Palestinian Students in the UK: Navigating the 'Long Sixties'

Activity: External talk or presentationOral presentation


Student activism has long been positioned as central to the ‘radical sixties’ whether in Mexico City, Paris or Dakar. This paper seeks to highlight the important role played by students from the South in the higher education institutions of the North by focusing on the activism of Palestinian students in the UK. The political action of these students strengthens calls to stretch the ‘long sixties’ well into 1970s. For these activists, 1968 was significant for the Battle of Karameh but the wars of 1967 and 1973, as well as Black September in 1970, also formed key political markers. Palestinian students in the UK in this period set their sights both domestically and internationally. Within the UK, they engaged in student unions (at local and national levels) and worked to inform domestic political debates; internationally, their mobilization crossed borders through the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS). In both settings, these student activists, in common with the broader Palestinian national movement, utilised anti-colonialism as a framing device and means of promoting solidarity. This paper highlights the political context and organisational resources of these activists to trace their repertoires of activism and framing strategies. It is informed by contemporary sources including publications by GUPS and the National Union of Students, communications of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, speeches by political figures and media reports, as well as interviews with activists.
Period28 Jun 2019
Event titleRadical Sixties: Aesthetics, Politics and Histories of Solidarity
Event typeConference
LocationBrighton, United KingdomShow on map


  • Palestinian
  • students
  • Activism