Published: 4th October, 2018
Motion in support of ‘Stansted 15’: Endorsed by the UCU Committee on 4th October 2018
Leicester UCU notes the case of the so-called ‘Stansted 15’, activists from groups including End Deportations, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants and Plane Stupid, who, in March 2017 used non-violent direct action – lying down in front of an aeroplane – to prevent a charter flight due to remove asylum seekers and other migrants to the UK from taking off. As a result of this action, approximately 50 people due to be deported were able to remain in the UK to continue their legal cases. The activists themselves however have been charged with terror-related offences under the Aviation and Maritime Security Act; if found guilty they face life sentences. (The trial started on October 1 at Chelmsford Crown Court.)
Leicester UCU believes that the Stansted 15 acted with bravery, humanity and kindness. It believes that the government’s decision to charge them with terror-related offences is politically-motivated and is designed to reinforce its ‘hostile environment for migrants’ – a policy this branch condemns.
Leicester UCU resolves to send a message of solidarity to the Stansted 15 and to donate £150 to the fund set up to help them cover their living costs during the trial.