***GREAT ST. MARY’S. 9.30am 22ND JUNE 2012***
Last term a PhD student, Owen Holland, was suspended for 2 and ½ years for his role in a peaceful demonstration against David Willetts in November 2011. This exemplary sentence caused outrage among students and academics. Owen will be appealing before the Septemviri (University Appeals Court) on FRIDAY 22ND JUNE at 10am.
At the last GU 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 CUSU, Cambridge UCU and the 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.
More details can be found on the Reinstate Owen Holland Campaign website: http://
Bring banners, bring friends, bring yourselves!
Help publicise the demo! Print posters out and stick them up in your college or accommodation: