University occupations come to an end

Some successes, some defeats...

University occupations for Gaza reboot the student movement

The wave of occupations was kicked of by students at SOAS who began their occupation on January 13th (photos here and here) they issued a list of demands, most of which authorities accepted.

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.

Both Cambridge (here and here) and Manchester Metropolitan faced intimidation from university authorities.

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)

Links: UK Occupations | Birmingham | Bradford | Cambridge | Essex | Kings College | Leeds | LSE | Manchester Met | Oxford | Queen Mary | Sheffield Hallam | SOAS | Sussex | Warwick

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Proposal email:

follow up email:

Hey, I can’t seem to access the we.riseup page…I wrote this a couple of
days ago.
should act as a basis.

I’m not so sure ‘University occupations come to an end’ is an appropriate title. Hopefully there’s some more still to come.

How’s about something that acknowledges this repression but affirms the struggle is continuing?


second that , maybe …

University occupations for Gaza reboot the student movement

…but less cheesy?


Sorry came up with the title the night after the Notts occupation got evicted. Was on a bit of a downer. I like Baylott’s.


Tash’s ‘collected’ occupation links
Nottingham University Students Occupation in Solidarity with Gaza
Nottingham University Gaza solidarity occupation violently evicted
Tash’s actions 2009


Is it ready to be published?


I guess it could be. I’d hoped to write a bit more, but been too busy and am unlikely to have much time now until next week…


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 (—online-postings-15-february-2009-1622337.html) and something about occupations at New uni in New York and University of Rochester . 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 as well, although they have missed the wes streeting thing