University occupations for Gaza reboot the student movement
On Thursday 15th January, students at LSE followed their lead and began an occupation of the Old Theatre for seven days before declaring victory having reached agreement with university authorities on all their demands.
Occupations then started to spread across the country, with students at Essex university going in for the weekend of 16th January. Students at Queen Mary University, London, took their space on Tuesday 27th. On that same day, around 100 Bradford students stormed the university boardroom, and had their demands met within 24 hours. Students at Essex took a room on January 16th. Over 80 Oxford students occupied the Bodleian Library, forcing the University to make concessions within 12 hours.
Unfortunately, not all the occupations were successful. Students at Birmingham University occupied the following Tuesday 20th January and were evicted the same day when university security, supported by around 30 West Midlands police officers, threatened to remove them using force after shutting down their building and withdrawing access to food and water. Despite this, the students still managed to secure immunity and a meeting with senior university officials. The occupation was also followed by a large ‘Free Gaza’ protest on campus.
The Sheffield Hallam occupation ended on 30th January the university had refused to concede on any of the occupation’s demands except one: “No victimisation of students or staff supporting the occupation in any form”. However, after students left peacefully they have been suspended from the university; effectively not being able to take part in lectures, examinations and their learning.
In Nottingham, students who had occupied B62 in the Law and Social Sciences Building were violently removed by university security on February 1st and then forced to stand outside in the snow and prevented from re-entering the building to reclaim their belongings until they presented their university ID.
Previous Feature: Over a dozen university occupations for Palestine
Regional Features: Nottingham Gaza solidarity occupation violently evicted | Sheffield Hallam Gaza Solidarity Occupation | Nottingham university occupied in solidarity with Gaza | Cambridge students occupy Law Faculty in solidarity with Gaza | University Occupations In Solidarity With Gaza (London)
Tash’s ‘collected’ occupation links
I dont think its finished yet…there are still occupations happening (although not suggesting we wait until they are finished) . we should add some analysis of NUS response (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/iiosi-letters-emails—online-postings-15-february-2009-1622337.html) and something about occupations at New uni in New York and University of Rochester www.counterpunch.org/jacobs02132009.html . Although partisan some comment on the SWP s attempts to ‘hijack’ the movement nationally might be good. Its good to tie up all the lose ends and create an authoritative piece with regards to info about the occupations but I think there should be some analysis as well lest it be a glorified links page. ill try and contribute over the next week as im also writing something about this for a brum-imc feature.
there is a lot of info on occupations.org.uk as well, although they have missed the wes streeting thing