Monday, 15 June 2009

Solidarity for Justice for SOAS Cleaners- Stop Deportations, occupation.

Dear students, and staff of SOAS,

Today the University of Bradford Union meet to discuss the deportations of cleaners at the School of African and Oriental Studies, London. We want to send our solidarity greeting to you.

We were both shocked and appalled to hear last week that the University had been complicit in allowing members of their staff to be intimidated, detained and deported whilst working at SOAS.

The fact that the University targeted underpaid cleaners many of whom are active in working to fight for better widest is outrageous.

As students and researches at the University of Bradford we feel that our Universities has a duty to protect all members of its community. The fact that the your school not only refused to protect its staff but was complicit in deporting ill and pregnant staff is outrageous.

We fully support actions such as the present occupation to fight for the rights for these workers. Students and staff must unite to work together in creating a community that is safe and secure for each other.

We send our solidarity with those who have been part of the campaign to stop deportations while out thoughts are on those who are being deported and other staff who are being intimidated by these kind of actions. We wish the occupation all the success.

We want to make it clear to all Universities but particular to SOAS that the behaviour of senior management not acceptable and have called for them in a separate letter to support their staff and the occupation.

Yours, in solidarity and friendship.

For and on behalf of the University of Bradford Union


Lloyd Russell-Moyle

Union Secretary – Treasurer 2007-09

Vice President (Societies) 2009-10

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Plymouth University Occupy

http://plymouthunioccupation.blogspot.com/

Press release;

We are a group of students concerned about the university's continuing support for Israel's actions in Gaza and the West Bank, indicated by the university's investments with BAE Systems who have sold 236 F-16 fighter planes to the Israeli state, and its silence over the recent atrocities and human rights abuses perpetrated by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
As a result we have occupied room 202 in the Smeaton Building in solidarity with the people of Palestine and to directly protest against the university's complicity in Israeli war crimes. We are issuing the following demands to the university and we are willing to continue the occupation until they are met.

We demand:
1. That the University of Plymouth issue a statement condemning the recent and continuing atrocities perpetrated by Israel in the Gaza strip. The University should officially denounce the attacks on civilians, the systematic obstruction of humanitarian aid and the targeting of academic institutions, hospitals, places of worship and international peace keeping facilities.
2. That the University of Plymouth cease to invest directly or indirectly in companies complicit in human rights abuses in the Gaza strip and internationally.
3. That no Israeli goods or goods produced by companies that have directly funded the State of Israel be sold on campus.
4. That the University of Plymouth provide complete financial scholarships for six students from Gaza University which has been bombed by the Israeli military.
5. That any surplus educational resources available to the University of Plymouth are provided to Gaza University and that the shipping of these resources be fully paid for by the University of Plymouth.
6. That there be no legal, financial, or academic measures taken against anyone involved in or supporting the occupation. All those involved will be guaranteed free movement in and out of the occupied space, with open access to electricity and internet.
We await your response to organise a formal meeting between delegates of our occupation and with university management to negotiate these demands.

The occupying students of the University of Plymouth

07837788872

University Of The Arts London Occupation

University of the Arts London students have occupied the Podium Lecture Theatre in the London College of Communication. The university has rejected our modest requests to help the people of Gaza.

Our demands are:

1.
UAL must issue a full public statement condemning the bombings of educational institutions in Gaza. This statement must be official and formal in its entirety.
2.
UAL must agree to break all corporate links with Israel to add pressure on its denial of Palestinians human rights.
3.
UAL must survey its resources with the aim of donating any unused or out of date books, computers, furniture or other teaching resources with an educational institute within Gaza. A link should be established between the two academic institutions and sustained support should be maintained for a minimum of 5 years.
4.
UAL must provide 10 fully-funded scholarships to Palestinian students affected by the recent conflict.
5.
UAL with the support of the UALPSC, must organise a one-day intercollegiate charity event to raise funds for humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.
6.
UAL must agree to hold an exhibition curated in-part by the UALPSC. Artworks exhibited to focus on the conflict and humanitarian crisis. shown in one of the University's spaces of the UAL PSC's choice.

We are calling for all students of UAL to join us and help the people of Gaza.

This protest is organised by the University of the Arts Stop the War Society and the Palestine Solidarity Network

http://ualpalestinesolidaritynetwork.blogspot.com/

Thursday, 12 February 2009

UEA in Occupation

A part of the arts building at UEA is being occupied. Our demands are as
follows
a public condemnation of the situation in gaza by both the university
authorities and the executive
Education and aid for the University of Gaza, for example old computers text
books etc to be sent there to help replenish the resources destroyed by the
recent bombardment
For UEA to twin with the University of Gaza
Scholarships for palestinian students so that they can continue their disrupted
education
A condemnation from the NUS from the Union for its faliure to adress the
massacre in Gaza in a meaningful way
No repurcussions for any students member of staff or the public who is involved
in or in anyway supportive of the occupation
Feel free to ring 07511612691 for further information

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

A message from the President of The Islamic University of Gaza

Dear fellow students of Bradford University,

We would like to express our sincere thanks and deep appreciation for all your conscious efforts, endeavours and demands to support the right to education, justice and freedom in Palestine.

We wholeheartedly support your peaceful protests against the blanket bombing of Gaza in general and the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) in particular which suffered extensivedestruction and damage to all its buildings, academic facilities. Additionally more than 20,000 students, whose families have been agonizing from the suffocating siege of Gaza, have lost some members of their families and many others have lost their houses.

With great respect and admiration, we have been following all activities taking place in 19 British universities. Your brave campaign has strengthened both our hope and will that we are not alone in this just battle against unprecedented blatant injustices and flagrant violation of human in Palestine.

We are absolutely proud of you all and proud of your solidarity and support campaign for the right to education in Palestine which gives us bright light in the heart of the military occupation darkness.

We wish you full success in your supportive campaign and in achieving all your sensible demands which show a high level of awareness and commitment to defend basic human rights in Gaza at a time of obvious media bias and hypocrisy of many governments.

We hope to cooperate with you soon to establish mutual academic cooperation between our academic institutions. In this regard, we confirm our high interest and strong willingness to provide you with any information, facts, plans, courses, etc related to your practical demands.

 

In solidarity with Bradford university students in Occupation

Dr Kamalain Sha'ath
President, The Islamic University of Gaza 

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Students are revolting: The spirit of '68 is reawakening

From The Independent.

Campus sit-ins began as a response to the Gaza attacks, but unrest is already spilling over to other issues. Emily Dugan reports.

They are the iPod generation of students: politically apathetic, absorbed by selfish consumerism, dedicated to a few years of hedonism before they land a lucrative job in the City. Not any more. A seismic change is taking place in British universities.

Around the UK, thousands of students have occupied lecture theatres, offices and other buildings at more than 20 universities in sit-down protests. It seems that the spirit of 1968 has returned to the campus.

While it was the situation in Gaza that triggered this mass protest, the beginnings of political enthusiasm have already spread to other issues.

John Rose, one of the original London School of Economics (LSE) students to mount the barricades alongside Tariq Ali in 1968, spent last week giving lectures on the situation in Gaza at 12 of the occupations.

"This is something different to anything we've seen for a long time," he said. "There is genuine fury at what Israel did.

"I think it's highly likely that this year will see more student action. What's interesting is the nervousness of vice chancellors and their willingness to concede demands; it indicates this is something that could well turn into [another] '68."

Beginning with a 24-hour occupation at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) on 13 January, the sit-ins spread across the country. Now occupations have been held at the LSE, Essex, King's College London, Birmingham, Sussex, Warwick, Manchester Metropolitan, Oxford, Leeds, Cambridge, Sheffield Hallam, Bradford, Nottingham, Queen Mary, Manchester, Strathclyde, Newcastle, Kingston, Goldsmiths and Glasgow.

Among the demands of students are disinvestment in the arms trade; the promise to provide scholarships for Palestinian students; a pledge to send books and unused computers to Palestine; and to condemn Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Technology has set these actions apart from those of previous generations, allowing a national momentum to grow with incredible speed. Through the linking up of internet blogs, news of successes spread quickly and protests grew nationwide.

Just three weeks after the first sit-in at SOAS, students gathered yesterday at Birkbeck College to draw up a national strategy. The meeting featured speeches from leaders in the Stop the War movement, such as Tony Benn, George Galloway MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP. There has also been an Early Day Motion tabled in Parliament in support of campus activism.

At the end of the month students from across the country will gather for a national demonstration calling for the abolition of tuition fees, an event that organisers say has rocketed in size following the success of the occupations over Gaza.

Vice chancellors and principals have been brought to the negotiating table and – in the majority of universities – bowed to at least one of the demands. The students' success means that now there is a new round of protests. On Wednesday two new occupations began at Strathclyde and Manchester universities, and on Friday night students at the University of Glasgow also launched a sit-in.

Emily Dreyfus, a 21-year-old political activist in her third year of reading classics at Oxford, was one of around 80 students to occupy the historic Bodleian library building in the city and demand that the university issue a statement condemning the Gaza attacks and disinvest from the arms trade. She said: "I found Oxford politically very dead when I arrived, but it's completely different now. There seem to be more and more people talking about politics, which is so exciting. It's really been aided by the communication tools we've got, things like Facebook."

Wes Streeting, the president of the National Union of Students, said: "What we've seen over the Gaza issue is a resurgence of a particular type of protest: the occupation. It's a long time since we've seen student occupations on such a scale. It's about time we got the student movement going again and had an impact."

Establishments that have not previously been known for their activism have also become involved. Fran Legg was one of several students to set up the first Stop the War Coalition at Queen Mary, a research-focused university in London, a month ago. Now they are inundated with interest.

"Action on this scale among students hasn't been seen since the Sixties and Seventies," she said.

"This is going to go down in history as a new round of student mobilisation and it will set a precedent. Gaza is the main issue at the moment, but we're looking beyond the occupation; we're viewing it as a springboard for other protests and to set up a committee to make sure the university only invests ethically."

As the first generation of students to pay substantial direct fees to universities, their negotiating power has also been strengthened. Their concern over their college's investments have been given new legitimacy because it is partly their money.

Ms Legg said: "For the first time, you've got students getting principals to the negotiation table, saying they don't want their tuition fees funding war. Everybody wants to know where their money is going."

The activist: 'Students will see they can take action'

Katan Alder, 22, student leader speaking from the occupation at Manchester University

"We've been occupying the university since Wednesday. More than 500 people came to an emergency Students' Union meeting and we took the vice chancellor's administration block that afternoon. Israel's assault on Gaza made people angry, and we heard about the occupations at other universities through blogs. This is the biggest student campaign we've had and it's also the most wide-reaching. We'll stay until the university lets us meet with the vice chancellor. I think students will see they can take action on more issues, such as the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the education system; the Government's refusal to stop the marketisation of education has provoked a lot of anger."

The '68 veteran: 'It changed our lives'

John Rose, 63, former student organiser at the London School of Economics in 1968; now a lecturer and author on the Middle East

"I arrived at the LSE in '66 as an extremely naive liberal student and I left in '69 as a revolutionary socialist. It changed our lives. I was one of the student organisers with Tariq Ali and attended all the demonstrations and occupations. We did think a revolution was coming; we thought mass action of students might overthrow capitalism and bring genuine equality. It took us some time to realise that wasn't going to happen.

"It wasn't just about rioting and having fun, it was political argument that probed all the assumptions about the world. It was a highly intense period and the memory stays powerfully with anyone involved; it's the memory of those times that has kept me going.

"It was a feeling of fantastic elation: we began to realise that mass action could change things. Once it started, we developed a taste for it and began to consider mass activity as a way of doing politics, which is what's happening now. People are fed up with bankers, politicians and elite institutions. Hundreds of us thought the revolution was coming in '69, but maybe the revolution is coming now."

PROTEST ABOUT ISRAEL SCIENCE DAY IN LONDON AND MANCHESTER


       Message from the British Committee for the Universities of
       Palestine (BRICUP)

With amazing and insensitive bad taste the Science Museum in London and
the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry are allowing their
premises to be used for an ‘Israel Day of Science’ sponsored by the
Zionist Federation. The research of seven Israeli universities is to be
showcased. The planned dates are March 3 (Manchester) and March 5 (London).
Event details <https://zionist.org.uk/index.php?id=39&event=120>
This cannot be allowed to happen. These universities are without
exception complicit in the mechanisms and policies of the Israeli
occupation, and in developing the military technology used in the
massacre in Gaza. Protests are rolling in from scientists and
non-scientists alike
BRICUP has drafted letters below to be sent to the Chairs of the Boards
of Trustees of the 2 museums

Read the letter that will be sent to Manchester MOSI
<http://www.bricup.org.uk/documents/MOSILetter.pdf> (similar letters to
both Museums).

Go TO THE BRICUP WEBSITE and follow the links if you want to SIGN THESE
LETTERS (www.bricup.org.uk <http://www.bricup.org.uk/>) . Unless you
specify otherwise, we will add your signature to both letters.
The deadline for signing up is 21 February 21. BRICUP will then send the
letters to the museums with a list of signatories and maximum publicity.

If the events go ahead, protests will take place at both museums.
Details will follow.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Victory for Rochester University in the USA

From LSE:

The occupation of the University of Rochester ended after 9 hours. The university agreed to a number of statements that we could hold them accountable for and build on to continue this movement of boycott and divestment. Most importantly, we got them to agree to help organize with their own resources a public forum to expose their investments. Below are the statements that Dean Burns signed last night.

1. Divestment. That Dean Burns help organize a public forum with the U of R investors, SDS and the community on U of R investment policy, and U of R investment in Israel.
2. Humanitarian Aid. That U of R commit resources and provide any needed information for a campus-wide fundrive for Palestine.
3. Academic Aid. That U of R assess needs in Gaza and donate surplus supplies to universities such as computers, books...etc.
4. Scholarships. That U of R commit to providing international student scholarships to Palestinians.

We are proud of what we did and the support from community activists we received. This was just the first step at the University of Rochester.

For details on the occupation, reported from the inside: http://www.thesitch.com/occupation

Solidarity from the UK! Rochester have taken an historic, unprecedented step for American universities. The international movement is growing!


Also: Solidarity to other activists in the US, who were punched by a journalist and manhandled by police:

http://socialistworker.org/2009/02/03/activists-protest-aipac

Friday, 6 February 2009

Glasgow Uni - Now occupied

After a pre-emptive report Glasgow is now occupied.

http://glasgowunioccupation.blogspot.com/

Solidarity from Bradford

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Strathclyde University Success!

a message from the Strathclyde students...
 
"Success!

I'll keep it brief for now, but I'm happy to say that after a 24 hour occupation of Registry, three negotiation sessions with the university authorities and a students' association that opposed the actions, we managed to win a series of promises from the University administration:

- The Eden Springs contract has been CANCELLED
- Scholarships will be provided for 1-3 (and potentially more, funded by money that would otherwise have been wasted on Eden Springs) Palestinian students
- The DEC appeal will be publicised on campus and on the University homepage
- The University will re-establish its link with the University of Gaza
- The University denies that it has any links with BAE systems beyond the company funding one student to the sum of £5000 in the engineering department. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, and we shall investigate this further.

Thank you to everyone for your amazing support in the campaign and the solidarity you expressed.  End the occupation - free Palestine!

Keep up the support for the ongoing occupations - and organise in your schools, universities, communities and workplaces.

Please send messages of support to Manchester Uni students currently in occupation:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=48701307671  "
 

What next?

The University of Bradford released its investments this week, the Union which received the full, unedited list of investment is calling a meeting on Friday 6th February to discuss what next?

"The list is pretty poor" said Lloyd from the Union, "it consists of oil, arms, aeroplanes and mining to name but a few".

The meeting is being called to talk about the next steps students can take in making sure that their University is investing ethically.

Friday 6th February 2:30 - 3:30pm
Union Biko Board Room
Communal Building

Strathclyde & Manchester Universities Occupied

For a report on Strathcylde see here.

For information about the Manchester occupation click here.

Congratulations from Bradford and Solidarity.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Talk - "Why did Israel invade Gaza and what are the consequences?"

Professor Paul Rogers from the Peace Studies Department at Bradford University will attempt to answer the question "Why did Israel invade Gaza and what are the consequences?" On Wednesdays 04 Feb
5-7pm in room
C7 Richmond building.
All are welcome

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=61297278776&ref=mf

Update

The University today has confirmed that they sent a letter to Lloyds TSB asking them to explain their actions in not processing Interpal money.

They have also released to the Student Union the list of all companies that they have invested in and their share portfolio. This will be shared with anyone on the occupation to review and decide their next steps.

STUDENT ACTIVIST CONFERENCE, SATURDAY 7 FEB


STUDENT ACTIVIST CONFERENCE, SATURDAY 7 FEB, 12-4PM, Birkbeck College, Central London.


Dear student activist,

In the last three weeks British campuses have seen a wave of student occupations. College managements are only now coming to terms with the seriousness of these actions.

The wave has not subsided. Queen Mary, University of London, are still in occupation and there are others planned. The victories won at Essex, Sussex Kings College and many others, include scholarships, aid to Gaza and an end to investments in companies which arm Israel.

These demands have been present in the student movement for many years, but in a few weeks of occupation many have been achieved. The tactic of occupation has not been used so successfully for a decade in the student movement. It will doubtless raise its head again.

The threatened sacking of 350 lecturers at London Metropolitan University shows how the recession will affect university students. It is vital for the student movement that we celebrate our wave of victories, and prepare for future battles.

Join us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=61237579988
Conference Agenda

12-1pm
Solidarity with Gaza - End the War on Terror Tony Benn, George Galloway MP, Lindsey German, Mira Hammad, LSE occupation

1-2.30pm
Building solidarity with Palestine on the campuses With representatives from University campaigns

3-4pm
The future of the anti-war movement
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Chris Nineham, StWC, Rob Owen, NUS NEC

Solidarity with Sheffield

Sheffield Hallam have put up contact details for the university to help you complain about their treatment.

What happened?
Students who occupied the Owen Building at SHU and were evicted and threatened with disciplinary action are asking for support. See details on their blog at http://shuoccupation.blogspot.com/2009/02/speak-out-to-university.html

In response to the numerous queries we have had about how people can voice their sentiments to the university management, we suggest that people contact the university either through:

- Calling the university switchboard directly on 0114 225 5555,

- Sending an email to the following:

Vice Chancellor's PA: FAO Phillip Jones r.vyse@shu.ac.uk

Secretary's PA: FAO Liz Winders l.c.taylor@shu.ac.uk

In order that we can verify numbers of people registering complaints/sentiments should the University prove unwilling to divulge this information, you may CC or BCC your message to makeyourvoiceheardsheffhallam@googlemail.com, though there is no obligation to do so.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Solidarity from UCU (the lecturers Union)

From UCU NEC members:

Statement of support for student occupations over Gaza

As members of the University and College Union National Executive Committee, we would like to send solidarity greetings to the students in the 17 universities who have occupied their universities in protest over the Gaza crisis. This is the largest wave of occupations for over a quarter of a century. Too often, the media seek to portray this generation of students as ones who do not share the aspirations of the 1968 generation – and deride you as, “Generation Apathy”. Your actions have decisively dispelled this myth.

Your demands to secure disinvestment by universities from companies involved in selling arms to Israel and free scholarships for students from Gaza show your humanity. You speak for the millions of young people throughout the world who are sick and tired of war and injustice, who simply desire a world in which the young grow up not knowing what it is like to kill and maim.

You are an inspiration to us all and we wish you every success and call upon all those who want a more peaceful world to support your action.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

URGENT!!!! NOTTINGHAM FORCEFULLY EVICTED FROM UNIVERSITY ROOM

1. 3 gentlemen including steven dudderidge entered the room and read
out basically the same statement with regard to our place. he then
gave us two minutes or "our guards will remove you"
2. We decided since none of our demand had even been considered to sit
at the back of the lecture hall and non-violently resist.
3. 9 or so uniformed security guards entered the room and proceeded to
remove the protesters from the floor with force and then throw them
out the building into the cold. I do not think it unreasonable to say
that this is likely illegal considering these are not police officers
but simply security guards. Several screamed out in pain, belts were
ripped etc.
4. Once all the protester had been ejected from the room the
University guards etc proceeded to begin to look through the objects
that remained in the room. This I believe is also a potential legal
issue.

Please publicise this immediately.

Nottingham

Friday, 30 January 2009

'Students achieve historic victory' on iraq website

http://iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/article/188348

Students achieve historic victory for Gaza at Bradford University
By: paster, UkIndymedia on: 28.01.2009 [17:57 ] (266 reads)

Telegraph and Argus Piece

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/4083740.Students_stage_sit_in_over_Gaza/

Students stage sit-in over Gaza
6:42pm Wednesday 28th January 2009

By Paddy McGuffin

A student occupation of Bradford University led to negotiations with the vice-chancellor over the institution’s ethical investment policy.

The occupation followed a protest over the ongoing situation in Gaza and called for the University to state its position in regard to the crisis.

About 100 students occupied the union offices at Bradford University overnight calling for a face-to-face meeting with vice-chancellor Professor Mark Cleary to discuss the university’s investment policy in regard to Israel and support the students over the Gaza crisis.

The students also asked the university to revise and make transparent its investment policy as well as investigating the possibility of twinning the University with the Islamic University in Gaza.

Yesterday, Prof Cleary agreed to meet the protesters to discuss the issues. Following negotiations, during which a number of further points were discussed, Prof Cleary, said: “The University of Bradford joins its students in concern over the escalating violence in the Gaza strip and Southern Israel.

“The University condemns violence wherever it occurs and wishes to express its commitment to the principles of peace, justice and the rule of international law. He added that the University had sent a message of sympathy to staff and students at the University who might be affected by events in Gaza and communicated a statement about the strong ethical guidelines that informed its investment strategy.

He said the university would write to its bank, Lloyds TSB, to query its policy towards Palestinian charity Interpal and provide a list of companies in which the university is a shareholder. Prof Cleary also pledged to explore the feasibility of twinning with the Islamic University of Gaza. Philip Hoffmann, one of the protesters, said: “The occupation has been very successful and has proved that peaceful direct action can have an effect.”

Get your MP to suppor the occupations.

The following motion has been submitted to the house of commons, please make sure that you ask your MP to sign it in support of the occupations across the country. Contact them at http://www.writetothem.com/

The following parliamentary motion has been tabled:

EDM 626 STUDENT OCCUPATIONS 28.01.2009 McDonnell, John 2 signatures

Corbyn, Jeremy

That this House praises the wave of student occupations across the country against Israel's unlawful invasion and bombing of Gaza; regrets that an estimated thousand Palestinians have been killed as a direct result of the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza with many more people injured and suffering ongoing hardship; and welcomes the engagement of young people in protesting against the unfolding human tragedy in Gaza by taking direct action at numerous institutions including Cambridge University, Essex University, Kings College London, Manchester Metropolitan University, Oxford University, Queen Mary University London and Sussex University.

Regards
Nicolette Petersen
Office of Jeremy Corbyn MP

Thursday, 29 January 2009

University Statment published


The University statement was today published on the University website for students, staff and the public to read.

It re-affirmed the commitment to peace, international law and justice and gave a link to the DEC disaster appeal.

It can be read here http://www.bradford.ac.uk/news/gaza-statement.php

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Success


It's over, and it lasted less then twenty four hours. Through intense negotiations and serious debate with the Vice Chancellor, we managed to reach an agreement that is both satisfactory to the students taking part in the action and the University management team. We thank the Vice Chancellor for his quick response to our action, and his frank conversations with us. We believe that the statement we agreed on indicates clear intentions that the University, in consultation with the students, will take action.

Following the previous post discussing our negotiations, students waited for the Vice Chancellor to discuss our queries with other members of the university management team. At 12pm the negotiations resumed and our agreement was finalised with the Vice Chancellor and the Chair of Council (the two most senior members of staff with the University). Both were optimistic about the statement, however emphasized that the students, through the UBU, needed to assume responsibility for fulfilling their obligations to the agreement, as well as making sure the proposals were followed through. We feel that this agreement meets the objectives of this particular action, and provides clear tangible developments to students concerns over the problems in the Gaza strip. We hope to build on this through further work within the UBU to promote the cause of the Palestinians trapped by an illegal Israeli occupation.

The University of Bradford joins with the students in condemning violence wherever it occurs and wishes to express its commitment to the principles of peace, justice and the rule of international law.

Viva Viva Palestina!!!

Occupation over - statement from the University

Following further negotiations we have secured the following statement from the University

It reads:
The University of Bradford and Gaza
1. The University of Bradford Student Union and an ad hoc group of students have articulated their concerns over recent events in Gaza in two submitted documents.
2. I had the opportunity to hear their concerns in a meeting which was also attended by the Chair of Council and the DVC.
3. The University reiterated that it has already:
a. Sent out a message of sympathy to all staff and students at the University who might be affected by recent events in Gaza together with information on getting support from University offices
b. Informed UBU that it has no investments in CAT
c. Communicated a statement about the strong ethical guidelines that inform our investment strategy.
d. Set up payment facilities for disaster relief to Gaza within the University
e. Agreed that the food and drink task force should consult with staff and students about the ethical status of products sold on campus.
4. Following discussions with the student meeting the University will:
a. Write to Lloyds Bank to seek an explanation of policy regarding banking facilities for Interpal.
b. Include the on-going issue of revisions to our ethical investment policy at Investment Committee
c. Provide a list of companies for whom we hold shares in our investment portfolio to UBU for comment and discussion
d. Explore the feasibility of a twinning link with the Islamic University of Gaza subject to the usual due diligence that has to be done by any UK University in formalising such links.
e. Consider a range of forms of support (financial hardship grants; scholarships) for students in financial difficulty as a consequence of the events in Gaza.
5. The University joins with the students in condemning violence wherever it occurs and wishes to express its commitment to the principles of peace, justice and the rule of international law.

Mark Cleary
Vice Chancellor

More pictures from the Tuesday




Photos from the rally and initial occupation of Tuesday, 27th January





Final Negotiations

We have entered into final negotiations with the Vice Chancelor of Bradford University. We are very close to coming to an agreement!

This morning around 6am, the 20 students who were occupying the boardroom set about finalising preperations for the upcoming day. We debated our new counter-proposal and discussed the motives and aims of the occupation. The mood was cautiously optimistic.

We were just finishing discussing our expectations for the day when the Vice-Chancellor came to speak with the representative of the Students Union. After feedback and discussion within the group we then agreed to establish a smaller negotiation group to discuss the final proposals with the Vice Chancellor.
The students, reasonably and peacefully moved location and ended the occupation as a gesture of good will and appreciation towards the university's efforts to accomodate our proposals.

The Vice Chancellor supplied the negotiation group with his written statement of acceptance of the main revised proposals. However, there was one point the students felt needed to be added to the university's action plan. The vice chancellor is now discussing these issues now with senior members of the university committee and will feedback to the students at midday today after these discuss.

We will keep you posted on final agreements...please checkback after midday...

Peace

A New Offer for a New Day

The University of Bradford in Solidarity with Gaza

In regards to the offer proposed yesterday, declined by the students, we appreciate the engagement of the university staff with our cause and regret the inconvenience caused by our continued occupation and we appreciate the support of the university security staff. However, we still feel our actions were fully justified and necessary. We feel strongly that we needed to stay overnight to fully consider all options. Having taken the time to consider the VC’s perspective, and a continued discussion of our own aims, we have created a new proposal which we feel all sides can accept.

In regards to Gaza, the university must:

1. Condemn violence and express its commitment to the principles of peace and justice and upholding international law.
2. Ask the Islamic University of Gaza if they are interested in twinning and:
• Write to the Islamic University of Gaza laying out what the University of Bradford may be able to offer in terms of teaching and research links, and emphasising solidarity and rights to education.
• Draw up a list of resources that may be useful in assisting the University of Gaza in rebuilding its infrastructure.
• Find out (with help from other organisations) how they can logistically transport education related aid into Gaza.
• Assign an individual or working group to gather information about the specific challenges of twinning with a university under occupation and draw up an action plan, which could involve teaching and research links.
3. UoB must pledge to provide additional financial support for Palestinian students. UoB to investigate whether to do this through scholarships, fee reduction, home fees or bursaries. This is in reference to all Palestinian students, not just current students. New scholarships must make a particular focus on Palestine and other stateless individuals.
4. Empower the food and drinks task group to make decisions about the ethical nature of products being sold on campus. In support of this, we the students, alongside the UBU, resolve to raise awareness and promote debate about products being sold on campus.
5. Write a public letter to Lloyds TSB, asking for clarification on their policy regarding Interpal. The university must also publish their reply.
6. Expand its ethical investment policy, to specifically exclude any investments that involve arms trading or oppressive regimes. This should be done with the utmost urgency, and with continued engagement with university staff and students.
7. Support non-violent actions taking place on campus making people aware of the issues, with no repercussions for any participants.
8. Recognise the efforts made by staff and students in pressuring the government to support any inquiries looking into war crimes etc. It is now time for the university as an institution to add to this by calling on the government and other universities itself.
9. For some of these actions to be taken over time and these to be monitored and reported back to students via the Union’s negotiation framework.

RADIO LEEDS INTERVIEW

This morning Sofia did a live interview and pre record at BBC Radio Leeds.
We've also had coverage on local stations Real Radio and The Pulse.
Please call in to show your support, educate people about Palestine and further the awareness of the situation in Gaza. Don't let it fade from the forefront....

Bradford MP supporting the occupation

Kelly Ready
University of Bradford

28 January 2009

Dear Kelly,

I am writing to express my solidarity with your protest.

We all need to protest about what Israel has done in Gaza. We must have an inquiry into possible war crimes.

I support your demands in that the University of Bradford must:
1. Issue a statement condemning the violence caused by the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and calling for the siege to be lifted on all sides.
2. Twin with the Islamic University of Gaza and erect a plaque to this effect.
3. Treat Palestinian students as home students and therefore charge them home fees.
4. Refuse to stock or contract with companies who support the Israeli occupation. This includes Nestle, Coca Cola, Walkers and Evian.
5. Pressure Lloyds banking group to act as a clearing bank for Interpal, or agree to transfer its custom to a more ethical bank.
6. Provide full finical transparency, and disinvest from any and all companies who support the Israeli occupation.
7. Support actions taking place on campus making people aware of the issues, with no repercussions for any participants.
8. Pressure the government to support an inquiry on whether Israel is responsible for committing war crimes.

Good luck, you have my support.

Yours sincerely



MR MARSHA SINGH MP
Bradford West Constituency

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Wednesday Morning

About 20 people stayed overnight, some managing to snatch a few hours sleep, others not sleeping at all. Tip for other occupations - make sure you have a good supply of healthy food, otherwise the combination of easy snack food with there being nothing to do will create digestion problems.

Staff were friendly overnight, the people manning the door hanging out with a security guard for more than an hour. This is a bit of a different occupation to some of the others; unlike for instance the Leeds occupation, we don't have the area secure against unwanted visitors - University staff have the power to enter at any time. This has created a less militant atmosphere, one based more on co-operation, but does not lessen our determination to keep hold of the space we occupy until our demands have been met.

UPDATE:BRADFORD!!

After lengthy discussions with the vice chancellor, in which he attempted to find a compromise with the occupiers, it was decided to continue the occupation overnight in order to put more pressure on the university to fulfil our demands.

Some people couldn't remain overnight, but many have stayed, some going off to fetch supplies; food, sleeping bags & blankets, games, etc. 15 people are currently settling down for a long night in the brightly lit boardroom, and we expect more soon.

The atmosphere is relaxed and confident, some chilling out and others preparing for the important first morning of the occupation tomorrow.

THE OCCUPATION IS IN FULL SWING


Following a rally at midday today, we as students from the University of Bradford began an occupation of the university in an urgent move to demand action from the institution. This comes as Israel today broke their assurance of a ceasefire by launching air attacks and a ground offensive, once again into Gaza.


Over 80 students took over the university board room, adjacent to the vice chancellor’s office, following a rally at midday today. There have been over a dozen successful occupations in other universities across the UK showing solidarity with the Palestinians victims.

The appalling Israeli action has killed over 1,300 Palestinians and injured thousands. Tens of thousands of civilians have been left homeless. Head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza, John Ging, is now joining international calls for an investigation into the war crimes of the recent action, wherein Israel stands accused of using banned weapons such as phosphorus bombs, attacking medical facilities, including the killing of 12 paramedics in marked vehicles, and killing large numbers of policemen who had no military role, amongst other atrocious crimes.

Sophia Coles-Riley, a student union officer said “Students here at Bradford are appalled at the occupation of Gaza. We feel that our university should take action to support the people of Palestine. The University’s response so far has not answered our concerns. We intend to continue the occupation until our demands have been adequately responded to.”