It was with great sadness that we learnt about the death of Nita Sanghera, UCU’s president-elect on 16 January. Among the many causes and campaigns that Nita devoted her tireless energy to supporting was mobilising solidarity for activists in the Middle East in their fight for justice.
She was always outspoken in her defence of the Palestinians’ rights to stand up to their oppressors and refused to buy into the arguments that calling for an end to the Israeli occupation is antisemitic. Nita was one of the initiators of an open letter signed by nearly 600 trade unionists in September 2018 opposing the use of the IHRA definition of antisemitism to stifle criticism of Israel.
Days after the fall of dictator Omar el-Bashir in Sudan, she was one of the first trade union leaders in Britain to offer solidarity to the courageous protestors in the streets with a widely-viewed video message posted on our Facebook page. She was also one of the first signatories to an international statement by leading trade unionists and MPs from Britain, Ireland, the Spanish State, Greece, Turkey and South Africa urging wider support for the growing popular uprisings in Algerian and Sudan.
At UCU congress 2019 Nita helped Dr Omar Baldo from the Sudan Doctors’ Union UK address a packed fringe meeting to bring news of the revolution to delegates.
It was a privilege to work with Nita. Solidarity and sympathy to her family and friends. We’ll keep fighting to bring about the world she believed was possible.
Anne Alexander – on behalf of Middle East Solidarity magazine