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!!!

9 comments:

  1. The outcome of your protest seems to have yielded a list of action points that are heavily bureaucratic in nature and more geared toward a symbolic, rather than practical, response to the situation in Gaza. This rather undermines your suggestion that time was a critical factor and that the University's compliance was so important that you had no other option but to twist its arm.

    Combined with the VCs willingness to discuss the issue, I would be interested in a comprehensive explanation of your reasoning as to why occupation was the only choice and why more traditional negotiations were not a viable option.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comments.

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  3. Solidarity and congratulations from Sheffield Hallam!

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  4. To Skipjack, I'll post the same response to you hear that I posted on Facebook.

    This is my last response to your pathetic comments. I helped organise the rally which turned into the occupation. I lived in Palestine for 5 years, my dad for nearly 21. I care deeply about the plight of the people of Gaza, and feel strongly about the issue. So yes, I do care about the people of Gaza having spent my last summer there myself. I do believe in protesting, but only as a last resort. And I will work for any cause that I find important, although the issue of the Palestinians is closest to my heart. And no, I don't believe the "results smacks of cynical manipulation by this movement's leaders."

    Next time you have too much time on your hands, try doing something usefull rather then trying to wind people up.

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  5. Interesting that you chose to remove the personal smears against me for this post. In any case, while I am impressed by your dedication to the Palestinian people, that is not the issue here. Rather, I am asking why your group felt it was imperative to move to occupy so quickly after the initial rejection of your demands, which frankly seem unrealistic. If anyone would like to address this issue, I would be happy to hear from them.

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  6. I have already addressed the issue and you seem to have ignored my initial answer. I'll write it again. Students issued a set of demands to the university Monday evening asking for a response by 12 the following day. We had hoped to share the response with fellow students during the rally scheduled for 12:30. As we did not have a response, we had to change our plans and decided to head over to the JS Bell lecture theater to discuss how students should respond. The lecture theater happened to be full, so we moved in to the boardroom. We began to discuss what students could do, the humanitarian crisis and the urgency of the problem. Within a few hours the VC addressed us in person and listened to our complaints. In fact he worked with us, listened to our concerns, explained his issues with our demands and understood our need for urgency. He left, came back with an offer that we did not feel was detailed enough and so we eventually decided to stay in the boardroom overnight after a long debate amongst ourselves, as the VC decided to go home. Although he voiced his displeasure of us staying, he also stated that he understood why. The next morning he gave us a new offer, one we deemed more acceptable, and we quickly agreed to leave the area and enter formal negotiations.

    As for your criticism of the statement the university issued, I can only conclude that you cannot read, else you would understand the tangible, practical things the university has agreed to do for the people of Gaza. Many of them show a long term commitment to the victims of the violence.

    Thanks for voicing your opinion. I feel they are invalid, illogical and designed purely to create a stir. But that's just my opinion. Next time you accuse someone of cynical manipulation and not caring about the death and destruction of an entire people, take a moment to think about weather you understand the situation enough. That to me seems to be a personal smear, but I could be wrong...

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  7. Given that the VC was clearly open to negotiations, why was it deemed necessary to stage an extended occupation of the boardroom?

    As far as cynical manipulation goes, yes, that is the appearance your actions have. If you take that personally then maybe consider why you might be perceived in that way. Such perceptions are clearly more relevant to the issue at hand than the circumstances of my employment or the fact I have a medical condition which disqualifies me from my chosen career. I appreciate the more mature tone of your latest communication.

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  8. Yes, the VC was open to negotiations. But he did not go as far as we liked on his first offer. We could leave, and risk not having anything, or we could stay and see if we could get a better offer. We voted to stay and we got a better offer.

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  9. I am not sure I understand the logic in vacating the boardroom risking your chances of getting a better offer. You'd esablished a dialogue with the VC at this point, correct?

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