Thursday, 12 February 2009

Sixth Press Release

The student occupation of the University of Glasgow has finished in triumphant success. Students left the Computer Science building at approximately 9pm on Wednesday evening, after a 55-hour occupation. Earlier in the day the University principal, Sir Muir Russell, met with delegates of the occupation to engage in discussions over their demands. The negotiations were concluded by a meeting in the occupied space between the students and members of the University management. The University eventually conceded to many of the demands, and made promises to address some of the issues raised.

Here is a copy of the final signed agreement between students of the occupation and the University management:

Please review the following points, following today’s negotiations, and sign the bottom to confirm a mutual understanding.

DEC

1. Definitely by the end of February, desirably by next week, to have an official day of collection for the DEC.

2. The University is committed to this (hopefully in conjunction with SRC)

3. A web page will be devoted to the day, with a link to the advert

4. An E-mail is to be sent out to all students and staff (1 email a few days before, and another 24 hours before)

5. The University management will encourage all lecturers to show advert in lecture theatres – this is at the discretion of lecturers and it will be their choice whether or not they show the DEC appeal.

Scholarships

1. The University will work with appropriate parties to publicise its current international scholarships within Gaza.

2. Alongside the DEC appeal, donations will be sought to support scholarships for students from Palestine.

3. The University will consider part-funding this by using a similar fee waiving scheme as Strathclyde University.

4. The University would like to work to create a Glasgow Palestine student scholarship scheme; in conjunction with all Universities and other interested parties.

Academic Resources

1. The University will make its best efforts to donate old resources

2. The University is currently speaking to other universities (such as LSE and King’s College) to work through the logistics. The University will get back to the students within 7 days.

3. The University wants the occupiers to contact the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) to work with them in organising a video conference and to put them in contact with David Newall (Secretary of Court) and vice versa, to work out what resources they need.

4. Currently surplus materials are recycled – the University will look at ways to modify existing contracts, or investigate how the companies involved could be included in the donation of said resources.

The delegates have noted that senior university management have committed to further meetings for serious, continuing discussions including the SRC. The University understands the specific and serious concerns students have regarding Eden Springs, and is willing to engage in further discussions over the suppliers of water to the University campus. These should take place no later than Friday 27th February.

Further to this we require a commitment to publish details (as transparent, full and up to date as possible) of all university investments made by the university, and all research funding received by the university, in compliance with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, in accordance with, and in the context of, the law. There will be a meeting between university management and the students of the occupation to discuss the progress that has been made after 20 working days.

With this understanding the students will bring the current occupation to an end.

Signed:

After collecting over 600 signatures, the student movement has the right to call for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Students’ Representatives’ Council, to debate how Glasgow University students can show solidarity with Palestine. The EGM must take place within 10 days of the submission of the signatures to the SRC.

It is crucial to recognise that occupation is an entirely legitimate tactic. By taking this action we have shown that serious direct action can achieve results. Our occupation has been an undoubted success. It has been a victory for all those showing solidarity with the people of Palestine. The wider campaign is far from over. This must be seen as a starting point and as the inspiration for a wider movement spreading the message of peace and solidarity throughout the student community and society as a whole.

29 comments:

  1. Doesn't seem like you guys really won... you've been duped.

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  2. I am just happy that they did not cave into your 9th demand. Why did you not make any demands for action against Hamas???

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  3. It appears to me that you have actually achieved NOTHING of significance other than a list of actions, the outcomes of which you can neither control nor influence. A FAILURE on all accounts. Your protest was about as interesting as an amoeba passing in the night...

    What you have achieved is this: you distanced people from a legitimate cause with your childish actions, thus reducing the impact of any DEC day you may organise. I certainly will not contribute anything due to your bully-boy tactics. Myself and others should find other more legitimate ways to support the people of Gaza. To support YOU is tantamount to supporting a form of TERRORISM.

    THE STUDENTS OF GLASGOW UNIVERSITY ARE WAITING FOR AN APPOLOGY. DO THE ONLY DECENT THING AND ISSUE IT.

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  4. @Nothing - I totally agree. I've already donated to help the people of Gaza and will probably do so again in the future, but this campaign will get nothing from me. Disgusting tactics, you've put a smear on anything you may have acheived.

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  5. Nothing: "Myself and others should find other more legitimate ways to support the people of Gaza"

    Please go for it!!! Nothing personal, but I'd be extremely surprised (and please do surprise me!)if you did anything for people in Gaza, or were seriously considering it, before, during, or after the events of the past few days on campus.

    It's like the self-description in the new Facebook group to stop the occupation of computing sciences, something like "CS is full of liberal-minded people who would normally do something to help Palestinians". Sorry I don't buy any of it. The world, and universities in particular, is full of "liberal minded people" who rarely act or speak out on anything. Saying "well, we would normally have aided Gazans in some way, but now we won't because the protesters have made us mad", is just pure retroactive butt-covering BS.

    I beg to proven wrong btw!

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  6. "triumphant success" - muahahaha!

    Thanks, you made my day. I see your propaganda machinery is working well. What follows next - a parade on the campus for the victorious heroes? ;-)

    If your actions would at least help the people in Gaza...*sigh*

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  7. Every step to helping the people of Gaza and relieving their suffering is a success...well done!

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  8. has anyone else noticed this is exactly the same as the principles response to the petition, proving again that the occupation was for nothing.

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  9. also @aaron, the antiprotesters have launched an aid campaign, hope to prove you wrong indeed.

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  10. @Aaron
    Who are YOU to call into question my actions with respect to the people of Gaza (placing pithy comments in parenthesis does not hide the sentiment of your words). You wrote down a statement about me, about someone you don't know, and drew your conclusions based on what? Based on NOTHING is the answer - in fact you chose to ignore the information you were given. Base your opinions on FACTS not what you want to believe, otherwise, save your bile hatred, or get a job with The Sun.

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  11. don't you have studying to do? crusties...

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  12. Triumphant success? It doesn't seem like you succeeded in anything other than making fools of yourselves.

    All that for an e-mail which most of the students won't even read after you've irritated us for weeks with your marching around in support of a terrorist regime!?

    Ridiculous to the highest degree.

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  13. Congratulations, some solid commitments to help the people of Gaza, and a lot of potential. More importantly a great action to build on to continue to achieve successes.

    Proving that non-violent direct action can create real positive change in the world.

    In solidarity,
    Ether.

    PS.
    Students partying a lot or watching day time TV is considered 'normal' in our culture, some use their time and energy to help make the world a slightly better place and all of a sudden they should be busy studying 24/7?
    I hope that opinion changes.

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  14. I have to agree with Nothing. I am a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, and I admit I don't do enough to support it (something I intend to rectify when I can afford to - but getting my last year of uni done and a steady income puts me in a better place to donate, to do charity work etc - just have to look at the big picture), but this campaign has seriously turned me away from the political activists on campus.
    A lot of students in the class I was in today have also lost sympathy for the cause as a whole as a result of the silly protest.
    What was accomplished could have been done with dignity and restraint with the SRC and the Unions.

    Dark-Ether, these aren't solid commitments. This victory is simply the University stating that it already has projects that are similar to some of the demands. Look at the language used - there is nothing new here, just a reaffirmation of plans and projects. Oh, and a mailout, which will take all of 5 minutes for someone to type up.
    Every little helps, but don't see this as solid commitments when they are not.
    As for successful change, well ten years ago there were non violent protests on this very issue. All I'm seeing is the same problem.

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  15. So now your saying its ok to achieve your aims through occupying other peoples property? Ironic

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  16. @ Gidza
    you stated that it is ironic. What you should infact be realising and comparing is if a simple occupation of a confrence room is causing u annoyance how much must it be for an entire population of 1.5 million to be blockaded and occupied and then furthermore bombed. If anything this should have made u aware of the enormity of the Gazan people's situation.
    WELL DONE to the occupiers!!!
    In solidarity with the Palestinian people.

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  17. "Nothing @Aaron
    Who are YOU to call into question my actions with respect to the people of Gaza (placing pithy comments in parenthesis does not hide the sentiment of your words). You wrote down a statement about me, about someone you don't know, and drew your conclusions based on what? Based on NOTHING is the answer - in fact you chose to ignore the information you were given. Base your opinions on FACTS not what you want to believe, otherwise, save your bile hatred, or get a job with The Sun."

    Nerve has been touched. You'd have to work very hard to get "bile hatred" out of anything I wrote. My comments were often parenthetical because we are all in fact dealing in anonymous generalities here on a board like this- you too, not just me. I mean to be be impersonal, not to avoid conflict, but to acknowledge that I don't know what or who you are other than what you wrote.

    And what you wrote with regard to doing something for or about Gaza was this:

    "Myself and others should find other more legitimate ways to support the people of Gaza."

    A tidy little statement of intent, that as you yourself must recognise, seeing it there verbatim, means nothing on its own. At all. That was my very point- it's easy and dime a dozen for thoughtful, liberal minded people to say we should help, or "I will help- next month", etc. I do it to.

    So as to you and Gary and others who are so upset that I'm poinnting out that the protesters are doing something active to help Gazans and expose exploitative relationships, while others are not, when was this "anti-protester aid campaign" begun...could it be 1) before the protest, 2) during the protest, or 3) after the protest? If it's #1, I applaud you and you have boosted my faith in people. If it is 2) or 3), then my point is proven. Your aid campaign was only prompted by the protests you despise. You did not, and almost certainly would not, have taken action unless prompted into thinking and acting about Gaza by the protesters- even if your aid campign is based on spite for the protesters rather than deep-rooted concern for Gaza (I'm not saying that that's the case, I think I'm clear here).

    I don't believe direct action is the only legit or effective form of political action. I can understand that people were inconvenienced and annoyed. What I don't get are the people who say the occupation at CS was a "failure" because they didn't get all of their demands met, or they were met in a half-arsed way etc.

    Can you think of ANY political activity, from voting, to town hall meetings, to armed revolution, where people get everything they want? Where every box is ticked and everyone is satisfied, every voice heard, no mistakes made...?

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  18. @Aaron
    It's not that protesters didn't bring awareness of the issue. It was the manner in which it was done. It was done in a manner to draw attention and make out like you are a group of grand revolutionaries out to usurp.

    It came across as a bunch of socialist cowards looking for some glory. It would have been simple to send out emails, hand out leaflets, use classroom boards etc to get your message across.

    Instead you choose to make ludicrous and in one case racist demands and inconvenience members of Staff and students.

    You claim the protest was peaceful: Blaring through a microphone all day is off putting to those trying to work.

    It wasn't successful because all the things the occupation achieved could have been done so with consultation and co-operation between the SRC and the Uni. Occupying the building could have been avoided. It was childish, ignorant and rooted in the same misplaced sense of rights that sees Gaza being occupied by Israel.

    Peace will come when mankind adheres to logic and reason, not egotism and ignorance.

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  19. Well done everyone. Your an inspiration to students across the country.

    Onwards and upwards.

    Stop the War Coalition (Scotland) Conference

    With an great line up of speakers this is a great opportunity to share experiences of struggle and organise for the future.

    Date: 21st February 2009

    Time: 10.00am – 5.00pm

    Venue: Charles Wilson Building, Glasgow University, corner of University Avenue and Gibson Street.

    Get your ticket here: www.glasgowstopwar.express.ts.com

    Food available in the venue.

    Registration is from 9.30am

    Five sessions:

    Free Palestine – end the siege of Gaza

    War and Occupation: Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine …

    Nukes and Nato: 60 years of Nato is enough. Will Obama deliver change?

    As the wave of student occupations spread - Where next for the student movement?

    War at Home and Resistance: Islamophobia, Civil Liberties, Military Families …

    The line up of international speakers already include – Walter Wolfgang (Labour NEC), Ghada Karmi (Palestinian campaigner), Kate Hudson (British CND, Chair), Aamer Anwar(human rights lawyer), Pauline McNeill (Labour MSP), Sandra White (SNP MSP), Bill Kidd (SNP MSP), Neil Mackay (journalist), Jackson Culinane (UNITE union), Hossam el-Hamalawy (Egyptian journalist), Osama Saeed (Scottish Islamic Foundation), Rose Gentle (Military Families Against War), Eamonn McCann (Raytheon Nine), Mohammad Asif (Scottish Afghan Society), Lindsey German (Stop the War Coalition convenor), Ivona Novomestska (Czech bases campaign), Dave Moxham (STUC), Alan McKinnon (SCND), Kenny Ross (Scottish Regional Secretary FBU), Mujahid Islam and others to be confirmed.

    Tickets also available from Stop the War members:

    ABERDEEN 07505 006 170 - Bus leaves Aberdeen city centre at 7:00am - to book a place call this number.

    DUNDEE 0782 805 586 - Bus leaves Discovery Point, Dundee at 8:00am - to book a place call this number.

    EDINBURGH 07773 423 051

    FIFE 07806 332 345

    GLASGOW 07869 306 483

    You can get your ticket online now by going to www.glasgowstopwar.express.ts.com

    We would ask for a donation of £5.00 to help us with speakers travel costs, venue hire and publicity costs. If you would like to donate more please do so – there are donation options up to £25.00.

    Sponsor someone to attend.

    In the unfortunate case that you cannot attend on the day please do consider helping someone else to attend. You can do this by clicking on same link as above www.glasgowstopwar.express.ts.com and giving a donation of £6.00.

    Spread the word – if you would like to get some flyers or posters for this event please email scotlandstopwar@hotmail.co.uk or glasgowstopwar@gmail.com

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  20. @Aaron

    This is my final word on the matter. There is clearly no way I will convince you otherwise on the matters at hand, therefore, there seems little point in having a conversation about this. Your behaviour is akin to that seen in cults.

    So here are my final remarks:

    'A tidy little statement of intent, that as you yourself must recognise, seeing it there verbatim, means nothing on its own. At all. That was my very point- it's easy and dime a dozen for thoughtful, liberal minded people to say we should help, or "I will help- next month", etc. I do it to.'

    Where in my statement do you get that I'm not going to do something for the people of Gaza, then not do it? Nowhere. Yes that's right. Nowhere. You were trying to speak on a general level you say? Well you should have phrased your question in a general way. Here, I will do it for you as you seem incapable:

    "Many people procrastinate, especially over issues that are not close to them. The protesters were at least acting and doing something for the people of Gaza."

    Wowww that was difficult eh. This opens up a different set of questions. In particular, the method the protesters used to make people aware. Which from the comments on this blog and the Facebook group are the things that people have an issue with. This all makes sense to you now right?

    To your next point: "Your aid campaign was only prompted by the protests you despise". Firstly this ain't my aid campaign. You really need to figure out how to address a point without using "YOU" when you don't mean "YOU". If you ever post again please address this.

    Despite this, I will hopefully try to address your comments on this, as your argument is, once again, not based on logic. The numbers 1), 2) and 3) are as above in your comment. Point 1) don't be stupid, it's not even comical. If it's 2) or 3) your point is proven? Really? You obviously are not studying a science.

    Consider this: each and every person in the opposing group (by which I mean the anti-protesters) was going to "contribute" to the cause anyway, regardless of your meaningless sleepover? Now due to the actions of the protesters many in that group decide not to "contribute". Furthermore, if you measure the success of the protest by the number of people that "contribute" (which is what you are doing), then you have LESS than you would have done had the protesters not occupied the space.

    This is one example of where you can end up with less people "contributing". Therefore, we have just used LOGIC to show that your point is not proven, and once again YOU have made a false statement.

    You must be getting tired of being wrong? I'm certainly getting tired of reading this nonsense. For your point about defining success see @TheTrickster above.

    Adiós

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  21. "We would ask for a donation of £5.00 to help us with speakers travel costs, venue hire and publicity costs. If you would like to donate more please do so – there are donation options up to £25.00."

    You should donate that money to the DEC appeal instead. Far better cause.

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  22. well done everyone, you've been an inspiration to all of us, and don't mind the assholes.

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  23. Surely you require significantly more than 600 signatures to have an EGM?

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  24. What I mean to say is that 425 signatures is not really a representative figure: that's only ca. 2.1% of the university's students.

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  25. Move and the thinking by the movement is really awesome and really useful too,mainly about the movement has the right to call for an Extraordinary General Meeting,you told,so getting the meeting is good after the task,also this is an important event and the things can be discussed in a great passion in the general meeting.
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