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Motions to be discussed at next UGM

Check out the UGM Rules to find out how UGMs run!

UGM dates this academic year:


Thursday 21st November 2019 - 5PM-7PM, Atrium

Monday 20th Jan 2020 - 4PM-6PM

Tuesday 10th March 2020 - 2PM-4PM

AGM 24th April 2020 - TBC!!


UGM Agenda

Time: 17:00 - 19:00
Date: 21st November 2019
Location:   Atrium
Chair: May Gabriel (ReThink Mental Illness)

1. Ground Rules and Introduction

2. Ratifying Previous UGM Minutes

3. Exec Committee Reports

4. Motion 1: Demilitarise SOAS: End institutional collaboration with the DCSU and Ministry of Defence

5. AOB




Motion #1


Demilitarise SOAS: End institutional collaboration with the DCSU and Ministry of Defence


Khalfan al-Badwawi

This Union Notes:

  1. That SOAS has received at least £400,000 since the end of 2016 to design and deliver three annual Regional Study Weeks for the Defence Cultural Specialist Unit of the British Ministry of Defence, including ‘Eastern Europe and Central Asia’, ‘Middle East and North Africa,’ and ‘Sub-Saharan Africa.’
  2. That the DCSU was formed in 2010 as the Ministry of Defence’s “centre of excellence for cultural capability” in response to the UK’s involvement in the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. It operates under the 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade in the British Armed Forces
  3. That the British Armed Forces have at least 43,000 troops deployed and 20 military bases across the globe, from Kenya and Oman to Brunei and Belize, and are engaged in at least eight conflicts, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen
  4. That the UK is at the centre of the arms trade, exporting over £14bn worth of arms annually (the second largest globally), and hosting companies such as BAE Systems, Babcock, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Rolls Royce, which profit from war and destruction around the world. Furthermore, SOAS has an investment policy that excludes arms and fossil fuel companies
  5. That war and militarism are the most significant causes of the climate and ecological crises, which include the mass extinction of life forms, climate change and extreme weather. The US military is the single largest polluter in the world, with over 800 bases around the world

This Union Believes:

2.1 That the British state was propelled into industrial modernity by the profits of chattel enslavement and settler colonisation, and that its contemporary projections of military power around the world continue to build on these genocidal and ecocidal legacies of empire

2.2 That SOAS was founded with the explicit purpose of serving the interests of the British state: strengthening its political, commercial and military presence in Africa and Asia, and producing knowledge and narratives about colonial subjects and environments

2.3 That British military operations do not operate in a vacuum, but advance British imperial interests in those regions, including mining and arms companies listed on the London Stock Exchange and its global network of tax havens

2.4 That academic institutions are complicit and integral to maintaining the military-industrial complex, investing millions in the arms trade, profiting from and completing research for arms companies and providing specialist training, and hosting careers services that promote industries that profit from war and repression to students

This Union Resolves:

3.1 To issue a public statement calling on all faculty providing trainings for the DCSU to cease their collaboration, and for SOAS to cancel its contract with the Ministry of Defence, and to mobilise with campus unions and lobby the School for this outcome

3.2 To incorporate demilitarisation integrally into the SU’s policy by making Demilitarise SOAS a priority campaign for the SU; and to facilitate spaces for collective learning and organising against British imperialism, including military, mining and finance corporations

3.3 To provide material and logistical support to demilitarisation and abolitionist campaigns at SOAS and in London, including, but not limited to, SOAS Detainee Support, Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Community Action Against Prison Expansion, Empty Cages Collective, London Campaign Against Police and State Violence; and to involve them in the above processes

3.4 To lobby the School to provide multifaceted forms of support to victims and survivors of historical British colonialism and contemporary imperial aggression in our community, in particular asylum seekers, refugees and people with insecure immigration status, and people targeted by racist and Islamophobic surveillance programmes like Prevent, including, but not limited to, counselling, bursaries and scholarships


This webpage was last updated on: 19 Nov 2019 12:20