This is a plea to all LSE students and alumni to occupy the Old Theater and not to leave until the Center for Global Governance returns Saif al-Gaddafi’s £1.5 million donation to the Libyan people.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POST HAS MOVED TO OUR NEW WEBSITE
UPDATE 22/02, 21:32:
I was just passed the following message by a friend at Cambridge:
“LSE students have occupied the senior common room where all the lecturers and vice chancellor eat and meet. This is in solidarity with the Libyan uprising and against ties with Saif Gaddifi, and to demand the school gives back £300k he has so far donated to the school of global governance. Send messages of support to email@example.com”
Hurray for global solidarity! We wish you all the strength, courage and persistence you need to achieve the goals of your occupation. We also reiterate our call upon the LSE to return the £300.000, and once again urge Professor David Held to immediately issue a personal apology for his indefensible praise of Gaddafi.
Libya is everywhere!
To all LSE students and alumni:
As an LSE alumnus, I appeal to all of you to occupy the Old Theater and not to leave until the Center for Global Governance returns the £1.5 million donation it recently received from Saif al-Gaddafi to the Libyan people.
It is utterly unacceptable for an institution like the LSE, which prides itself on a reputation of scholarly independence and integrity, to accept the blood money of a repressive regime like Gaddafi’s.
The past couple of days have witnessed an intensified crackdown on peaceful protesters in the city of Benghazi, with hundreds feared dead and many more injured.
Despite having previously cast himself as a pro-democratic reformer and a defender of Libyan civil society, Saif al-Gaddafi today went on air threatening to “fight to the last minute, until the last bullet.”
In light of these warlike remarks and Saif al-Gaddafi’s personal implication in the ongoing crackdown, I urge you to demand an immediate public apology from David Held, Co-Director of LSE Global Governance, for the unjustifiable statement he made upon acceptance of the donation in January 2010:
“It is a generous donation from an NGO committed to the promotion of civil society and the development of democracy.”
If David Held, the Center for Global Governance and the London School of Economics truly care about global civil society and democracy, they should immediately offer their apologies to the Libyan people and donate the £1.5 million to genuine organizations fighting for democracy, social justice and human rights in Libya.
Instead of mindlessly accepting whatever money he could get, David Held should have listened to the late Professor Fred Halliday, who already shared a dissenting note counselling against acceptance of the donation at the time.
Now it’s high time for the LSE’s proud history in student activism to once again come to the fore. The world is watching. Now is the moment to display your solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Libya!
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Personal Statement by David Held on Gaddafi’s LSE Donation
Professor David Held just sent an email with a public statement on Saif al-Gaddafi’s donation of £1.5 million to LSE Global Governance.
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Plot Thickens in LSE-Gaddafi Connection
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LSE Students Occupy Senior Commons Room
LSE students have occupied the senior commons room to demand the immediate restitution of Gaddafi’s blood money to the Libyan people.