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UCLU: Let Macer Speak!

On Tuesday November 3rd, Macer Gifford a brave freedom fighter, was banned by University College of London Union (UCLU) and the activities officer, Asad Khan, to talk at a Kurdish Society event which he had been invited too. Unfortunately, UCLU proved their unwillingness to take a stance against ISIS and to support the Kurdish cause.

Macer Gifford is an excellent example of someone laying his life on the line in order to champion human rights, and to deny a man who has spoken at the BBC, Portcullis House and an ex-UCL student is absolutely outrageous.

A former currency trader, Macer spent five months in Northern Syria and said he wanted to “shine a light” on the conflict after being “shocked to the core” by the rise of ISIS and the subsequent lack of reaction from the West. Macer wanted "to shine a light and to show the Kurds aren’t alone".

They first claimed he would encourage individuals to go fight in Syria which was nonsense. Macer has always outlined this was his personal choice and has no interest in encouraging others. Having told them I would also set provisions for his speech, they still continued to deny him.

Their focus then fell on to YPG, one of the most democratic units in the Middle East and the most effective fighting force against ISIS in the region who receive praise and support from the western coalition.

They placed the YPG in the same brackets as Hamas and Hezbollah, even though they are far from terrorist groups. They ignored the thousands of articles supporting and praising YPG and instead focused on bias Turkish news sources, a nonsensical Amnesty report and a hazy UN report. UCLU in this respect appeared to openly try to tarnish YPG's respectable reputation.

In all wars contextual awareness must be applied. YPG are a fantastic freedom fighting force and mistakes can be made, but placing a focus on 6 villages where the details are hazy, and just side-stepping the fact the group has liberated over a 1000 villages is ridiculous.

Asad concluded that UCLU are not willing to take sides in this conflict. By taking a neutral ground, you are assisting ISIS. The Union often show bias support for Palestine in the Israeli conflict, yet decided to stand neutral on one of the worst groups in history.

All in all, UCLU and Asad Khan displayed horrible prejudice against the Kurdish cause, human rights and the freedom of speech. Universities are here for academic development and intellectual enlightenment. How can we be expected to develop if we are being censored from the beginning?

So please, if you stand for human rights, for freedom of speech and for eradicating ISIS, please sign this petition and demand that UCLU allow Macer Gifford to speak and give back our freedom of speech.

Thank you.

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    Kavar Kurda started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,441 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.