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Sheffield Occupation - 1 week, 2 buildings!

An occupier | 24.03.2009 09:59 | University Occupations for Gaza | Education | Free Spaces | Palestine | Sheffield

As the Sheffield University occupation in solidarity with the people of Palestine enters its second week, the University management are still trying to squirm out of negotiating, and the occupiers are now in control of one of the University's flagship buildings.

Last night saw the one-week anniversary of the occupation of Lecture Theatres 5 and 6 in the Hicks Building. Since then, the university's attempted to evict us, invited us to negotiate and then changed its mind and set up a bizarre set of psuedo-negotiations without inviting us, so to strengthen our hand we've taken the Exhibition Space in Jessop West. While it still remains the case that the disruption to lectures was caused by university management, not our occupation, we felt that the Jessop West Exhibition Space would be a good place to seize as it provides no actual benefit to students and exists solely for the university's prestige, so it can't be claimed that our presence here does anything to disrupt education.
It's been a busy week, but morale remains strong, our relations with university staff remain impressively good, and we're determined to stay until our demands are met. Check the blog for more frequent updates.

Our demands remain:

As student activists and members of the University of Sheffield community, we call on the university to:

1) Issue a statement condemning the disproportionate actions of the Israeli state against the Palestinian people.
2) Create a special programme of five Palestinian scholarships and waive all fees for current students from the occupied territories.
3) Enter into an academic partnership with the University of Gaza.
4) Donate old books, computers and other relevant equipment to the University of Gaza, and pay for the transport of these materials.
5) Publicise the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal on Sheffield University notice boards, website and via email.
6) Initiate a programme in partnership with students of divestment and ending links with the arms trade.
7) Allow those studying medicine to carry out their electives in the occupied territories of Palestine.
8) Commemorate the United Nations Palestine Solidarity Day on November 29th.
9) Echo the Occupation's statement of support with Israeli students who have been imprisoned for refusing to serve in the IDF.

We have taken this action because we believe our university should be run democratically from below by students and staff, and not in the interests of corporate profiteering. Because of this belief, we express our solidarity with university workers and demand:

10)That they face no cuts in jobs, wages or conditions.

We further demand

11) That participants in, or supporters of, the occupation face no repercussions.

We will continue our occupation until our demands are met, or meaningful negotiations on our demands begin.

Yours -
The Sheffield Occupiers.

An occupier
- e-mail: sheffieldoccupation{at]
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  1. a useful group which could be made more use of — group user