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Member Initiatives

Dec 2018:-

Statement of Solidarity with the Stansted 15

 

Last year at Stansted airport, 15 people blocked a deportation charter flight for ten hours to stop it from taking off. The people who took this non-violent direct action now face potential life imprisonment on terrorism-related charges. Their original charge of aggravated trespass was raised to ‘endangering an airport and airport users’, a charge introduced following the Lockerbie bombing which downed Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 killing 259 people. Their court case, at Chelmsford Crown Court, is beginning its closing speeches this week.

The Green Party and Amnesty International, among others, have called on the Crown Prosecution Service to drop the charges against them. Amnesty International have stated they consider the 15 to be human rights defenders.

Public protest, including direct action, has always played a vital part in defending rights and freedoms in the UK. Actions in solidarity, like those of the Stanstead 15, have been especially important when victims themselves are denied justice or a way to be heard. The excessive charges posed in this case represent a political choice to dissuade and silence further protest.

Charter deportation flights use chartered private planes and private security to deport 2,000 people a year in secretive night flights, often while held in leg shackles and other restraints. The Detained Voices blog recorded statements from people on the deportation flight which these 15 people blocked:

“My ex-husband said he knows I am being deported. He is waiting for me. He is planning to kill me. If he kills me – how will I look after my children?”

“Both of my parents are in the UK, they are British. But they [the Home Office] want to deport me back to place where I don’t have anybody. Nobody hear our cry. We are crying. Please we need to be rescued. Please can anybody helps us?”

Many people on the flight still had pending asylum cases but were snatched from their homes to fill the flight. 34 of the 57 detainees on that flight were able to continue their legal cases and some were eventually allowed to return to their homes in the UK. These flights are not principally motivated by either justice or due process. Charter flights’ mass deportations of particular nationalities are a quick way to meet publicised Home Office targets.

As academics and UCU members, we affirm our solidarity with the Stansted 15 as defenders of human rights; we call for their charges to be dropped; and we join their call for an end to charter deportation flights. As one of the defendants said on the stand last week, “You don’t ask someone’s name before you help them.”

 

Signed

 

Dr. Gavin Grindon, School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex

Dr. Irene McMullin, School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex

Dr. Lorna Finlayson, School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex

Dr. Nicholas Beuret, Essex Business School

Dr Ewen Speed, School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Catherine Crawford, Department of History, University of Essex & UCU Branch President, University of Essex

Dr Jane Hindley, Interdisciplinary Studies Centre, University of Essex

Dr Angus Holford, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex

Dr Lisa Blackmore, School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex

Dr Sophia Skoufaki, Department of Language and Linguistics, University of Essex

Tom Cornford, School of Law, University of Essex

Professor Lucy Noakes, Department of History, University of Essex

Dounia Bissar, Department of Language and Linguistics, University of Essex

Dr. Jeremy Krikler, Department of History, University of Essex

Dr Lorcan Whitehead, Essex Business School, University of Essex

Susan Stallabrass, School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Benjamin Turpin, Department of Sociology, University of Essex

Colin Moore, School of Law, University of Essex

Dr Tom Flynn, School of Law, University of Essex

Professor Donald Nicolson OBE, School of Law, University of Essex

Professor Andrew Samuels, Department of Psychosocial and Psychodynamic Studies, University of Essex

Judith Johnson, Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex

Dr Jörg Schaub, School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex.

Dr Stevphen Shukaitis, Centre for Work, Organization, and Society, University of Essex

Dr Ellisif Wasmuth, School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex

Anne Kavanagh, Talent Development Centre, Student Life, University of Essex

Professor Florence Myles, Department of Language and Linguistics, University of Essex

Dr Helge Gillmeister, Psychology, University of Essex

Shirley Dow, Student Inclusion and Wellbeing, University of Essex

Teresa Torres, Department of Language and Linguistics, University of Essex

Dr Shamsul Karim, Essex Business School, University of Essex

Marian Mayer, Faculty of Media and Communication, Bournemouth University

Professor Geoff Gilbert, School of law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex

Dr Martin Reed, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex

Elaine Ewart, Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex

Gargi Bhattacharyya, UCU Chair, University of East London

Nita Sanghera, UCU Vice President

Munira Ali, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex

Camilla Royle, KCL Department of Geography

S Joss, UCU membership officer, Heriot-Watt University

Dr Timea Tallodi, School of Law University of Essex

Dr Samer Gharib, Organisational Development, University of Essex

Dr Emily Jones, School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex

Professor Colin Samson, Department of Sociology, University of Essex

Dr Anne Alexander, Research Associate, University of Cambridge

Dr Zibiah Alfred Loakthar, Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex

Professor Robert Johns, Department of Government, University of Essex

Pam Gadsby, Talent Development Centre, Academic Section, University of Essex

Dr. Kirsten Forkert, UCU Chair, Birmingham City University

Carol Cody UCU NW Women’s Equality Officer.

Dr Elizabeth Lawrence, Secretary UCU Yorkshire and Humberside Retired Members’ Branch

Marion Hersh, University of Glasgow

Russell Caplan, School of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University

Sandra Moog, Essex Business School

Jean Crocker, UCU Northern Region Retired Members’ Branch

Professor Jane Holgate, University of Leeds

Professor Shohini Chaudhuri, Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex

Prof Paul Clarke, Institute for Social & Economic Research, University of Essex

Dr Jordan Savage, Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex

Jason Glynos, Department of Government, University of Essex

Jane Stanbury, Department of Law, University of Essex

Roddy Slorach, UCU branch organiser,  Imperial College London

Dr. Carlo Morelli, Economic Studies, University of Dundee and UCU NEC

Dr. Lisa Smith, Department of History, University of Essex

Deepa Govindarajan Driver, University of Reading

Casper Hoedemaekers, Essex Business School, University of Essex

Dr David Harvie, University of Leicester

Joshua Kennedy, Department of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex

Professor Maria Cristina Fumagalli, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, University of Essex

Linda Coles, University of Northampton.

Annie Jones, UCU Branch Officer, Sheffield Hallam University

Ronald Mendel, University of Northampton

Dr Shawky Arif, University of Northampton

Dr Graham Clarke, University of Essex

Dr Jill Daniels, University of East London

Sean Wallis, UCU Branch President, University College London

Peter Rees, Goldsmiths College, University of London

James Angel, KCL Department of Geography

Roberto Mozzachiodi, Goldsmiths College, University of London

Gurminder K Bhambra, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex

rashné limki, Business School, University of Edinburgh

Mark Pendleton, School of East Asian Studies and UCU branch committee member, University of Sheffield

Sandra Kazlauskaite, University of Lincoln

Lucy Baker, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex

Jason Phillips, Epping Forest Labour Party and Socialist Appeal

Rebecca Reynolds, Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex

Dr Laura Montanaro, Department of Government, University of Essex

Professor Gavin Brown, School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, University of Leicester

Constantin Mehmel, Department of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex

Dave Muritu, Sandwell College UCU Branch Secretary, NEC

Prof. Peter Patrick, UCU, University of Essex

Dr Chris Rossdale, Department of International Relations, LSE

Dr Maurice Stierl, Department of Politics and International Studies, Warwick

Claire Simmons, Essex Law School and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex

Dr Owen Parker, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield

Dr David Bailey, Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham

Dr Paula Serafini, CAMEo Research Institute, University of Leicester

Dr Kevin McSorley, School of Education and Sociology, University of Portsmouth

Dr Ben Davies, University of Portsmouth

Garry McKnight, Business School, University of Edinburgh

James Ellison, Loughborough University

Evelina Gambino, Department of Geography, UCL

Dr Noel Cass. Department of Organisation, Work & Technology, Lancaster University

Dr Simon Parker, Department of Politics, University of York

George Bodie, School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, UCL

Dr. Katy Fox-Hodess, School of Management, University of Sheffield

Joseph Leigh, International Relations, London School of Economics

Dr. Sara Clavero, Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research, Queen’s University Belfast

Dr. Geoff Cole, Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Prof Jonathan Oppenheim, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London

Jennifer Dybell, Careers & Employability, Lancaster University

Dr Aggie Hirst, Department of War Studies, King’s College London

Dr. Uri Gordon, School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University

Ragnhild Freng Dale, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge

Carlo Petrucci, School of Law, University of Essex

Dr. Milli Lake, London School of Economics

Dr Felix Fischer, School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London

Dr James Eastwood, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London

Dr Rachel Lewis, Sociology, Warwick University

Hanna Danbolt Ajer, Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge

Dr Aris Mousoutzanis. Film & Screen Studies. School of Media, University of Brighton

Vicky Blake, University of Leeds UCU President / UCU NEC, Educational Engagement, University of Leeds

Dr Laura Colebrooke, Centre for Geography Environment and Society, University of Exeter

Dr Zoe Stewart, College of  Life Sciences, University of Leicester

Dr Sofa Gradin, King’s College London

Clint Verdonschot, Department of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex

Dr Alexandre Christoyannopoulos, Loughborough University

Dr. Kenneth Weir, University of Leicester

Dr Nick Srnicek, Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London

Dr Anil Yilmaz, University of Essex

Dr Nick Thoburn, Department of Sociology, University of Manchester

Dr Julia Boettcher, Mathematics Department, London School of Economics

Dr Anthony Faramelli, Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London

Noel Douglas, School of Art and Design, University of Bedfordshire

Robert G. White, Kingston School of Art, Kingston University

Dr Hayley Newman, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London

Dr Emma Bridger, Department of Psychology, Birmingham City University

Dr Alexandra Reynolds, Solent University

Dr Alice Corble, Sociology Department, Goldsmiths University of London

Dr Gary Hazeldine, Department of Sociology, Birmingham City University

Dr Maryam Aldossari, Business School, University of Edinburgh