Australian university expels pro-Palestinian student

Australian university expels pro-Palestinian student
Image: Students barricade the Gaza Solidarity encampment on the campus of the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

A pro-Palestinian student has been expelled by the Australian National University (ANU) for comments made on ABC Radio.

Beatrice Tucker was interviewed in late April as a member of the ongoing encampment by host Ross Solly. They were asked repeatedly if they condemned Hamas.

“This is a very common question the media often throws at pro-Palestine activists,” they replied.

“It’s seen as a bit of a scapegoat … it’s a distraction from the issue at hand, which is actually there’s a genocide going on.

“I actually say that Hamas deserve our unconditional support, not because I agree with their strategy,” Tucker said.

“But the situation at hand is if you have no hope, if you are sanctioned every day of your life, if you’re told you’re not allowed to drive down a road because somebody who is Israeli gets to have preference and you sit there for 12 hours, the reality of life in Palestine.”

Students and Staff Against War ANU said after making these comments, Tucker was targeted by right-wing media like The Australian and Zionist organisations like the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. 

“They demanded Tucker’s immediate expulsion and accused Tucker of supporting ‘terrorism.’ These same organisations have called for the Palestine solidarity encampments across Australian universities to be shut down,” the statement reads. 

Elise Chua, a member of Students and Staff Against War ANU, said it was “an unprecedented, severe punishment to students exercising their academic freedom.”

“What Tucker said is in line with the Palestinians’ internationally-recognised right to resist, under UN law,” she continued.

In Resolution 45/130, the UN General Assembly endorsed the right for national liberation movements to employ “all available means, including armed struggle” in resisting colonial domination.

“The ANU since 7 October has continued to buy shares in these arms companies with record profits. They foresee that they’ll be able to increase their portfolio if they choose to fund and invest in genocide. That’s what’s shameful here, and not a student expressing their political opinion,” said Chua. 

The news comes a week after the university called police onto the student encampment. They had also ordered the on-site protestors to move their encampment, citing safety concerns.

ANU reportedly has a “a number of disciplinary inquiries currently under way for alleged behaviour or speech that contravenes our values as a community, and which go against our codes of conduct”.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *