Door access negotiations...
An ever growing petition outside.
Voluminous bedding in a lecture theatre!
Talk and dicscussion in progress...
The canteen/chillout area...
A Laptop...and a Washboard!
Artists at work...
However, there does seem to have been a notable absence of non University activists in the last day or so. Whether this is down to the 'checkpoint' feel of the entrance requirements (an ironic situation for Free Palestine protestors to be in), or due to some other reason is uncertain.
When I did visit last night, there seemed to be only a few people there (I may have come along at an 'off peak' time, when people were out on errands), and the atmosphere on the whole was a very chilled out, quiet one. I spent quite a while circulating and chatting to people there. But, because of the fact that I am not a Cambridge University card carrying student (I am a card carrying student, but not for THAT University), I did not feel that my presence would have been welcome there overnight or even for more than a few hours by the building security staff, even though students themselves made me feel welcome, so I left early.
I even had a Proctor say outright to my face that 'technically you're trespassing' (although as I understand it, no such notion actually exists in law), which doesn't exactly engender a sense of wanting to stay in a place for any length of time, when you're presented with that kind of 'them and us' mentality.
I have visited this very same building before for lectures and film screenings open to the public (and may do so again in the future) and no one has batted an eyelid.
This may be something that those students who are staying there for any length of time should perhaps address, as this could prove to be problematic for any community outreach activites they have planned.
There was also some minor confusion between staff and occupying students regarding whether or not photos could be taken inside the building. However, while I was negotiating this point with staff and students, I couldn't help noticing a press agency photographer wandering about inside taking photos, even as a University staff member was telling me I couldn't take pictures inside!
However, several students assured me that it was OK to take pictures.
I will be going back at some point this weekend, but once again will not stay for too long until I am confident that there is no risk of my presence there being a concern for building security.
I should emphasise that it's very good and constructive that there's clearly an ongoing dialogue between the occupying students and the building staff,but I can't help thinking that due to the somewhat Orwellian attitude of some of the staff there, this could be quite offputting for other visitors who are not members of the University.
There is absolutely no criticism on my part of the students who are currently occupying the building, as they are quite clearly doing an excellent job of keeping a dialogue going between themselves and the powers that be, and in this respect, it's certainly the most amicable activist squat I've seen so far in Cambridge.
No, this is more to do with what seems to be at times the obstructive and suspicious behaviour of some of the building staff, not just towards University students, but to other members of the public (unless they have a press pass or Cambridge University card), as I'm sure they think that the place is going to be trashed.
From what I've seen this isn't going to happen.
It might get a bit untidy from so many people living in there, but that's all!
The students also currently have control of the door.
I also forgot to mention that you should check this page for forthcoming events at the Faculty.