I left UH in February so I am unlikely to be doing anything else with UHSSAW. In fact I just noticed that the website is no longer responding and the domain registration for uhssaw.co.uk has expired.
I had a look at the UK Universities Against War website. Perhaps we should try to get the UHSSAW site listed?
I have been back at work this week after the Christmas break but term does not properly start until Monday. I think we should meet on Tuesday to discuss what if anything we might do this term. One obvious goal would be to try to mobilise for the 2004-03-20 National Day of Action to mark the anniversary of the invasion.
We had a meeting today where we talked about the need for an informative, up-to-date and eye-catching noticeboard (and how to share out the task of producing it). We also talked about supporting any demonstrations organised around the issue of the UK Guantanamo prisoners which is receiving a lot of media attention right now, what with Lord Steyn's scathing criticism etc. Well done to CAMPACC for organising a "Justice for Detainees Now!" public rally to take place opposite Downing Street on 2003-12-13, we should all make an effort to be there.
Personally I am trying to think of ways to raise some money for Circus2Iraq so if anyone has any bright ideas please let me know.
Today I met a couple of other people at work to discuss what we might do this term. We are hoping that George Bush's planned State Visit to the UK in November will galvanise a few people into action.
Term starts on Monday at the University of Hertfordshire and I am looking forward to meeting up with other UHSSAW activists to catch up on news and make plans for future activities. Things have not been going too well for the occupying forces in Iraq and Tony Blair is under pressure, what with the Hutton Enquiry and loosing badly to the Liberal Democrats in Brent East.
We had invited a speaker from the Stop the War Coalition to address a meeting at the University but were blocked when we attempted to book a room. This decision seemed to go against the University's own policy regarding freedom of speech and today I sent an email expressing my concern to the appropriate official.
I was skiing across the Hardangervidda National Park when the US/UK attack on Iraq kicked off and I was not at all sorry to have missed it. Where does the anti-war movement go from here? I don't know, but I still went to the demonstration in London today with a few other members of staff.
I went to another UH Staff and Students Against the War meeting today and some of us went on from there to a demonstration in St. Albans. There were a lot of kids on the demo and at the end of the march several of them got up on the microphone to talk about the organisation going on in their schools. If only the students here at the University were that committed!
Last night I gave my car a nice coat of white emulsion and this morning I walked over to the Art+Design faculty looking for people willing to help me paint it with an anti-war theme. I had no shortage of volunteers so we agreed to meet at lunch time behind the Student Union Bar. I went home, loaded the car with paint, brushes, beer, tapes etc and drove it to the arranged meeting point. About 8 people showed up and we got to work. It was a nice sunny day and we had fun painting and listening to reggae. Every so often a new official would arrive and tell me to move the car because I was breaking some obscure regulation but I declined and was backed up by the students who said that having paid their fees the University could not stop them from working on their art project. Two security guards stood and watched while they tried in vain to contact someone in Art+Design who could advise them as to whether this was a legitimate project until eventually we decided that we had done enough and packed up to leave. Here is a photo of the result.
This afternoon at work I went along to a meeting to discuss the impending invasion of Iraq. There was some lively debate and people were encouraged to mobilise for the national demonstration on 2003-02-15 in London.
www.zenatode.org.uk Ian Gregory 2010