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BAE Systems and HPE ‘sent away with their tails between their legs’ after pressure from activists

STUDENTS and staff at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) celebrated today after companies complicit in Israel’s attacks on Palestinians announced that they would no longer attend the university’s job fair.

BAE Systems and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) were due to have stalls at the job fair today but backed out following pressure from UCU, Merseyside Student Action for Palestine, LJMU Palestine Society and Liverpool Friends of Palestine. 

The group launched an online petition pointing out that BAE Systems produces parts for the F-35 combat jet currently being used by Israel to bombard Gaza, and that HPE provides servers for the surveillance of the Palestinian population.

Danny Ritchie of Merseyside Student Action for Palestine said: “LJMU say that they’re courageous, they say that they’re inclusive, and yet to be inviting companies that are assisting genocide to their recruitment fair is just completely against these values.”

He said that the victory was “an amazing show of how when staff and students stand together,”  joint solidarity can lead to a “great outcome.”

LJMU Palestine Society president Mariya told the rally: “We still have to keep the pressure on the university and stop them inviting them again.

“This is just a start.”

LJMU UCU branch chairperson Bee Hughes said that the goal now is to make sure universities everywhere have the tools and support to “extricate themselves from financial links with the Israeli state and companies in general.”

Mark O’Brien from the University of Liverpool UCU congratulated the campaign.

Some of “the most powerful and the richest companies in the world” have been “sent away with their tails between their legs,” he said.

“What this has shown in Liverpool is that we can beat these companies. 

“We can force them to run away in shame.”

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