Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Meeting tomorrow!

1. Wes Streeting has disgracefully played the race card to criticise the wave of student activism.

In response, Dominic Kavakeb (Essex university) has written the following response: 

We would like to express our severe disappointment at the NUS President for his comments regarding the wave of student occupations that has taken place over the past month.

Thousands of students have been involved in these protests and the very breadth of the occupations serves to prove the wide support for these actions. Over 30 university campuses have seen some form of student action.

Any minor disruption caused by these occupations has to be offset against their success in highlighting the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza, including the destruction of the Islamic University of Gaza.

The allegation that the occupations have fuelled anti-semitism on our campuses is as disgraceful as it is untrue. Thousands of students, many Jewish, have been involved in action to help rebuild the Gazan education system and support the right to education for Palestinians.

The NUS was founded, in 1922, upon the values of peace and international solidarity after the slaughter of the First World War. Surely, the President of the national Union of Students should welcome wholeheartedly the return of student activism and international solidarity amongst students.

2. Meeting on Thursday, everyone welcome:

This Thursday (the 19th), SOAS Stop the War are holding an activist meeting in the common room. The primary aim is to discuss upcoming actions and events in and around SOAS, and coordination for national and international events. Come along and help out!

Campaign meeting

Thursday 19th Feb, 5.30pm

SOAS Junior Common Room

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Sheffield Hallam occupation

'With the success of occupations throughout the UK, Sheffield Hallam students and workers from around the city voted to occupy the tenth floor of the Owen building. This is to make practical demands of the university in solidarity with Palestinians and to condemn the actions of the Israeli state.'

excellent news!

Bradford Student occupation

Queen Mary occupation

Please send messages of support to

Monday, 26 January 2009

Leeds uni in occupation

We occupied the BBC on Portland place today...

We made it onto BBC News 24, Newsnight and loads more (even the Metro and LondonPaper). See for more details, videos and pics.

We received 2 texts within 3 or 4 minutes of being ejected by people who had seen us being kicked out.

More on this soon...

Called within just a few hours and hardly built at all, about 50 or 60 protesters turned up to BBC on Portland place to protest about the disgraceful decision not to air the DEC appeal.

We got there a bit early and decided to storm the entrance leaving the police behind. We immediately sat down, linked arms and started chanting.  We had a lot of support from BBC staff entering the building (i hope they can pull of a strike over this) by sort-of sneaky thumbs up when no-one was looking. the video below shows a small quiet period but really, it had a  very good impact. Loads of press turned up, I'm just waiting for the reports to stream in!! 

I was on BBC World Service and had to deal with an idiot Zionist who tried, somehow, to tie in Iran and their supposed nuclear weapons!!

Found a short video so far. Does anyone know who to 'embed' it?

they said: (italics my own-there is a definite case of contradictory conscience/reporting here)

Around 20 (i would say there was 12 of us inside!!) campaigners from the Stop the War Coalition (SOAS StW society) walked (actually we stormed) into the lobby of the central London building with a large banner proclaiming Hands off Gaza (the only banner we could find!).

They were removed by police before continuing a noisy protest outside, during which some of them set fire to their television licences.

I should be receiving more videos and photo's soon...

Call for collaboration between occupations

KCL have released this statement. 
We congratulate you on your stand against the atrocities committed in Gaza, and on your courage to take direct action!

Here at King's we are delighted to be part of a strong and vigorous movement that has become national. We very much wish to strengthen coordination between the different universities, in order to strengthen our movement and cause. This will increase the ability of students to have their voice heard in the name of justice and equality. 

We therefore suggest the following three points:
1. The intensification of communication between universities
2. The production of a bulletin to publicise the experiences of all occupations.
3. The issuing of a joint statement to be distributed as widely as possible (media, trade unions, the government, Universities UK, internationally etc).

1. The intensification of communication between universities
In order to strengthen our cause we consider the creation of a united student front for Gaza a chance not to be missed. We therefore suggest that we intensify in any possible way our communication, in an important initial step on the way to achieving this goal. Moreover we suggest a meeting of students activists from all universities in occupation.

2. The production of a bulletin containing the experiences of all occupations
At King's we sense that the occupation is becoming a formative experience for many student activists. We are certain we are gaining experience that should be shared and disseminated as widely as possible within the campus communities of Britain. We are sure we and future student activists have much to learn from the different experiences of dealing with issues such as mobilisation, organization, negotiation, etc. 
We therefore offer to edit a bulletin containing these experiences to be printed and send out to you in pdf. on Monday. This necessitates the collection of articles of approx. 500 words from each university by Sunday at 3pm. We would suggest the articles should deal with such issues as: The mobilization of students, the actual moment of occupation, problems with university security guards and police, negotiations with the university administrations, the organisation of activists during the occupation, forms of meetings and decision making, the establishment of work groups, public relations, solidarity work with NGOs, trade unions, etc. 

3. Joint statement
In light of the success of our developing movement we should have a deep far-reaching discussion amongst and between ourselves on the political demands we want to put forward. This should be pursued openly and fully in order for fully developed demands to be decided upon so that our movement can move beyond the present confines of our respective universities.

We are very proud to be part of this nation-wide movement for Palestine and to contribute to the revival of student activism and the empowerment of students around the country. We wish you the best of luck with your occupations and other activities, and will be very, very glad to hear from you soon.

Don't give up, the struggle for a free Palestine continues! 

Kind regards and solidarity from
The King's College occupation - liberated space

Two of our participants have proposed the following demands for discussion at King's. We attach them here in order to stimulate discussion:

We call on the British government to: 
1. Condemn the Israeli state's attacks and blockade on Gaza
2. To call for an international investigation into war crimes committed in Gaza
3. To temporarily expel the Israeli ambassador from the UK
4. To cease all arms trade with Israel

We call on the British Government, the Ministry of Education and Universities UK to:
1. Guarantee that universities remain or return to the status of public spaces, including the right of students to arrange events with the participation of non-students at campus.
2. That all students have the right of assembly and free speech on all campuses.
3. That all students are guaranteed the freedom of movement within and access to campuses, without any harassment and control carried out by security guards or police.
4. To guarantee the freedom of students to spread information about their activities, and to impose harsh restrictions on all commercial advertisements within university campuses.

Friday, 23 January 2009

16 Student occupations in solidarity with Gaza. .

I am finding it hard to keep up with all the updates of new universities joining occupations. Please can someon volunteer to help out! Please add more blogspots to the comments underneath this and i will add to the list.

There are regualr updates on

Please add your uni to the Facebook group and also send to me too at revolution[at]

Please email me for a list of Media contacts that i have recently received. Also let me know if you have any new email addreses to add to it.

May I suggest that each uni does the following things:

1) set up a blogspot or wordpress site
2) install a counter to monitor how many visits you get. This is also useful for seeing where in the world people are visiting you from.
3) perhaps set up a Twitter and/or Jaiku account. This way you can disseminate FREE texts to people who follow you.
4) Add all the new uni's to your blog like Oxford have done:
5) Upload photo's to Flickr if you can. This makes them more accessible than on Facebook. Make sure you mark them as available on a 'Creative Commons' licence. that way we can download them to use.
6) Set-up a qik account if you have a nokia or other compatible phone. Then you can upload videos DIRECTLY to the web and stream them live. See mine for some fairly rubbish examples But, once you have got the hang of it you can stream LIVE to your site, things like your public meetings can then be watched LIVE by people who cant actually make the meeting.

Some of the blogs so far:
Manchester Met:

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

SEVEN uni's have now occupied...

21 Jan

Warwick GBT leads occupation.

See for updates and commentary

20 Jan:

Essex, sussex and Kings and Birmingham also in occupation

Article in The Guardian about the King's occupation! We're in it too...

15 January 2009

Students at LSE occupy the Old Theatre in solidarity with Gaza. Their demands are for the LSE director to issue a statement condemning the Israeli violence in Gaza. The group is also demanding that LSE divests from arms firm BAE Systems, an arms company who supply the Israeli military.

Students at LSE have raised over £2000 for the charity Medical Aid for Palestine in just 5 days.

16 January 2009

Essex university under occupation by students. Demands include that the university issue an official statement condemning the Siege on Gaza, facilitating a fundraising day for Medical Aid for Palestine, 5 scholarships for Palestinian students who can no longer study due to the fact that Gaza university was bombed on Dec. 28th, to use surplus resources like old books and computers to re-build Gaza University and that no student shall be victimised for their protest.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Photos of our occupation

See some photos at

Messages at our other door

A report from Indymedia

We were occupying the Brunei Gallery (Ministry of Defence Exhibition) in solidarity with Gaza and have declared victory after winning significant demands from the university management. 

These include an agreement that there will be no military on campus without prior consultation with the student union. A motion passed yesterday by the student union opposes all military presence on campus. It stands for the next five years. 

The occupying students will also have exclusive use of the gallery space until end of day Friday. This time will be used to hold meetings on issues related to Israel's assault on Gaza, such as boycotting Israeli goods and Israeli war crimes. 

University authorities have also agreed that students will be able use the lecture theatre and gallery for their own use throughout the year. Previously the rooms cost £1,000 to hire for a day – though the Ministry of Defence got it for free. 

There will be no repercussions for the students involved in the occupation of the gallery. The mood here remains defiant and ready to ramp up the campaign for solidarity with Palestinians. 

Friday, 16 January 2009

Essex students in occupation

Essex students in occupation

And the president/director  of a college in Massachusets has just passed a motion on the board of trustees to condemn Israel.

More details on both these stories being sent to me soon.

will post here...

I'm at LSE occupation. It is going really well. Loads of people stayed behind after. They are already in the Independent

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Watch us on Islam Channel-go to minute 9.28 i think...

Final events for friday-last day of Free liberated space :-(

2.30pm Film showing: War Made Easy with speakers from Stop the War Coalition

5pm Meeting on Hamas (title not exactly decided yet!) with journalist Anindya Bhattacharyya

7pm Gig for Gaza fund-raiser in JCR. Couldn't sort out the AV equipment to do in our space.

7pm- SOAS Rebetiko Band

8pm- The Rub
Peace Not War

9pm- Riz MC and crew.

We do have the space til 9pm. feel free to pop in and hang out there.

see you all there....thanks for all the wonderful messages of support.

Good luck to LSE who are in occupation right now-see

Photo from the Beaver newspaper

We reclaimed our space
Addressing the occupiers
Addressing the occupiersThe cops turn up outside the occupation

VERY short video-don't know how to upload my photos-looking into it!

Breaking news: 40 LSE students occupy the stage of their Old Theatre

More news will be added to this post soon.

Check out their blog for updates.

Well done LSE. United we stand

Military recruitment? Not on our campus.

One of our demands when we occupied the Brunei Suite at SOAS was to get assurance from the school that military propaganda will not be allowed on campus in the future. The school responded by saying that they would not allow any military on campus in the futuree without prior approval from the Students' Union.

Given that we passed a motion on Tuesday that resolved to oppose ALL military propaganda, a policy which will now last for FIVE years, we now have a mandate to say to the school 'NO, not on our campus'.

We claim this as a major result. An action that is part of an international campaign to oppose military recruiters on campuses and places of study.  UCL, a top university in Englandpassed a motion for this last year and caused an uproar in the right-wing media...well done to UCL Stop the War Society.  Read another story here.


Yvonne Ridley and others speak at SOAS today in our newly liberated space...

1.30pm: Yvonne Ridley, Journalist and activist 

"War, the media and the Lies"

Brunei Suite, ground floor, Brunei Gallery, SOAS...All welcome

3pm: Mike Cushman and John Chalcraft, Lecturer of History & politics  of  Empire/Imperialsm from BRIKUP-British Universities of Palestine

"The need for Academic Boycott, divestment & sanctions"

5pm: Film showing, John Pilger's brilliant documentary

"The War on Democracy"


2.30pm:  Filmshowing and Lindsey German and George Galloway from Stop the War Coalition

"War Made Easy"

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Update: Soas students in occupation declare victory as university concedes demands

This article should be read after: » Soas students occupy university building in solidarity with Gaza

by Siân Ruddick at the Soas occupation

Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) occupying the Brunei Gallery in solidarity with Gaza have declared victory after winning significant demands from the university management.

These include an agreement that there will be no military on campus without prior consultation with the student union. A motion passed yesterday by the student union opposes all military presence on campus. It stands for the next five years.

The occupying students will also have exclusive use of the gallery space until end of day Friday. This time will be used to hold meetings on issues related to Israel's assault on Gaza, such as boycotting Israeli goods and Israeli war crimes. Tariq Ali is already confirmed to speak at the space tomorrow.

University authorities have also agreed that students will be able use the lecture theatre and gallery for their own use throughout the year. Previously the rooms cost £1,000 to hire for a day – though the Ministry of Defence got it for free.

There will be no repercussions for the students involved in the occupation of the gallery. The mood here remains defiant and ready to ramp up the campaign for solidarity with Palestinians.

The following should be read alongside this article: 
» Soas students occupy university building in solidarity with Gaza

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4pm – Voices from Gaza (Lecturers and activists from Gaza) – JCR 

Mass movement over to the Brunei Suite. 

5pm- Tariq Ali War Crimes in Gaza - Brunei Suite 

6pm – John Rose “The Myths of Zionism” – Brunei Suite 

7.30pm – Alberto Toscano ad Peter Hallward (Goldsmiths and Middlesex Lecturers) “Civil Disobedience, Internationalism and Universities” – Brunei Suite

Demands of the Occupation

We will continue to occupy the Brunei Suite until the School administration agrees to acquiesce to our list of demands:

1) Written confirmation of the cancellation of the racist, biased MoD exhibition

2) An assurance by the School that military presence on campus will no longer be allowed under any circumstances in line with current Union policy

3) to be allowed to host free lectures in the Brunei Suite until the weekend

4) No repurcussions for the students involved

5) For the school to consult with academic staff for the use of school space for events such as extra curricular lectures

6) That room bookings be made through the university rather than Sodexo and that this change be brought about as soon as possible

7) 5 x week-long bookings for student societies funding by the school for the Brunei suite including the use of kitchen facilities

8) 5 x bookings for the Brunei Gallery to be funded by the school

9) any thing else?...

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Myths of Zionism public meeting-all welcome

The escalating crisis in Palestine has reignited a political debate over the history and nature of Zionism — the ideology of Jewish nationalism that underpins the Israeli state.

In response to the atrocities in Gaza Author and Teacher John rose speaks out.

Wednesday 6pm
SOAS Brunei Suite, Brunei Gallery, Thornhaugh St, London, WC1

ALL welcome

What we plan to do.

As of tuesday 13th January, the Brunei gallery suite is under occupation. Our aims are to raise awareness of and uphold motions passed by the SOAS Student's Union on:

1) The illegal occupation of Palestinian land by Israel

2) The racist exhibition currently in the Brunei gallery hosted by the Ministry of Defence.

3) The privatisation of university space.

This occupied space will be open to the public.

We aim to complete our aims by:

1) organising a series of lectures, speakers , workshops and events on all of the three issues

2) Re-arranging the exhibition to include the history that the MoD has deliberately manipulated and hidden

3) Communicating with the media and other interested parties about our intentions.

No damage will be done to any of the space.

A full press release will be issued soon.

For further infomation, suggestions and contributions please contact

In solidarity with the Gazans we thank you for your understanding.

Long live Palestine

Our aims and objectives

We, a coalition of SOAS students from many different backgrounds, have resolved to occupy the Brunei Gallery Suite. In line with Student Union motions, our aims are the following:

To ensure that the SOAS director, in line with motion ‘A’ of the most recent UGM, issues a statement of condemnation regarding the recent atrocities in Gaza, as a result of the illegal 60-year occupation by the state of Israel.

To end the racist exhibition currently on display in the Brunei Gallery Suite. This exhibition ignores the reality of the ethnic minority experience within the British army, which was tainted by racism, forced conscription and colonialism.

This is inappropriate, especially given the current colonial occupation of Palestine.
To draw attention to the lack of student control over student facilities.

Many SOAS-owned spaces, including the Brunei Gallery are currently subcontracted to Sodexo, which provides catering for Abu Ghraib, immigration detention centres in the UK, private prisons, military mess halls and other global facilities.

We intend to achieve our aims by raising awareness through the organisation of an alternative series of events including public talks, teach-ins and exhibits.

No damage will be inflicted upon the property – this is a peaceful occupation. The occupation is run democratically with regular meetings.

Solidarity with the people of Palestine.

School of Oriental and African Studies student occupiers.

First post in support of Gaza

SOAS students are currently occupying a Ministry of Defence exhibition on campus - following a Union General Meeting at which a motion was passed condemning the college for allowing the MOD to use space which should be for students to portray the armed forces as a liberal, anti-racist organisation - in the week that Prince Harry's racist remarks came to light! We also demand that the college produce a statement condemning the attacks on Gaza - so as to represent the majority view of the student body.

We will spend the night adding to the exhibition and invite "guided tours" during the day tomorrow examining the reality of war both for the victims and ethnic minorities in the armed forces.

They are occupying the Brunei Gallery Suite on the ground floor of the Brunei building (opposite the main building) - please come down to visit or send messages of support to