University Occupations In Solidarity With GazaTagged as: ducation free_spaces gaza occupation
The wave of solidarity with the people of Gaza has spread from the streets of London into several universities that have been occupied by the students. The first one being occupied was SOAS on Tuesday 13th [more] when students took the Bruney Gallery and set a series of demands to end their action, thus creating a "practical example of student self-organisation" whilst posing a "direct challenge to the marketisation of universities". The occupation lasted for several days until the university management accepted most of the students demands.
On Thursday 15th, the lecture theatre of the LSE was also occupied by over forty students [more]. Whilst this occupation was still going on, around fifty students of the Kings College London also took action and took over the university''s lecture theatre. And on Tuesday 27th, Queen Mary University was also occupied. Update Wed 4th Feb: Queen Mary university occupation declares victory. Update Wed 11th Feb: Goldsmith University is occupied.
The wave of occupations now seem to spread from London and into other parts of the UK. On Tuesday 20th students occupied the Arts LR4 building of the University of Birmingham, but the occupation was ended after just 12 hours when the university and police besieged the occupation. Sussex University was also occupied on the same day by over 80 students posing a clear set of demands. Then came Oxford, Essex, Warwick, Manchester Met, Leeds, Newcastle, Cambridge [pics], Bradford, Sheffield Hallam, Nottingham, Strathclyde and Manchester universities. In Nottingham students created a memorial to all those who have lost their lives in Gaza. Update Wed 28th: The occupations have started to bring in results as both Sussex and Bradfod students have declared "victory" [See Sussex and Bradford declarations] On the other hand, the Cambridge University occupation is under threat of eviction [more] Update Sun 1st Feb: Nottingham occupation violently evicted [more | video] Update Wed 11th Feb: University of East Anglia is occupied. Update Mon 23rd Feb: London College of Communication, University of the Arts London occupied. Events: Tue 24th Update Wed 25th Feb: UAL occupation ends in victory
All of these occupations have taken place as part the UK's wave of rage against Israel's attack on Gaza and its people, and hence they all have a similar set of demands on this issue, some of which include:
- An official statement from the universities condemning the atrocities committed in Gaza.
- That the universities cease to invest directly or indirectly in companies complicit in human rights abuses in the Gaza strip and internationally.
- That no Israeli goods or goods produced by companies that have directly funded the State of Israel be sold on campuses.
- Full financial scholarships for Palestinian students in the UK.
- That there be no legal, financial or academic measures taken against anyone involved in, or supporting, the occupations.