Autumn Term – 17/10/2008
Our weekly meetings for this term are scheduled to take place on Fridays at 6:00pm, starting from Friday week 2.
Throughout the term will be hosting weekly debates, socials, speaker events and campaigns. Our first meeting of the term will be about the economic crisis and the collapse of the neoliberalist model of finance.
The format of our debates is as follows; two speakers present the two sides of the argument, and then enter a discussion with the audience. There is no rigid structure; formality and pretentiousness are strictly forbidden :p
From Guantanamo to York – 22/05/2008
Moazzam Begg is one of nine of nine British Muslims who were held in extrajudicial detention in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp by the US government. Moazzam Begg was arrested in Pakistan and held by US agents at the Bagram Airforce Base in Afghanistan for one year before being transferred to Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay. He was released from Guantanamo in January 2005 after more than three years of detention. Moazzam was never charged or ever given a fair trial. To date he has received no compensation or an apology.
An inspirational speaker, Moazzam Begg talked about his experiences and his highly sophisticated views on the “War on Terror”. Equipped with the burden of first hand experience and with sharp humour, he made shocking revelations, explaining how forced innacurate confessions, including those concerning Iraq’s “desire to acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction and its relations with Al Quadea”, on which much of the justification for the war was based on, were given by prisoners as a result of brutal torture. He cast light on the depraved lunacy that is today’s international politics and explained how, in the name of freedom, the most basic human rights are eliminated and the most horrible atrocities are committed.
Food Crisis Debate – 06/05/2008
In Tuesday Week 3, the DSA participated in York Union’s “Food Crisis” Debate. Other societies involved included the European Society, the United Nations Association and People&Planet.
The motion debated was “This house believes that third world hunger is too pressing for crops to be used as biofuel” and was passed.
Ed Miliband, Member of Parliament – 02/05/08
Ed Miliband, Minister for the Cabinet and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, visited the York Labour Club and gave a speech in the university, which was of course attended by the DSA.
During the QA session, our representatives had the chance to ask the man responsible for writing the Labour party’s new manifesto if he believes that, after the clear disappointment of the electorate towards the direction of the New Labour, and with a full scale economic recession currently unfolding, it is finally time for the Labour party to return to its long forgotten democratic socialist roots.
Mr Miliband replied by saying that his father, the Marxist theorist Ralph Miliband, would be disappointed to hear that the decisions of the Labour party are now described as being incompatible with the party’s name and tradition, and outlined that although he shares a lot of his father’s values, and that he “absolutely [agrees that] the current crisis proves why a nation’s economy needs to be effectively regulated”, he argued why in “real politics”, if one is to make a difference, then he/she must not get carried away by idealism. An honest answer which was slightly undermined by the fact that, throughout his speech, idealism was promoted as one of the most important requirements and distinguishing factors in modern politics.
Summer Term Meetings- 27/04/2008
Our weekly meetings for this term are scheduled to take place on Fridays in Derwent JCR at 5:30pm
DSA Committee Political Compass 😛 – 14/03/2008