Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Meeting and events today and updates.

The last meeting before the easter break will take place today at 2pm (not 4pm as previously). Please come along to figure out how we can make use of this time. Meet Falmer common room.

Where we're at at the moment:

Boycott and divestment working group - have a list of stocks and shares worth £4m of uni investment. We are also liaising with Corporate Watch. Easter will be a time for research. The movement to put traffic light stickers on all produce is currently going through.
Events - Big event highlighting ethical investment issues being planned for next year. There is also talk of a video-link Q&A with a very prominent anti-war academic. Lots of work required to organise - please come and get involved.
Surplus resources - Efforts are currently being made to co-ordinate things on the national level. Help welcomed.
National liaison - We are currently involved in helping to co-ordinate a national student congress on the 18th of April. Open organisation: please email to help or add your email to the national list at

Events today:

Prominent Israeli Socialist Eric Lee - Arts A103 6pm, Wednesday 18th.
Eric Lee will be talking on socialism in Israel. As a controversial figure with a background leading from trade unions and the mayor's office in New York to being a socialist author, journalist and lecturer in Israel, he'll definitely have an interesting perspective on issues in the middle east. Includes time for questions and answers.

Tonight's student night at the Cowley club will again be raising money for the Brighton-Tubas twinning project (who last week brought a women's delegation over from Al Quds university). Cheap organic beer and vegan food and open mic. Come down and celebrate the end of term!

Support to Sheffield:

The management of Sheffield uni have now locked the occupied building so that no one can enter and have threatened the occupation with a court injunction. They have also disrupted students by relocating lectures despite the occupation having made it clear that they wish lectures to continue as normal in the occupied space.

Please sign the petition here:

And copy and paste the following text (feel free to amend or add your own) to Vice Chancellor Keith Burnett at CCing in Rowann Sharples, his personal secretary, at, and the occupation at

Dear Professor Burnett -

We believe that your position of refusal to engage with the occupiers of the Hicks lecture theatres is entirely unreasonable. The occupation began as a response to your failure to respond to earlier correspondence well before the occupation took place; the onus was on you to continue negotiations and discussions in this manner, and your refusal to do so is what led the occupiers to conclude that direct action was the only option left to them.

Furthermore, the Student Union's statement of condemnation - upon which you base your refusal to negotiate - was predicated entirely on a falsehood. The occupiers have consistently express their willingness for lectures to take place in the occupied space, and indeed have taken it upon themselves to facilitate this despite University management's attempt to unilaterally relocate lectures. The vast majority of students and lecturers who have visited the occupied space have found it a welcoming, non-intimidating environment that would be in no way disruptive to learning and education.

An emergency meeting of the Student Union Executive Officers (which only reached its decision by a majority of 5-3) cannot possibly be held to be meaningfully representative of the wide layers of deeply felt student opinion around this issue. We call on you and other members of the University's senior management to immediately retract your position of refusal to negotiate with the occupiers and enter into open discussions with them.

Additionally we would like to condemn the heavy handed and overblown reaction by the management to the occupation with regard to threats received today in relation to legal action against participants.

Yours -

[Insert your name and contact details here]

You can also ring Rowann Sharples on (0114) 222 1006.