The Guardian • Issue #2103

ANU expels pro-Palestine student, continues links with arms manufacturers

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2103
The Arms of the Australian National University.

The ANU has expelled Beatrice Tucker for comments made on ABC radio, banning the student from entering campus or continuing their studies. This comes a week after the ANU called police on the student encampment.

Students and Staff Against War ANU, a group on campus, has been circulating an open letter condemning any disciplinary action taken against Tucker, which has garnered over 500 signatures and over 50 staff signatures. Hundreds attended an NTEU rally on 16 May after the ANU sent 7 students letters requesting they leave the camp. Hundreds once again prevented police from arresting students in the camp on 27 May.

On 30 April, Ross Solly asked encampment members on ABC radio whether they condemn Hamas, repeatedly. Tucker responded by affirming their solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for national liberation and their UN-recognised right to resist occupation. “Hamas deserves our unconditional support … Not because I agree with their strategy, [I’m in] complete disagreement with that.”

After making these comments, Tucker was targeted by right-wing media outlets 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.

Finnian Colwell of Students and Staff Against War ANU called the decision “an unprecedented and dangerous step in smothering free speech on campus.”

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