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The Law Faculty Occupation - further developments.

Cameraboy. | 24.01.2009 03:24 | University Occupations for Gaza | Anti-militarism | Education | Palestine | Cambridge | World

Currently there is a something of a low level power struggle going on inside the Law Faculty between the Proctors, other building staff and the occupying students.

Meeting between students and building staff, with a Proctor present.
Meeting between students and building staff, with a Proctor present.

So far allegations have been made by staff to *fee paying* university students of 'stealing electricity' (by running Laptops from the mains), possibly spreading viruses by using the University network for media outreach with privately owned Laptops, and also asking if people can prove if devices are 'PAT tested' before they can be plugged into mains sockets.

Needless to say, none of this is true.

Threats were also made of suspending web/wifi access, although I don't know if this has been carried out.

Ho hum, all drearily predictable tactics on the part of the powers that be there.

Non Cambridge University card carrying people have been asked to leave the building overanight (including myself), and if anyone leaves the building overnight they don't get back in, but hopefully during daylight hours access for the wider publc will be granted, as the plan by the occupying students is to use the building as a community forum to promote and discuss Palestine related issues.

My advice to those students that remain inside the building is that over the course of the weekend, with or without the presence of non Cambridge University people, further allegations will doubtless be made, and every dirty trick and tactic in the book will be used to harass, belittle and impinge upon them, so they need to stand their ground and not be taken for a ride, and just remind the staff now and again that they're card carrying (and fee paying) students and as such have their own rights and privileges.

For anyone who wants to join in solidarity, turn up outside the Law Faculty anyway, regardless of whether you get into the building or not, because you will be seen by the students inside, and your presence will be appreciated by them.
But remember to be polite to the University staff, regardless of whatever they may say to you, because it's all about supporting the students inside.

Of course, there are plenty of roads and areas around the university site (and in town) where the Proctors DO NOT have jurisdiction over the wider public, and that's all I'm saying on the matter.



Hide the following 7 comments

Seems like proctors are acting like police, isnt that something they were banned

24.01.2009 04:41

from doing?. Maybe they are considering wasting police time officially. What are the uni's links with zionism?

Universal Confederalist

As regards computer-based allegations

24.01.2009 07:53

Nothing could be more absurd when you consider the fact that all of the students have their equipment PAT-tested by their colleges, and the university would not think to complain about our electricity usage (or the supposed risk of virus-spreading) in our own rooms in pursuit of playing computer games or listening to the latest Arctic Monkeys single, but apparently have an issue with the same people using the same electricity in a different location in pursuit of the activity of informing people about the occupation.
If ever there were an illogical argument, this would be one - we are connected to the same networks, with the same degree of virus protection, using the same electricity, as we would be in our rooms.

Poor show, security staff, poor show.



24.01.2009 11:36

My apologies for the double posting of this article - if an IMC techie wishes to remove a copy of it, please do so - at the time posting last night it didn't appear at all until now.

As to whether or not as a non Cambridge Uni card carrying student (but still a student elsewhere), I fully expect to be given a hard time by the staff/Proctors if I attempt to enter their precious faculty building again at the moment, given what happened last night, but like I say, this should not put off anyone else wishing to turn up and be there outside out of solidarity with the occupying students inside.


Ah, it's here!

24.01.2009 16:00

Looks like there may have been technical issues last night, as this story has now appeared on Cambridge IMC.

Another story to follow very soon today, as I've now got pictures of the solidarity picket that took in town earlier.


do the students realise that they are in charge of the building?

24.01.2009 16:06

It looks like there's quite a few people in there, and only one or two staff from the university. If the people inside want to, they can simply sit around the door in numbers and politely inform the uni staff that any guest of the action is welcome in the building.

Anyway, get in there, great to see.

local type

The art of diplomacy...

24.01.2009 22:36

You'll be pleased to know that I was let back into the building this evening, although this seems to have occurred after my turning up literally in the middle of a debate between occupiers and building staff about this very topic (who to let in), the outcome of which is an agreement has been reached to allow people in if they have some kind of photo ID, then their name(s) will be written on a list which *the students* keep hold of.

This seems like the most sensible outcome.

There did seem to be confusion with regards whether or not visitors could take photos inside the building, with staff saying no, but students saying yes.
The students seem to have won the debate, because after some consultation (on my part), it was agreed that I could take pictures inside, although some press agency bloke was wandering about inside taking pictures anyway while I was doing this - dur!

Being a bit more ethical about these things (I don't do this for money after all), I thought it best to ask around first.

I've also been struck by *how much* debate there has been between the staff and the occupiers, given that in other places students have already been evicted. This to me seems to be very good, and better than everyone shouting at each other, and I hope it continues in this way!

More pictures and another story on the way, but I have to do image processing first.


University constabulary

28.01.2009 01:00

Actually the proctors (or at least the University Constables) do have the powers of police within 5 miles of Great Saint Mary's Church. University member or no!

A.C. Norman