocking entrance to the room where delegates were staying. They were asked to leave and told that “bullying” wouldn’t work. Security then threatened to call the police. The PSS accused the security team of “intimidation” and supporting fascism in Israel. There followed a debate on international law and freedom of information, carried out entirely by the PSS with security taking no part.
We have been told that disciplinary proceedings are a matter for the University authorities. Offences of misconduct include criminal damage, nuisance behaviour and disorderly behaviour. If an individual is found to have carried out an offence it could result in a £150 fine or expulsion from the University. There is no information yet on whether this matter has been passed to the University
Attempting to continue the protest the PSS tried to find a back way around security, but were unable to so and gathered outside. There was a rush to block Solomon’s taxi, which involved students punching the car and trying to stop it, before security managed to force the protesters back far enough to clear a route. One protester had their foot run over.
Following the protest, Gary Spedding, President of the PSS, said “I didn’t sanction anyone to hit the taxi, I didn’t sanction anyone to stop the taxi, my society doesn’t condone violence.” He also said that he didn’t necessarily disagree with it at the same time. “I wanted to take the society along to listen to what he had to say. What he’s saying is not that complicated, he uses the legal standpoint that self-defence supersedes the Geneva Convention.”
Wheeler commented that the PSS may have misunderstood the purpose of Solomon’s visit. He was speaking at a weekly lunchtime academic seminar on the topic of international law. She stated that international law is “steadfastly apolitical” and was “surprised [the visit] caused so much excitement.” Wheeler went on to say, “It’s very sad really, I suppose in twenty-five years as an academic I’ve never seen anyone shouted down after five minutes speaking.” She also pointed out that Solomon openly criticised Israel in the time he was allowed to speak.
Megan Fearon of Ógra Sinn Féin, who was attending the event, pointed out the notable Sinn Féin presence at the protest and said, “It’s a disgrace we invited a war criminal, there was meant to be a debate but they only invited one side.”
This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 at 7:06 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.