Academic Freedom, Free Speech and Palestine Solidarity

Campus Voices for Palestine

a UK-wide campaign to resist the suppression of Palestine advocacy and any interference with academic freedom in Middle Eastern research

‘Palestine will not be silenced or erased!’

The campaign was launched at the end of January with a meeting at UCL, hosted by the UCU branch. It was addressed by the Palestinian Ambassador, Husam Zomlot, by Michael Mansfield KC, by Ben Jamal (Director of PSC), by Dr. Kelli Rudolph (CDBU Exec.), by Dr. Patricia McManus (BRICUP), by Dr. Anne Alexander (BRISMES Campaigns), by Justine Mercer (National President UCU), and by Sophia Beach (PSC Youth and Student).


Ben Jamal (Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC)) spoke about what solidarity with Palestine means today in the face of Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza, and its clear intention to create a second Nakba.

See Ben Jamal’s talk here:


Kelli Rudolph (Council for the Defence of British Universities, Exec. Member & University of Kent) spoke
about the centrality for the work of universities of academic freedom to investigate, to profess publicly, and to publish free of managerial interference and of external political pressure. Freedom to advocate and to debate on university campuses is, equally, the life blood of a proper higher educational context. These are principles that every academic should defend – in relation to Palestine and Israel in particular.

See Kelli Rudolph’s talk here:


Justine Mercer (National President of the University and Colleges Union (UCU)) spoke about the solidarity work of the UCU in defence of Palestinian rights, and against the suppression of debate and advocacy.

See Justine Mercer’s talk here:


Sophia Beach (PSC Youth and Student Group) spoke to the importance of educating each new generation of students about the history of Palestine, and to the key forms of campus organisation both for national and for local initiatives. She focused on why joint walkouts by staff and students were critical for mobilisation and for changing the terms of the discussion.

See Sophia Beach’s talk here:

The launch meeting was also addressed by Dr. Husam Zomlot (Palestinian Ambassador to
the UK), by Michael Mansfield KC, by Dr. Patricia McManus (BRICUP and the University of
Brighton), and by Dr. Anne Alexander (BRISMES Campaigns and the University of
Cambridge). You can see these talks on this page of the BRICUP website:

The Campaign

In various universities across the UK, Palestine events have been banned or curtailed, staff and students have faced disciplinary investigations and suspensions because of social-media posts criticising Israel’s genocide in Gaza, distinguished visiting scholars have had their lectures cancelled, and the wearing of a badge bearing a Palestinian flag has been outlawed in some institutions. A people, its history and its culture, is confronting gradual erasure.

Campuses are threatening to become places where ‘Palestine’ is a word that cannot heard. The campaign is designed to reverse that trend. It will hold meetings on as many UK campuses as possible, with Palestinian speakers where possible, to discuss the history of Palestine and its colonial settlement, the nature of Zionism as the Israeli state’s founding political ideology, and the record of Palestinian resistance to oppression, dehumanisation and dispossession.

Will you help the campaign?

Will you get your school or research centre or your UCU branch to host a ‘Campus Voices for Palestine’ event at your university?

• Will you help financially to cover the travel and accommodation expenses for the tour, and in bringing Palestinian colleagues to the UK?

• Will you join the BRICUP Supporters List for information about future events, developments in Palestinian universities, and to engage in activity where possible?

• Will you add your name to the Academic Commitment for Palestine?

To organise a local meeting at your university:

To join the BRICUP Supporters’ List:

To sign the Academic Commitment:

To make a financial contribution:
via JustGiving:
or by bank transfer to BRICUP:
‘Campus Voices’                                                                                                                                                                Sort Code 08-92-99
Account Number 65156591
IBAN = GB20 CPBK 0892 9965 1565 91