Archive for the ‘our actions’ Category

Updates on us and other unis

February 11, 2009

A lot has happened since we last updated you on the situations in other universities…

  • Glasgow went under on Monday, Rochester occupation in NY has both started and ended in victory, as has Strathclyde. Others to go under: Edinburgh, Goldsmiths, UEA, Manchester (links on the right-hand side)
  • On a sadder note Sheffield Hallam Uni has taken it upon themselves to suspend one of the SU sabbaticals for taking part in the sit-in. If you want to show solidarity, join the Facebook group
  • Queen Mary’s managed to get their university to both actually divest from an arms company, and tighten up their own “ethical investment policy” – groundbreaking stuff!

If you want to keep up-to-date with situations at other universities, you may want to join the group Support the UK Occupations!

Three representatives from the Warwick sit-in met with university officials this morning, so you will be getting an update from that soon…

Update on the local/national movements

February 8, 2009

Students are revolting: The spirit of ’68 is reawakening… it’s quite sympathetic, and I personally am glad these occupations are finally getting national attention.

Facebook group for all the occupations

Update on what Warwick have been doing post sit-in: lots! The focus has been on three main sections.

  1. We have been meeting up regularly to discuss what to talk about in the upcoming discussion with the university – what to focus on, what to specify, where we can collaborate etc.
  2. Groups have been breaking off to tackle specific aims e.g. getting aid out to Gaza – this is making some pretty good headway!
  3. We have been conversing with other universities and national media to try and formulate a truly national movement with some pretty hefty political clout. Going to conferences, phone calls, e-mail lists… we’re trying to not lose the momentum that the recent wave of occupations has inspired!

As always, keep your eyes peeled and your ears to the ground…

Warwick declares victory!

January 30, 2009

Yesterday, we received word via our Students’ Union that the University was ready to deal. They have put a statement up on their website (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/insite/), and they are prepared to come to the table (with our SU mediating) and discuss where to go from here (with respect to sending aid, ethical investment, etc.)

So many people did not believe that, when we occupied a room in Warwick, that is was going to be successful – I hope you know have been shown that students still care! To top it off, last night the Emergency General Meeting we called had the largest attendance in ten years, and voted in an overwhelming majority (83% for) to both condemn the humanitarian crisis and offer support for those who performed the sit-in. This overwhelming show of support could never have happened a week ago before the sit-in started.

I would like to personally thank, on behalf of all the Warwick Solidarity Sit-in collective, everyone that came and showed support – whether it was in the form of solidarity, of hands to help, of food to keep us going, or help with talking to the university. We feel our action has woken the faith in student activism that had been lying dormant at Warwick, that it informed many people that before knew little about the crisis, and that it sent a message to both the rest of the UK and the rest of the world that there are people out there that do care. We really felt that the students were behind us in our action…

but that was by no means the end. Now we are at the table with the university with student backing, we need to try and win change through the “proper channels”. We also need to harness the joy that so many felt from seeing students take a stand for something, anything. Our time is now.

We have a meeting at 6pm on Monday in MS.B3.03. Come along and discuss where we can go from here. Good luck to all those still occupied, good luck to those that ended, and good luck to those thinking about “going under”. Solidarity!

Update: Plans and Protests

January 29, 2009

The University responded to us last night, but still managed to miss most of the points we were making. We are drafting a response now, but they are making it clear that this is not going to be easy. Tonight will give us a boost, however, if the motion passes at the Emergency General Meeting (EGM). It’s at 6pm TONIGHT in MS.02 (in the Maths and Stats building), please come and bring all your friends because we need this meeting to have enough people!

In other news, Bradford and Nottingham have now both gone under occupation. Here’s a press release from Nottingham:

“A group of students has peacefully occupied Room B63 Law and Social Sciences this evening in solidarity with the people of Gaza. This occupation is the 17th in the U.K since the New Year.

Motivated by the escalating crisis in Gaza, University of Nottingham students is issuing a set of demands to the University management calling for immediate action. We stand in solidarity with students at the School of Oriental and African Studies, the London School of Economics, King’s College London, Birmingham, Essex, Warwick, Sussex, Oxford, Manchester Metropolitan, Cambridge, Leeds, Newcastle, Queen Mary’s, and Bradford Universities; all of whom have occupied parts of their Universities in support of Gaza

We will not lift the occupation until our demands have been met. The demands are currently being finalised and include a statement from the university and the providing of aid and scholarships to Palestinian students in Gaza.

This is a non-violent and inclusive protest. All University of Nottingham students are encouraged to participate. During the occupation we will adhere to the same codes of personal conduct as is expected of us as members of the student community.  Any disruption to our peers’ education is expressly against our wishes and we will respect the rights of freedom of speech, freedom of expression and the right to disagree.  Universities should be a place where freedom of expression, debate and critical discourse is encouraged.

We are asking anyone who empathises with our cause to come down and join the demonstration.

We plan to organise speakers, events, food and music. We are not going to disrupt any lectures.”

Talks tonight

January 28, 2009

Hi ho. We’ve got a group called Anarchists Against The Wall coming to speak at 5pm (they’re not all anarchists, don’t be scared) and John Rose at 6/6:30pm coming in to share his wisdom on a one-state solution. Come along, and TELL PEOPLE TO COME TO THE AGM TOMORROW AT 6PM IN MS.02! NOW!

More unis occupied, more unions support…

January 27, 2009

Queen Mary’s is now under occupation (leaving only UCL as a major London uni that’s not been), and the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees has come out in support of what we’re doing (look on our Flickr account for a copy)

BUT almost more importantly, we got enough signatures to call an EMERGENCY GENERAL MEETING for our union, which will be this Thursday at 6pm in MS.02. This will be a Union-led forum to discuss whether or not the Union should support our recent actions. The debate will not be about partisanship in the conflict (the Union will always remain neutral) but about our right to do what we have done, and the humanitarian demands that we have made. You need to be a member of our SU to vote, and we need at least 100 votes to make anything we decide matter. Come along to show people that students care about something! WE NEED YOUR HELP!

THIS THURSDAY

6PM, MS.02

Day 7… almost one week!

January 27, 2009

We’re still here, we’re still going strong! The University is starting to get into correspondence with us, and we collected enough signatures (0.5% of the student population) to be able to call an Emergency General Meeting for the Union. This would be on Thursday or Friday, and would entail a Union-run debate on whether people should support our sit-in, with a vote one way or the other. If the vote is in the affirmative, that would massively open up the resources the Union could lend us (posting things on the website, help from staff, that sorta stuff) – the second we know when it is, we’ll post it up on here.

We’ve uploaded new photos to Flickr, we’ve got a lot of pages in the new Boar (pick it up!) and we have a schedule for today:

5-7pm: Sounds of Solidarity! Music from Ste Forshaw, Matt Shillito, Pete Blegved and Hannah Tottenham. Come down and enjoy the tunes…
7pm: the film series from the CAPITAL Centre moves to S0.21 to show solidarity. This week’s film is “Tracers”, a joint Iraqi and American produced film about life under occupation (particularly relevant here) with a post-film talk afterwards

Tomorrow, we’re having more speakers from many different backgrounds. We’ll keep you posted!

Day 6, without a hitch

January 27, 2009

Today went well, despite not going as initially planned. Lectures resumed in the liberated space and, as planned, we were very accommodating, maintaing only a symbolic presence during this time, to which the lecturers were very receptive. Some even announced their support during the course of their lectures.

We  have been in constant communication with One World Week and their hosting of the Greenpeace talk was highly successful. Nick Hildyard gave a great forum discussion on student activism, the current political climate and the financial crisis. Jim Hensmen, from Coventry Socialist Party, gave a speech about the Black Panthers, including first-hand experience. This was followed by an interesting discussion on racism and institutional poverty.

As usual, we have recieved many great messages of solidarity from fellow students, academics and political activists. Particularly exciting was a vist from Dr Vandana Shiva, renowned human rights activist who told us to keep  going and told us that she would join us and sleep over if she didn’t have to leave. =D

We finished up the day deciding on how we want to respond to the University’s most recent communication, and making sure we were working towards our goal of supporting those affected by this conflict.

We also managed to collect the 104+ signatures needed to call an Emergency General Meeting to discuss the Union’s policy towards the conflict in Gaza and our demands relating to it. This will be delivered to the Union tomorrow morning, and the Union should have a meeting taking place before this week is over.

We will continue with this struggle for as long as it takes until we feel we have received a sufficient response from our University. Solidarity!

Still going strong (with schedule for today!)

January 26, 2009

Surprising the university, we are still here after the weekend! We kept up a constant presence, maintained a good level of debate, and kept up the mission of education and solidarity.

Today, we’ve decided to start the week off with a bang. Here’s the schedule:

12-1pm: Solidarity lunch! Bring and share, for food and ideas, everyone welcome
3-4pm: A Director of Greenpeace International is giving a talk here: it is a OWW talk that has been moved here to show solidarity
4-5pm: Nick Lawrence from the English department on US and state-sponsored terrorism
5-6pm: Nick Hildyard Q&A
6-7pm: Nick Hildyard (founding member of the NGO Corner House) on “The Financial Crisis: Holding Them To Account”
7-7:30pm: Break
7:30pm: Jim Hensmen on the Black Panthers and other pressure groups (a Socialist Students talk that has been rescheduled for solidarity)

We will also be having a meeting later to discuss where this protest is going. See you in S0.21!

We are still here…

January 25, 2009

We’re running a pared-down operation over the weekend, but we are still here. Yesterday, people mainly popped in to ask questions about what the protest is for, and otherwise we tried to get on with work so we can hit the ground running on Monday.

On Monday night, we’ve got a bring-and-share lunch from 12 til 1 – bring along some food, or even if you don’t still pop by, say hi, and eat! We’ve also got Nick Lawrence (English department, works on post 9-11 literary and graphic culture) and Nick Hildyard (a founder of the NGO Corner House, who will be speaking on BAE Systems and the crumbling financial system) already confirmed for the evening, keep checking back to hear about what else we get planned.

Finally, thanks to everyone that’s dropped in to give us snacks or moral support. We’ve been told by fellow student occupiers that the weekend can be quite draining due to a lack of in-and-out visitors, but you guys really have helped keep our spirits up!