Friday, 23 January 2009

Update Friday evening

We must be getting better at this: tonight our evening meeting finished exactly on time! Our third full day of occupation was as action-packed as ever: after being rudely awoken at 8am by the invigorating sounds of Wham blaring out over the speakers, we set about the day's activities: updating publicity, speaking to students and other university members, meeting journalists, cooking, conducting research pertaining to the demands, maintaining the silent occupation during lectures, and many more things that comprise the daily organisational activities of an occupation.

The infostall outside Arts A2 is full of flyers, timetables of events, relevant reading material and other useful information (as well as the petition) to read or to take away with you so please come along and have a look.

We had an excellent speaker session today comprising members of Sussex university faculty: Jan Selby from International Relations, Alana Lentin from Sociology who gave a biographically informed account of the conflict, and Andrew Chitty from the Philosophy department (thanks for the donations guys!) who gave a historical account of the conflict and the need for a one-state solution. We also heard from Mark Cushman from LSE (who were recently successful in achieving their occupation demands) who gave an excellent account of the strategies and ideologies of the Israeli occupation as it manifests itself in the day-to-day realities of life in Palestine. A lively discussion on the method of boycott ensued: we will be holding a public informational session on this topic next Monday. Later on in the day we heard from Stuart Halforty from Stop the War coalition.

Massive congratulations and solidarity to the 100+ Cambridge university students who have staged a peaceful occupation of a law building on their campus tonight. You heard how excited we all were! We also have news that Bristol, Nottingham, Kingston, Manchester university and Salford have all occupied! A round-up is given in an article in tomorrow's Guardian, in which Sussex students are quoted (with a lovely photo). More press reports forthcoming: keep an eye on the 'Media' links-list for info.

We spent some time tonight discussing our group dynamics and how to ensure a welcoming environment for all that is conducive to everybody being able to contribute to the organisation and decision-making process in equal measure. It was decided that a working group will draft a safer spaces policy tomorrow that will then be reviewed and adopted by the group. In this way our occupation combines our serious motivational objectives for concrete positive effects in Palestine with the creation of a positive political reality within our own community.

We have many exciting events scheduled (and in the process of being scheduled) for the weekend, including a workshop being hosted at 10am tomorrow on consensus decision making. We will also use the time to creatively reorganise our space to create a more visual and informative environment. A delegation will also be representing us at the national demonstration in London tomorrow.

We have had no further communication to speak of regarding our demands from the vice-chancellor's office. We are going to take this weekend to consolidate our research and ideas in order to have something solid and fully representative of all of the opinions of the occupation to resume dialogue next week.

Of course, there are no lectures timetabled now until Monday morning, so please come down any time to join in activities and get involved.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you're still going strong!

    All the best from King's!!!