Sydney University: Let Ali Abunimah Speak!

The Palestine Action Group is campaigning against censorship of a Palestinian speaker at Sydney University. Ali Abunimah is Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine.

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Only two days after our petition to have a visa issued for Ali Abunimah to speak in Australia, Sydney University has cancelled the venue booking for his speech in Sydney.

The venue was booked a full month in advance of the event. Sydney University venues management issued an invoice for the booking for $198 which was paid 2 weeks before the event.

When we submitted the forms for the booking we were told that "Everything should be fine" for the booking. We were also informed "In the case that you event is rejected, or amendments are requested, a reason will be given."

Venues management has not requested any amendments to our booking, and given no reason for the cancellation.

Ali Abunimah has spoken at many university campuses in the past, including the University of Chicago, University of Colorado, Princeton University and many others.

The decision reeks of political bias. Sydney University has hosted speakers on campus that have vocally supported Israel's war crimes. Colonel Richard Kemp spoke on campus last year to support Israel's 2014 assault on Gaza, which left 2,310 people dead, at least 1,617 of whom were civilians. Yet pro Palestinian voices are silenced.

Cancelling the booking is tantamount to political censorship. We demand that Sydney University allow Palestinian voices to be heard on campus, we demand that the booking be reissued immediately.

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