As elected delegates to the National Union of Students Annual Conference from Students’ Union UCL, we are concerned to see a growing number of tabloid smears from the British establishment media aimed at NUS and its newly elected leadership. We write to express our solidarity with the NUS President-Elect, Shaima Dallali, and to inform her that the student body at UCL stands with her and her policies.

We note the disproportionately hostile treatment given to a black Muslim woman by an institutionally bigoted media: from the day Shaima Dallali was elected, the media and various organisations, have dragged up her childhood tweets, which she has since apologised for, to fuel outrage among their readership.

Evidently, the media and a number of other institutions are driving a relentless smear campaign, seeking to target anyone in the public domain who openly asserts anti-apartheid stances.

Shaima herself is a vocal supporter of Palestine and critic of Israeli apartheid. The NUS is proud to be one of the earliest denouncers of South African apartheid and it is important, more than ever before, that we support the NUS, and its leadership, in developing and upholding its proud anti-racist principles.

Time and time again, whether in the case of LGBTQ+ liberation, women’s liberation, or fighting racism and apartheid, the NUS and the student movement it leads has proved itself to be on the right side of history. As UCL’s NUS delegation this year, we were proud to represent and vote for the current NUS leadership who ran on anti-racist principles, including supporting Palestine. We join the growing number of voices who vocally continue to have full confidence in NUS and its current leadership, and urge them to continue to show strong solidarity with the exploited and oppressed Palestinian masses.

Signed by Students' Union UCL 2022 NUS Delegates

Ayman Benmati
Daria Duda
Laura Ionescu
Meg Day
Muhammad Shaban Chaudhary
Mustafa Almi'ani
Niharika Lal
Suhaila Adan
Tom Barringer
Xiaxi Cai