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UCU anti-fascist campaigning

Information on UCU's work fighting fascism.

Anti-fascist news
Latest issue: October 2014
 (.pdf) file type icon Anti-fascist News, Oct 14 (.pdf) [262kb]
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UCU Congress Resolution 4 - anti-fascist campaigning

Congress notes the success of the united anti-fascist movement in the UK relative to several other European countries in restricting the growth of fascist organisations. It is rightly proud of the role of UCU and its predecessors in initiating and supporting this united movement.

It notes, however, that the severe economic crisis and accompanying political turmoil provides unprecedented opportunities for the BNP to peddle nationalist and racist solutions and make serious political advances.

As the leading post-school educational union, we recognise our special responsibility in combating the growth of fascist ideas amongst young people.

Congress resolves to:

  1. continue to prioritise anti-fascist activity
  2. provide maximum encouragement to our members in this vital area
  3. work with the UAF, fellow trade unions, the NUS and other organisations to combat the threat from fascist organisations. 

                                                                (passed UCU Congress 2009)


WHAT WE STAND FOR

Principles of trade unionism

The University and College Union stands firm with the trade union movement to oppose all forms of prejudice, harassment and oppression. Our rules set out this commitment to equality, justice and the right to organise in defence of our members. We believe that the doctrine of fascism represents the opposite of these values. Where we value diversity, fascist organisations seek to divide on the grounds of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and disability.

Our structures

The politics of hate does not belong in UCU or the wider trade union movement.

UCU Rules 6.1.1 as amended in 2008 states:

'UCU will refuse membership to or expel from existing membership, any person who is a known member or activist of any extreme right wing political organisation, including the BNP and National Front, where the organisations aims, objectives and principles are contrary to those of UCU'.

UCU celebrates the richness and diversity of our membership. We encourage the development and involvement of networks for our black members, women members, lesbian, gay and transgender members and disabled members. We have a history of successful organising and campaigning to prevent our universities and colleges becoming breeding grounds for fascist activity.

Our successes

All educational institutions are duty bound by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act to promote good relations between people of different racial groups. There is a public sector duty to promote equality in respect of disability, gender and race, which applies to universities and colleges. UCU does not believe that fascist organisations have the right to claim their activities are an exercise of academic freedom. We are completely in favour of freedom of speech except where it leads to incitement to attack or intimidate staff and students who have a right to study and work in a climate free from intimidation.

In 2006 UCU's predecessor unions and the National Union of Students campaigned successfully against a known racist academic at Leeds University. In May 2007, UCU and the trade union movement were successful in overturning a decision to allow Nick Griffin a platform to speak at the University of Bath.

Our future

As an education union, we believe in the liberation of every learner's potential, irrespective of age, class, gender, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion. Racism and fascism have no place in the classroom or lecture hall. We recommend all branches to join forces with other unions and anti-fascist organisations to campaign against xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and Islamophobia. UCU is not affiliated to any political party, but we call on all members to vote for democratic political parties in local and general elections.


UCU and NUT statement on the BNP

The policies and positions of the BNP are incompatible with the ethos and values of teaching. Racism and fascism are the antithesis of the aims of education which strives for the liberation of every learner's potential, irrespective of age, class, gender, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.

In common with the mainstream political parties, NUT and UCU find the policies of the BNP utterly unacceptable. We call on the government to take urgent action to ensure that racism and fascism have no place in the classroom or lecture hall, and to give consideration to making membership of the BNP incompatible with registration as a qualified teacher or lecturer, in line with policy for the police.
 
Both unions find espousal of BNP policies to be incompatible with membership of our organisations.

27 November 2008


Campaigning against fascism: ongoing events

We need to hear from you. Are you organising an event in your branch or region leading to the election?  If so, please let us know at eqadmin@ucu.org.uk and we will post the information here. 

UAF petition: Keep our schools Nazi free!

UAF has produced a petition to use in schools against the Maurice Smith review's appalling decision to allow BNP racists to teach children.

Commenting on the decision, UAF joint secretary Weyman Bennett said: 'This is a deeply disturbing decision by Maurice Smith. It makes a mockery of anti-racist policy in schools and threatens to turn the clock back to the 1970s when racism in the classrooms was considered acceptable.

'When I was a school student in the 1970s I had teacher who was in the National Front. He persecuted me and every other black child he taught. Yet today Maurice Smith says it's okay for these fascists to be let loose on children.

'The BNP is a thoroughly racist party, as today's court verdict over its membership rules underlines. People who join the BNP do so because they are conscious racists who believe that black and Asian people are biologically inferior to white people.

'Such people are not fit to teach. We rightly do not allow BNP members to become prison officers or police officers. So why should it be acceptable to put them in charge of children?' DOWNLOAD THE PETITION HERE

Article by UCU member Jim Wolfreys on the Guardian website.


Links to external organisations

UCU works with the following organisations in campaigning against fascism. Please visit the websites below for information on events in and around your areas:

Love Music Hate Racism: Created in 2002 in response to the rising levels of racism and electoral successes of fascist organisations. Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) uses music to unite and to celebrate the richness found in a multicultural and multiracial society.

www.lovemusichateracism.com

Hope not Hate: HOPE not hate is Searchlight's campaign to counter racism and fascism in elections and beyond.

www.hopenothate.org.uk

Unite against fascism: Unite Against Fascism (UAF) is a national campaign with the aim of alerting British society to the rising threat of the extreme right.

www.uaf.org.uk

Show racism the red card: Show Racism the Red Card is an anti-racist charity, which was established in January 1996. The aim of our organisation is to produce anti-racist educational resources, which harness the high profile of professional footballers to combat racism.

www.srtrc.org

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