University of Manchester Student Occupation Continues

Next to the successful occupation of Strathclyde University, more than a hundred students of the University of Manchester are going into their fourth day of occupying their university in a demand for a stronger and more proactive position from the university on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.3253334209_1f9419b971

Over 500 students attended an emergency general meeting of the students union to discuss a motion on the issue. This democratic meeting was sabotaged and ultimately destroyed by pro-Israeli Zionist students who were desperate to shield Israel from criticism and couldn’t stomach the thought of their university helping to stop the suffering in Palestine. These students employed both bureaucratic and thuggish tactics to stop the meeting from taking place. There are countless reports from students who wanted to get in but were physically prevented. When the chair of the meeting refused to hear students’ complaints at the blockade and dissolved the meeting, several hundred students marched on University administration headquarters, the John Owens Building.

Latest Updates:

– “After being threatened with disciplinary measures by the vice-chancellor the students have decided to continue and expand the occupation of Manchester University. We are now occupying another space at the Simon Building on Oxford Road. ”

– An open letter written by the occupying students has been sent to Vice-Chancellor of the University, Alan Gilbert, who has so far refused to even discuss the students’ demands.

– “We are calling a demonstration outside our building for 2pm tomorrow in support of the people of Palestine and the student occupation in Manchester. We invite all pro-Palestinians to come along and to publicise it.”

Time: Saturday – 07 Feb – 2pm
Location: Outside the Simon Building, Oxford Road, Manchester. Look for the Palestinian flags

For more info and updates, the students have set up a blog and a facebook page from inside the occupation.

Student Union Emergency General Meeting to discuss a motion on the Gaza Crisis
Student Union Emergency General Meeting to discuss a motion on the Gaza Crisis

The students have proposed a set of demands on the university’s Vice Chancellor Alan Gilbert:

1) University of Manchester should issue a formal statement condemning Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip, acknowledging particularly the effects on educational institutions such as the bombing of the Gaza Islamic University and expressing concern about war crimes allegations.

2) Support a day of fundraising across campus with the proceeds going to the DEC Gaza appeal.

3) University to publicise DEC advert in any way possible (including banner on the website) and put pressure on the BBC and sky to show the DEC advert.

4) All furniture & surplus supplies from buildings that are being renovated to be sent to Gaza on the Viva Palestina convoy.

5) Join the BDS movement through stopping sales of Israeli goods on university premises, the University should also stop buying any campus supplies from Israeli companies.

6) That the university divests from all companies directly involved in the manufacture of weaponry. We also demand that the university takes the issue of transparency in their investment seriously.

7) That the university publicly supports its students’ right to protest, such as occupations. That in line with this, the university will provide its facilities for a “Students for Palestine” conference, second week of April 09.

8 ) To send a public message of solidarity to the Islamic University in Gaza, whose campus has been virtually destroyed, and publish it on the university website and distribute it to the university wide e-mail addresses.

9) To give at lease five scholarships for Palestinian students as well as providing at least five scholarships for Israelis who refuse to serve in the IDF.

10) That the university make a module on the history of Palestine available as an optional module for any University of Manchester student.

11) That home fees apply to Palestinians students wanting to study at the University of Manchester.

12) No victimisation for those taking part in the Occupation, and free movement in and out of the occupied spaced.

a meeting was then held to formulate how we want the University to provide aid and solidarity to the people of Gaza.  The occupation has now settled in for the night.

For more photos click here

5 thoughts on “University of Manchester Student Occupation Continues”

  1. There was no meeting. It required a quorum of 500 students, which never happened. It was not sabotaged by other students.

  2. katy, could you please inform us what the source of your information is? were you present yourself?i’m quite happy to amend the text if it is factually incorrect.

  3. agree with alan goater and mark elf. Boycott groups in UK must not be cowardly. We muslims can fortify these groups if necessary.

  4. The comment posted on April 1, 2009 was not from me. Of course there may be another Vivien Lichtenstein …..
    I have been a peace and human rights activist in a number of organisations since 1982, the latest being Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and support boycott, divestment and sanctions against the occupation, not against Israel in general.

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