Sunday, November 05, 2006


Throughout history, whenever there has been a calling, the Sikhs have been quick to the defend the honour of those oppressed and with the grace of Waheguroo justice has prevailed. These teachings have been instilled in the Sikh Faith by the Guru's themselves, and we are again reminded of our history with the anniversary of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Maharaj Ji's Shaheedi Purab slowly approaching.

WesternSSA Members, we ask you to join in a silent protest being held this Monday and take part in the traditions and teachings of Sikhi, by defending the rights, honour and dignity of our brothers and sisters. Please read the following message from our friends for more details regarding the protest to be held this Monday.


On Monday, November 6, from 12-2 p.m., the UWO chapter of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) will join with other groups such as the NDP club, Oxfam, and Pride Western in holding a silent protest at the concrete beach (area in front of the UCC). Participants are asked to wear black, and place duct tape or something similar across their mouths to visually show the USC's policy of gagging and censoring groups on campus.

The aim of this protest is to draw attention to the actions taken by the University Student Council against freedom of speech on campus. Unfortunately, the USC has a history of silencing student groups over issues seen as controversial, and this trend continues into the present day. The amount of bureaucracy and control exerted by the USC has also risen frighteningly in the past few years, severely limiting the ability of full-time students to achieve anything beyond the superficial. A few examples:

SPHR was banned from USC properties after a 2004 event in which a mock
apartheid wall was erected in the UCC. The event had the approval of both the USC and the London Police's hate crime division, and was meant to draw attention to the illegal apartheid wall currently snaking its way across the West Bank. Each year, the USC has found new, increasingly ridiculous reasons to silence SPHR, and the full story can be found here:

Oxfam Western recently ran into trouble, when they were refused permission to print posters detailing the epidemic of world hunger. They were silenced because the images of starving children were deemed unrefined for the tastes of Western students.

Pride Western has also been affected by the actions of the USC. During Pride Week, chalk slogans on the walls of several buildings on campus with pro-equality messages were erased on the order of the USC because they made some students feel "uncomfortable". Many other clubs, sports, and even Student Council candidates have used chalked slogans to spread their messages, yet it is only Pride Western who has seen theirs officially erased. Strange indeed.

So please, come support freedom of speech at one of Canada’s largest universities. Show your disapproval of the USC’s policies, which have limited the views on campus to those deemed safe, and kept student organizations from achieving their full potential.

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