UK: Children Referred to Counter-Terror Police Amid Crackdown on Palestine Support

London: More than a hundred schoolchildren and university students have faced “harsh repression and censorship” – including referrals to the government-led counter-terrorism programme Prevent – for displaying support for Palestine in the last three months, campaigners say.

Open Democracy has been alerted to reports from across the UK of schools allegedly telling pupils to remove badges, stickers and t-shirts that have “free Palestine” on them; alleged retaliatory measures against college students for tweeting support or joining pickets for Palestine; and claims about university exclusions, suspensions and investigations, as well as the cancellations of pro-Palestinian events.

Anas Mustapha, head of public advocacy at the group CAGE International, said the organisation had witnessed “high levels of repression of Palestine solidarity, with employers, teachers and police acting upon prejudice and increasingly disturbing levels of irrational intolerance”. CAGE works with communities impacted by the so-called ‘war on terror’ and says that, since the Hamas attacks on Israel on 7 October, 130 people have contacted them concerning Palestine censorship in schools, colleges and universities – a 455% increase from their last report in 2021. The figure includes alleged referrals to Prevent.

Read more: Nandini Archer, Open Democracy,

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