Westside Action

a motley crew of anarchists and activists from Bristol, Bath and South Wales

Big Up to the Student Occupiers !

With over 30 separate university occupations in the UK (surely a record!), a message of support to those at (locally) Bristol UWE, Cardiff and Plymouth Universities have managed to cut through the legendary British student apathy.

Reports below:

Bristol UWE

WE students have occupied part of the Frenchay Campus in solidarity with the people of Gaza. The occupation is the latest in wave of student occupations at more than 25 universities across Britain in the past few weeks. The UWE students are demanding that the university breaks its links with the arms industry and condemn the presence of the Raytheon arms company at the Bristol Business Park it co-owns. In a gesture of solidarity with the people of Gaza, Students of the University of the West of England, Bristol, have passed a motion of support for the people of Gaza and are currently engaging in a peaceful occupation of a space within the University. We will as a group not be engaging in any efforts to disrupt the education of our fellow students at UWE. This is following the recent atrocities that have and continue to take place in the Gaza Strip & occupation of the West Bank. We as students ourselves wish to offer our unity and support to our fellow students in the region during these hard times. We have proposed a set of demands of the University including scholarships for Palestinian students, a boycotting of Israeli goods, support for fundraising for DEC, and a condemnation of Israeli Actions in the region

Cardiff Uni

Cardiff Students Occupy University for Gaza

Tuesday 24th February 12pm
Photos available on request
Contact 07886543863

Today Cardiff University students demanded their university immediately divest from the arms trade, by occupying the main building on campus. Students are currently locked in the Shandon lecture theatre and are refusing to leave until the university responds to their demands.

Cardiff University invests in companies that supplied Israel with weapons used in the recent attacks on Gaza. The occupation is in opposition to the University’s investment in the arms trade and to the atrocities committed in Gaza, where 1.4 million Palestinians are blockaded in a semi-autonomous apartheid state.

The occupation, the first of its kind in Wales, followed a Books not Bombs protest at midday where students brought along a book to signify their support for education, not war. Israel’s indiscriminate targeting of civilians has seen human rights abuses on a vast scale and many schools and universities there reduced to rubble. The students currently occupying are acting in solidarity with those whose education has been jeopardised by the crisis.

A student who is currently occupying the university said:

“I am ashamed that Cardiff University is helping fund the horrific violence in Gaza the consequence of which is the obliteration of education infrastructure in another, poorer part of the world. I don’t want the money I pay for my education contributing to the destruction of someone else’s. Our thoughts from the occupation are with the people of Gaza, who have lost so much.”

The action at Cardiff is the twenty-eighth UK student occupation to have taken place in the last few weeks. This unprecedented wave of student dissent has seen many universities capitulate to occupier’s demands and review their investments in arms companies.

Plymouth Uni

Around 20 students from the University of Plymouth have occupied room 202 of the Smeaton building, in the middle of campus.

Our demands are as follows:

1. That the University of Plymouth issue a statement condemning the recent and continuing atrocities perpetrated by Israel in the Gaza strip. The University should officially 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.

2. That the University of Plymouth cease to invest directly or indirectly in companies complicit in human rights abuses in the Gaza strip and internationally.

3. That no Israeli goods or goods produced by companies that have directly funded the State of Israel be sold on campus.

4. That the University of Plymouth provide complete financial scholarships for six students from Gaza University which has been bombed by the Israeli military.

5. That any surplus educational resources available to the University of Plymouth are provided to Gaza University and that the shipping of these resources be fully paid for by the University of Plymouth.

6. That there be no legal, financial, or academic measures taken against anyone involved in or supporting the occupation. All those involved will be guaranteed free movement in and out of the occupied space, with open access to electricity and internet.
We await your response to organise a formal meeting between delegates of our occupation and with university management to negotiate these demands.

To keep up with things as they progress, check out our blog at: http://plymouthunioccupation.blogspot.com/

For more information, email plymouthunioccupation@gmail.com

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