Friday, 30 January 2009

Nottingham under siege

Nottingham have just had all of their power cut off except the lights and been asked to leave on pain of disciplinary action by the Director of Student Operations and Support. The students have been warned that ‘no dialogue will take place whilst this room is occupied’. Please send statements of support to and complaints to vice-chancellor David Greenaway and director of student operations and support Stephen Dudderidge.

The Next Steps...

Loads of people turned up for the strategy meeting this afternoon showing that even though the occupation has officially ended and our demands have been met, nothing's over yet.

We've decided to set up several temporary working groups to plan new events, strengthen our national links, and to make sure that the university follows through on its promises. Everyone's welcome to get involved, even if you weren't previously a part of the occupation:

Boycott & Divestment
- Meeting Friday 12pm Room 126 Falmer House - Contact Raz (

Education & Events - Next meeting Monday 10am Falmer Common Room - Contact Josh (

National Liaison
(working together with other occupations) - Contact Chas (

Publicity - Contact Alex (

Scholarships & Surplus Supplies - Contact Harriet

The next weekly organisational meeting will be this coming Tuesday in FH126 at 6:00.

We also heard back from Lee (Finance Officer, USSU) and Laura (President, USSU), who told us how the Union is working hard to hold the Uni management to account for its promises. Lee said that the best thing we as students can do is campaign hard - and that it's the Union's job to represent its students, so we need to get on to our fellow students and raise awareness of the situation in Palestine and Israel, and our role in it. At the same time, both Laura and Lee agreed that the research of our group will still prove invaluable in holding the Uni to account.

Next week is Palestine week and there's a whole schedule of events planned:

Monday - Street Theatre - Library Square, 11-2
We'll be setting up a noisy checkpoint in Library Square and asking everyone to show their ID. We have some volunteers for flyering and being friendly, but need lots of soldiers. We also need volunteer detainees.

Interested? Email Josh and come to the rehearsal meeting in Falmer Common Room, 10am. If you can only come for an hour or two during the day, that's fine - just send Josh an email.

Tuesday - PALESTINE: Exhibition and Talks - Mandela Hall, 9-5
We still need lots more people to be invited to the facebook event, so go to it now and get your friends to come - go, go! We also need volunteer porters, to help people and be responsible for safety - email Josh to come and volunteer a few hours of your day.

Thursday - The Palestine Monologues - Arts A 103, 7pm The best thing you can do is turn up - it's going to be a really special performance by talented friends. Bring your housemates (and maybe tissues).

Friday - Film screening: Occupation 101 - EDB 121, 4pm A really challenging but informative film that introduces the history of the creation of 'Israel' and 'Palestine' and goes right up to the present day. Followed by relaxed discussion and nibbles.

Facebook events will follow - make sure you're in the Sussex Palestine Initiative group and that you let all your friends know about them too. They will be grateful to have been invited to something that does not involve pirates or pub crawls!

Update on national occupations

Here is an update on the status of the student occupations still ongoing around the UK:

King's College London are now in their 10th day of occupation making it the longest-running univesity so far. Good progress has been made in negotiations, however the university is still refusing to revoke the honorary doctorate awarded to Shimon Perres. Today a march is scheduled to the principal's office to hand in a petition showing support for this demand.

Warwick ended their occupation yesterday after 9 days after the univesity sent word that they are "prepared to come to the table (with our SU mediating) and discuss where to go from here (with respect to sending aid, ethical investment, etc.)"

Nottingham and Queen Mary's are now in their 3rd day of occupation and gathering strength and support.

Cambridge ended their occupation yesterday after shameful intimidatory tactics culminating in a court injunction from their university management. They gained some concessions and tremendous student and local support. They say "we have raised awareness and wish to build a significant student campaign off of this".

Sheffield Hallam are now in their 3rd day of occupation. So far the management have been uncooperative, refusing to enter into negotiations and threatening police eviction. Support and advice is welcomed.

Leeds are now in their 9th day of occupation and are busy in negotiations with their management.

There is an organisational meeting for all those involved or who wish to be involved in the Sussex occupation in order to strategise and decide how best to take things forward at 2pm in FH126.