Wednesday 21 October was called as a day of action from the Tamil Solidarity meeting on Saturday 17 October. Socialist Students linked up with Tamil Solidarity on the campuses to give out leaflets, ask people to sign petitions and to raise awareness among students about the horrific detention camps where hundreds of thousands continue to be detained against their will. The British media provides very little information about the situation and so Tamil Solidarity must raise awareness about the situation as well as providing ideas about to fight back. Here are some of the reports with more to follow.
University of East London
The activity went very well. One of those we spoke to wants to do a stall with us next week. We gave out about 150 leaflets. Students were also interested in other key issues, such as fighting the far right, what way forward for Afghanistan and building the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign. The response at UEL was from a wide range of people, not primarily south Asian. In fact many people were not at all aware of situation in Sri Lanka. The Tamil solidarity campaign will be continued. Those who can help us please get in contact.
Westminster Socialist Students received a good response to the shut down the camps petition and posters. Many students, particularly from Sri Lanka and India, signed up to get involved in the campaign and protest against the Daily Mail and the governments who support the Rajapakse regime. We gave out 300 leaflets in an hour. Socialist Students hopes to hold a joint meeting on campus with the Tamil Society next week.
London Metropolitan University – City
My name is Rajkumar. I’m a student at London Metropolitan University. On 21 October 2009 we did a campaign against the detention camps in Sri Lanka at the front of my campus. We had positive feedback from most of the students, who came from all different backgrounds and nationalities, and many of them knew quite a bit about the current situation in Sri Lanka. One student I spoke to said that she was doing a PowerPoint presentation for her work which is all about the Tamil people and what kind of problems they are facing. So I think it is a good idea to carry out a campaign in front of universities. We have contacted the Tamil Society and a politics lecturer about organising a meeting.
Rajkumar Anton Arulnayagam
London Metropolitan University – North
Campaign leaflets were received warmly. Almost all went who went past took a leaflet and asked more questions about the conditions in the camps and how can we fight back. Socialist Students also helped to organise a meeting later on in a cafe just opposite the campus with a speaker from Youth Fight for Jobs and a speaker from Tamil Solidarity.
The UCL stall was excellent. We had a huge amount of support for the campaign against the camps. The most important thing is that the Sri Lankan society has agreed to book a room for a public meeting in the second week of November.
The day of action went very well. Dave Berrie from the Socialist Students society gave out lots of leaflets and we taked to lots of people about the campaign. Not many were aware of the current situation in Sri Lanka. The work has to be continued.