Call for support for the conference “We want our World back!”
Next weekend, the Network For An Alternative Quest is organising a major conference at Hamburg University in Germany. The three-day conference is titled “We Want Our World back”. But now, in an unprecedented attack on freedom of speech the administration of the University of Hamburg has announced the withdrawal of the rooms for the conference at short notice and for political reasons.
Dilar Dirik writes from Germany: “I am reaching out with an urgent call to defend academic freedom and autonomy in light of a disturbing development in Germany. A couple of days ago, upon the request of the German intelligence, which claims that the conference is attesting to “extremism”, the university administration decided to withdraw the venue. This is likely in part due to the key role that the Kurdish political community is playing in the realization of this conference.”
The writer James Kelman who is taking part at the event told us: “It was scheduled to take place at the University of Hamburg, organised here by the student body, AStA. Now the German intelligence service has advised the university to block it, and the university President has done their bidding. One week to go. It’s disgraceful but there we are. This directive was given by the intelligence service with only one week to go, in an obvious effort to stop it taking place altogether. The organisers of the conference have managed to find another venue. The authorities are using the usual method, anyone with an acquaintance, no matter how remote, to anything Kurdish, has a connection to a terrorist organization.”
A statement from the students stated: “The conference, which more than 1300 people and world-famous scientists like John Holloway and speakers like María de Jesús Patricio Martínez will attend, is part of the series “Challenging Capitalist Modernity”. It was hosted at the University of Hamburg three times already, most recently in 2017, and is organized by the AStA of the University of Hamburg in cooperation with the Network for an Alternative Quest. Participants from academia, social movements, and the Hamburg student body will discuss pressing issues of our time such as the climate crisis, alternatives to capitalism, and patriarchal violence together in workshops and panel events. To enable international participation, the conference will be simultaneously translated into English, Kurdish, German, Turkish, Italian, Spanish and Arabic. This convergence space for science and civil society, as well as the truly international character of the conference are
Details of the event are here …
Full press release from the organisers (in German and English) here.
We’ll be putting out more information about how to support the event – and details of live streaming in the next few days.