From midday tomorrow, Warwick students will claim a space on campus in an act of solidarity with the innocent victims in Gaza, and with the other groups in the UK which have taken similar action. There are myriad other reasons behind this act: our support of the international right to education that the recent IDF attacks on Palestinian infrastructure has jeopardised; our challenge of Warwick University’s (direct and indirect) complicity in the conflict, specifically by their liaising with BAE Systems and similar arms companies; to provide a forum to view massive media manipulation in the form of hasbara from the National Information Directorate.
This list is by no means exhaustive – the point of the sit-in is for a variety of individuals to shape such ideas into a more coherent statement, working towards practical and achievable solutions. This is not to say there will only be one voice coming from this room-occupation. Aside from a fundamental preference for peace, there will be many variances of opinion from the collective, and this should not be viewed as a bad thing.
After a meeting today, we decided we wanted to create an inclusive, autonomous and non-violent space within the traditional campus structure as a centre for debate, education and thought about the current conflict in Gaza. We are aiming for a permanent presence in the room, without ignoring the need for the standard education of our fellow students. There will be talks, films, workshops, debates and anything else we can arrange. The occupation of the space will continue until those who are involved decide to end it, and again the activities which take place will reflect the wishes of the group.
This invitation is open for anyone interested to come along and help educate ourselves and each other about the situation in Palestine, and to help formulate requests to the university relating to our aims. Societies have been contacted, academics brought on board. We are offering a chance to show our solidarity with those in Gaza and those in Birmingham, Essex, SOAS, LSE and Kings that have already seen occupations. Others are planned and will start at any moment. This is an issue which extends far beyond the borders of Warwick, and this occupation and sit-in is undertaken as part of the wider movement. Bring posters and pens, bring friends, bring banners… but most importantly, bring ideas and a willingness to be part of this exciting movement. See you tomorrow at 12 in the Grad!