Edinburgh University students have occupied the George Square Lecture Theatre. This is the 19th occupation (3rd in Scotland) in what has been described as a reawakening of the spirit of ‘68. (Edinburgh Blog / Facebook).

Around 30 students of Edinburgh University are currently peacefully occupying George Square Lecture Theatre in protest at Israel’s actions in Gaza, and to encourage the University to accept a list of demands which were put to them in the form of a petition this morning. The petition has been signed by more than 300 students at Edinburgh University.
The demands are as follows:

That the university suspend all relations with companies enabling the conflict and/or occupation, including Eden Springs (contingent on access to information to establish which other companies are implicated)
That the university divest from BAE Systems, MBDA, QinetiQ, Rolls Royce and all other “arms and defence” manufacturers whose products are proven to be in use by the Israeli military

That the university make scholarships available to students trapped in Gaza, unable to study for university qualifications because of restrictions on them and their institutions, in violation of international human rights law

That the university collect and ship donations of unused property to war-damaged Gazan schools and hospitals (e.g. text-books, chairs, computers)

That the university provide logistical and financial support for a series of informative lectures on the Palestine/Israel question

We also request that no legal, financial or academic measures be taken against those participating in, or supporting, a peaceful sit-in to ensure our calls are answered.

As members of this university we feel these are measured and necessary steps to show our opposition to Israel’s catastrophic use of force against, and continued blockading of, innocent Palestinians in Gaza.

Students turning up to join the sit-in are now not being allowed in by University security staff, and those who leave are not allowed back in.
The following message has been sent around by the students inside:

‘Action! At least 30 students have occupied George Square Lecture Theatre. We are creating an informative creative space inside and have given our demands to the principal. We are currently locked in. Spread the word, and come show solidarity!’

FACEBOOK link = http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=65164054407#/group.php?gid=65164054407

ACTION BLOG = http://edinburghunioccupation.wordpress.com/

Glasgow University Student Occupation

02.09.2009 | pulsemedia.org

Glasgow University students have entered into an occupation and have a facebook group and blog for keeping track of events.

Glasgow University students have entered into occupation
We are currently occupying the top floor of the Computer Science building in solidarity with the Gazan people, and in protest to the war crimes committed by the state of Israel against the Palestinian people, the University’s complicity in this via links to the arms trade, and the BBC’s refusal to show the DEC appeal.

If you want to join the occupation, or show your support outside, the Computer Science building is located behind the Queen Margaret Union, and opposite the Boyd Orr building.

In Solidarity,
The Occupying Students of Glasgow University

We Demand…

1. STATEMENT – That the University release a statement unequivocally condemning Israeli military action in Palestine, including the despicable bombing of the Islamic University of Gaza. The University should specifically 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. The University should encourage other universities to make such statements, as well as informing the UK and Israeli governments.

2. DEC APPEAL – That the University publicise the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal for Gaza by way of a visible message on the main University website, an email to all students and staff and an announcement at all lectures on campus

3. BOYCOTT – That the University commences with immediate effect a boycott of all Israeli goods (including goods manufactured or supplied by Israeli owned or operated companies) on campus, including in particular Eden Springs water. Further, that the University bans all companies involved in the supply of military equipment to Israel (such as BAE Systems, the Smiths Group and Caterpillar) from all university premises, specifically recruitment events.

4. DISINVESTMENT – That the University disinvests from BAE Systems, Westland helicopters, Lockheed Martin and all other firms or affiliates involved in arms research, manufacture or supply. The University authorities should instruct all financial companies managing University endowment investments & pension schemes to ensure complete disinvestment of University funds from the armaments industry. Such disinvestment is particularly important in light of the fact that these weapons have been used to massacre civilians, commit war crimes and violate international law. Investing in such companies is completely unacceptable.

5. ETHICAL INVESTMENT POLICY – That the University alter its ethical investment policy to ensure such irresponsible and indefensible investment does not occur in future, and releases a statement affirming its commitment to peaceful research and investment in the community. The new ethical investment policy should be developed in dialogue with the student community, such conversation involving specifically the SRC calling an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

6. FUNDRAISING – That the University hold a day of fundraising to raise money for the humanitarian effort in Gaza.

We demand that the University commit to a specific date on which fundraising will take place, such efforts being campus-wide and well advertised.

7. ACADEMIC AID – That the University provide academic aid to universities and schools in the Gaza strip, in the form of:

a) The donation of old books, computers and other surplus teaching/administrative/ educational resources, with the shipping of these resources being paid for by the University of Glasgow.

b) The establishment of a twinning programme with universities in Gaza, in solidarity with their plight

8. SCHOLARSHIPS – That the University set up a scholarship scheme which will provide full funding for at least ten Palestinian students to attend the University.

The Principal’s response in this regard is unacceptable. We demand that new scholarships be set up specifically for Palestinian students, in light of the incredible difficulty in securing education in Palestine at present as a result of occupation and recent military action.

9. BOYCOTT ISRAELI ACADEMICS – That the University refuse an academic platform to all Israeli academics who have refused to speak out in condemnation of the recent actions of the Israeli state in Palestine. The University must not become a locus for the dissemination of racist ideology and must take active steps to prevent the proliferation of misinformation. In developing an appropriate policy in this regard, the documentation of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) will be relevant.

FACEBOOK link = http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=54333547006

ACTION BLOG link = http://glasgowunioccupation.blogspot.com/

Noam Chomsky sends his support

02.11.2009 | http://glasgowunioccupation.blogspot.com

I’ve been following the student activities with great interest and appreciation. I’ve been asked so frequently for messages of support that I’ve been reduced to a from response. Will this work for you?

I am very pleased to learn about the courageous and honorable actions of the Glasgow University students. These are particularly significant because of the crucial British contribution to the savage onslaught on Gaza, and on the occupied territories generally, second only to the decisive role of the United States — a disgrace for all of us. I hope you have the greatest success in arousing public opinion and bringing these crimes to an end.

Noam Chomsky

SOLIDARITY MESSAGE RECEIVED FROM NEW ZEALAND:

Solidarity greetings from Socialist Aotearoa here in New Zealand. At a meeting of activists tonight, we voted unanimously to send a message of support for your occupation. We applaud the principled stance of students across the UK taking direct action in support of the people of Gaza, and we look forward to hearing more about your struggle. We will be holding a ‘Valentine for Palestine’ fundraiser this Saturday, and have also been holding protests in support of the people of Gaza. Students come back to university here at the start of next month, and we will ensure that news of your inspiring actions is widely reported on their return, which will hopefully encourage them to take similar action. Your demands are clear, and you should be confident that student protests do make a difference, not least, because your work has a resonance across the world. If any of you have the chance to visit New Zealand, please let us know – you can be confident of a warm welcome from fellow activists, and we would love you to tell us about the exciting debates you are surely engaged in. We wish you all the best, and stand beside you in spirit, if not in person. Kia kaha (‘stay strong’ – in Maori language)

Flying the Flag for Gaza

02.11.2009 | pulsemedia.org


The Palestinian flag above the buildings of University College London yesterday

Students at University College London yesterday flew the Palestinian flag above the UCL building in solidarity with the Palestinian people (photo from Lenin’s Tomb).