[Update 23/02/2021] SOAS students at their Union General Meeting have voted by an overwhelming 86% margin to support the motion and campaign in solidarity!
Students at London’s School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS) are proposing a motion to their upcoming Union General Meeting that would commit SOAS Students’ Union to campaign in solidarity with the Uyghur people’s struggle for freedom.
You can find the motion below. If you’re a SOAS student, make sure to attend the General Meeting online at 3-5pm 22 February and support the motion! And if you’re studying at another university or college, please submit the same motion to your own SU – if you want advice or help on how to do this, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re working with SOAS Uyghur Society to support their efforts. SOAS student Abel Harvie-Clark has written about their campaigning work and the prospects for student solidarity – check out his article on the Momentum Internationalists website:
Students building international solidarity for Uyghur struggle
Around the world, young people are standing up and calling for greater solidarity with the ethnic minorities facing genocide in East Turkestan, occupied by the Chinese state as “Xinjiang”. [Read more]
Motion to be heard at SOAS Students’ Union General Meeting 22 Feb
Solidarity with the Uyghur people: stop the genocide
- In East Turkestan, a region occupied and ruled by China as “Xinjiang”, the Uyghurs and other majority-Muslim indigenous peoples face genocidal persecution at the hands of the Chinese state.
- These people face intense state surveillance; harsh repression of cultural, linguistic and religious freedoms; mass internment (at least one million have been detained in concentration camps where brainwashing, torture and sexual assault have been reported); family separation; and forced contraception and sterilisation.
- They are also subject to forced labour in farms and factories supplying global corporate brands such as Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola and Zara.
- Rising sinophobia in the UK, particularly since the covid pandemic, leading to bullying and harassment at London Universities
- We cannot stand silent in the face of genocide. We must stand up and campaign to end the persecution and genocide and to free the victims.
- The Uyghur people and other indigenous people of occupied East Turkestan must have the right to democratically determine their own future
- As workers and citizens around the world, we must challenge the global corporations profiting from forced labour and surveillance in China. As a university community in particular, we can challenge investments and other links that our university may have.
- The Chinese state is responsible for these crimes, not the Chinese people. We stand in solidarity with hyper-exploited workers, oppressed peoples and repressed dissidents across China.
- To condemn the government of China for its treatment of the Uyghurs and other indigenous people of East Turkestan, and to campaign for their freedom.
- To investigate the university’s holdings, funds and financial instruments in companies that are complicit in this surveillance, repression and forced labour, and demand the university either divest or use its shares to demand the companies respect human rights and workers rights.
- To work with the SOAS Uyghur Society and the UK-wide Uyghur Solidarity Campaign, including spreading awareness on and off campus about the genocide and promoting their protests and events to SOAS students and staff.
- To call on the SOAS China Institute to raise the profile of frontier studies incorporating East Turkestan, TIbet, Hong Kong into the academic framework
- Send a copy of this motion to the local chinese consulate
- To call upon vice chancellor/director to make a public statement in support of this motion
- To fight against the hijacking of this humanitarian crisis by racists, nationalists and cold-war-hawks to encourage international conflict and whip up sinophobic prejudice against either individuals of Chinese heritage or the people of China.
- To raise the profile of narratives that counter the attempts of the Chinese state to deny the abuses that are taking place
- To demand and create safe spaces and support for students and staff impacted by state surveillance, both on campus and in programs promoted by SOAS.