Monthly Archives: March 2014

Voting intentions for Guild Council 27/3/2014


Sorry for the lateness on this – here are my voting intentions on Guild Council motions/Democratic Structures Review amendments being discussed in Guild Council tonight at 6pm.

Also our last event of Imperialism Awareness week is at 6pm today – Far from Post-Colonial: The continued struggles of Indigenous peoples.

For more information of the Democratic Structures and Officer Reviews being proposed, see the write-up here.

Any questions/issues email me at axs278 [at]


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Imperialism Awareness Week begins today

BEMA present: Imperialism Awareness Week
March 25th – 27th 2014Tuesday 25th March
6pm – Arts Lecture Theatre 7
It’s Time for Black Schools: Lessons from the Black Supplementary Schools movement

Co-hosted by OBU, Organisation of Black Unity
Dr Kehinde Andrews will be discussing racism in the school system and the need for a radical Black independent education.
The discussion will be based on his new book Resisting Racism: Race, inequality and the Black supplementary school movement.
Signed copies will be available at the event for a reduced price of £16.

Wednesday 26th March
6:30pm – Arts Lecture Room 4

Decolonise the Mic: An evening of spoken word

Join us for an evening of poetry and readings, as performers are given a platform to express their own narrative.
Performances by BEMA members will be followed with an opportunity for self-defining BME’s to grab the (open) mic.
Want to get something of your chest? There’ll also be a soap box session to say whatever’s on your mind.
Thursday 27th March
6pm – Arts Lecture Theatre 7
Far from Post-Colonial: The continued struggles of Indigenous peoples
Panel + open discussion on the effects of colonialism today, and the struggles of Indigenous people including the Nican Tlaca people, resisting the oppression and racism that still resonate from the colonial era.



This week: Stuart Hall, Drones screening + Q&A and AGM elections


Hi everyone,

we have a number of events on this week, hopefully people will be able to make at least a few of them.

1) ‘Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars’ + Q&A
Tuesday, 6pm, Arts LR1

The first campus screening of the award-winning documentary – Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars, which looks at the Western drone attacks that regularly kill civilians throughout tribal areas of Pakistan (and beyond), in the name of ‘anti-terrorism’ and ‘security’.
There will be a Q&A session after the screening with a former investigator from the charity Reprieve, who have won awards for their work investigating and challenging the use of drone strikes in Pakistan.

2) BEMA AGM/elections 2014-15
Wednesday, 3pm, Arts 201
BEMA will be having our Annual General Meeting (AGM) to elect a new committee to run the Association next year.
We’ll also be discussing what the Association can do next year – so come down and contribute even if you’re not thinking of going for a committee position.
Changes to our constitution can also be proposed; the current version can be seen below.
To run for committee all you’ll need is to prepare a 1-2 minute speech on what you can bring to the role and to BEMA, and maybe take some questions from attendees.
If you want to run but can’t make the time you can email us a speech at bema[at] to be read out on your behalf (also email us if you have any questions about running or committee roles)

Positions include:
Chair; Vice-Chair/Secretary; Treasurer; PR & Marketing Officer; Cultural Outreach Officer; Local Liaison Officer; Campaigns Officer; Guild Councillor

3) Racism, Cultural Studies & the Neo-liberal state: A critical celebration of Stuart Hall
Thursday, 4pm, Aston Webb WG05
An afternoon featuring a panel discussion, debate and film footage looking at the late Professor Stuart Hall’s legacy as more than just the ‘godfather of multiculturalism’.
We will be discussing his influence beyond UoB’s Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies to the surrounding Birmingham community, and within Black academia and political activism.
Organised by BEMA and Black academics of Birmingham.




BEMA Constitution

Congo: From Lumumba to Neo-colonialism – Friday 14th


Congo: From Lumumba to Neo-colonialism

Friday 14th – 6pm – Nuffield G13
The conflict within the Democratic Republic of the Congo has to date claimed the lives of over 5 million people, but has been a crisis poorly covered by the Western media – suppressed by neoimperial interests and impulses including conflict materials and the rich resource reserves in the region.The Pan African Students Union, along with Birmingham ACS and BEMA, invite you to an evening discussing the history and current situation of the crisis, as well as what diasporic youth and students can do to raise awareness of the conflict in the DRC.

Featuring guest speaker
Benoit Mussanzi wa Mussangu, Chairman for Centre Resolution Conflicts (CRC) in both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the UK, and a current PhD student at Bradford University.

We look forward to seeing you there.


Voting intentions for Extraordinary Guild Council 13/3/2014


A number of amendments will be discussed tonight at the Extraordinary Guild Council on the Democratic Structures and Officer review, which will decide options for the campus-wide referendum next term on changes to Guild democracy.
Some ideas proposed in the Review are decent but in implementation seem poor alternatives to Guild Council. My other issues with the Review can be found here.

Below are a description and voting intentions on the amendments proposed to make the Review proposals more viable options – I’m judging them here on their own merits, (mostly) regardless of how I feel about the Review on the whole.

Any questions/queries get at me axs278 [at]


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Problems with the Democratic Structures and Officer review (from a Liberation perspective)


The Democratic Structures and Officer review proposes some significant changes to the way Guild democracy works, especially with regards to the role of the Guild Sabbatical Officers in leading the Guild and orienting its activity.

In the Extraordinary Guild Council today (6pm, Guild Council Chambers) we will be discussing amendments to the Review that could potentially ameliorate some of those issues, and may result in the proposals going forth to the campus-wide referendum in April/May being viable alternatives to the current Guild set-up. There will be a write up on those amendments in a tiny bit, following  this.

There is a lot to be said about the Review and the models proposed, but they will not be covered here – below is only a few brief thoughts on why the proposals (as proposed) in the Review are concerning from the perspective of a Liberation Association (further details on why the proposals are wack more generally can be found elsewhere).

Apologies in advance for the general sloppiness of the post and any incoherent content; was a bit rushed and am a bit sleepy.


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The Ogaden & Sound of da Police events


BEMA are holding two events this week that are open to all –

The Ogaden: History, colonialism & National identity
Thursday – 6pm – Arts Lecture room 5

Held by BEMA and the Ogaden Youth & Students Union, we will be looking at the history of the Ogaden region in East Africa; through it’s struggle against British & Italian colonialism to its present day struggle against EPRDF and the current Ethiopian regime.
We will be looking closely at the crimes against humanity committed as a means of destabilising the region, driving ethnic Somalis out of their land as well as resistance and the use of poetry as a tool of survival and reaffirmation of their sense of national identity.
The evening will be concluded with traditional dances popular in the Ogaden Region.
BEMA, Black Students’ Campaign MIDLANDS, BirminghamStrong and ACS invite you to an evening of discussion about police brutality and racism against BME groups, and what our communities can do in resistance.

Topics covered will include Deaths in Custody, racist Stop and Search methods, how Mental Health laws are used disproportionately to detain Black men, and the use of state violence against BME women and Muslim communities to maintain control and surveillance.

The event is open to all, students and non-students, and will include workshops on know-your-rights and stop & search.

Sound of da Police poster
For any questions contact us at bema[at]