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UCU anti-fascism/anti-semitism campaigning

16 April 2010

Information on UCU's work fighting fascism.


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 Public Sector Equality Duty to promote good relations between people of different equality groups. 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.

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.

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 and we will post the information here. 

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:

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

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.

Stand up to racism bring together organisations and activists from anti-racist campaigns.

Stand up to racism

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.

Previous campaigns

UCU Statement

They will not divide us

UCU sends its sincere heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of murdered soldier, Drummer Lee Rigby who was viciously and brutally attacked in Woolwich, South East London on Wednesday 22 May 2013.

UCU welcomed and agrees with the statement issued by Drummer Rigby's family urging for calm and to "appeal for everyone to show their respect in a peaceful manner" in the aftermath of his death and not to use his memory for personal or political gain. 

UCU stands opposed to all extremist groups wishing to use this harrowing event to further peddle their hate through fear and violence as seen by the EDL, who on the night of the murder, descended to Woolwich by chanting 'whose streets, our streets' culminating in a running battle with the Police.  The BNP organised further protests around the country and in central London, which have received strong opposition from community groups and trade unions.

UCU condemn the continued demonisation of Muslims through irresponsible reporting in the media by blaming all Muslims for the heinous act committed by two individuals whose actions are not representative of what it means to be a Muslim or a follower of the religion Islam.  Also, the shocking increases in Islamophobic incidents of which 200 were reported including 10 attacks on mosques within a week following the murder.     

UCU is proud to support activities organised by affiliates Unite against Fascism who organised the "Unity in the Community" event to demonstrate that the incident in Woolwich will not divide us and Hope not Hate who organised an on-line letter sending out a clear message to all extremist group that their rhetoric is not wanted nor is it welcomed.

UCU will work with other trade unions, Unite against Fascism, Hope not Hate and community groups to continue to challenge racism, fascism and Islamophobia within our colleges, universities and communities.

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

Last updated: 22 May 2024