Friday, 30 January 2009

Join the Free Gaza Movement

Tommorrow we will be leafleting from 12:00 at the heartspace cafe (Owen level two), the meeting will be at five (back in 1037).

Students' sit-in over Gaza protest

This is a direct copy of the article released on The Star website:

Published Date: 29 January 2009
By Mike Russell

STUDENTS are staging a sit-in at Sheffield Hallam University as part of a national protest against Israel's invasion of Gaza.

The protesters have occupied rooms on the tenth floor of the Owen building in the city centre, with 20 staying on the premises over night. Similar occupations are taking place at other universities around the country.

The students want the university to condemn the attacks on Gaza, and provide scholarships for Gazan students. They also want Hallam to twin itself with the University of Gaza, sending old books, computers and other equipment there.

The protesters also want the university to waive all current application and tuition fees for Palestinian students.

"We intend to stay here until our demands are met," said spokesman Matthew Vickary, aged 22.

"We are still negotiating with the university and we are not seeking to disrupt the university's activities. We are protesting as a gesture of solidarity with the Gazan people and we want to help students there. "

Their university has been blown up and their education severely disrupted. We are wanting the university to provide them with simple practical help."

A Hallam spokesman said the university supported the students' right to peaceful protest, but with that right came responsibility.

"The safety and security of staff, students and visitors is our priority, but the occupation has had no adverse effects on teaching. "We will continue to monitor the protest but we cannot respond to the demands as these are political issues and Hallam is a non-political organisation," he added.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Threats of Eviction (cont...)

It is past the nine o'clock deadline and we are still here!!!

We have been repeatedly threatened with police action but have decided that we are going to stay despite this.

Management continue to delay and employ intimidating tactics against occupying students and workers

Check for future updates.

Threats of Eviction

A quick update on the situation.

We have been told by the University administration that they want us to leave at 9pm this evening and will involve the police if we refuse to leave.

They have refused all of our demands, and specifically refused to grant an amnesty to all participants. At this time we do not know what this means as far as consequences brought by the university against Hallam students.

The group will be making our decision on whether we will continue the occupation closer to the time.

First night stay and mid-morning negotiations

After a "comfortable" night nestled on the tenth floor, negotiations have begun.

Management have not caved in yet, and despite the fact we told them they could use the room for lectures they have relocated all room bookings.

The large banner displayed on the side of the building has attracted the attention of the public and a couple of photographers. We have released the previous press statement to as many local journalists as we can.

We have two events planned for today and have begun to publicise for them.
  • The first is a teach-in at 15:00, with a Hallam Academic discussing the parallels between South Africa's apartheid state and the situation in Palestine.
  • This will be followed by a screening of the film La Haine at 18:00.

We have received several messages of support, amongst them are:

  • Sheffield Trade Council
  • South Yorkshire UCU
  • Sheffield Stop the War Coalition
  • Rotheram Stop the War Coalition
  • Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign
  • Bradford University Occupation
  • SOAS Occupation
  • Oxford Occupation
  • Nottingham Occupation
  • South Yorkshire NUJ


The Hallam occupiers x

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Press Statement from Hallam University 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.

The following demands were democratically agreed upon:

1) Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) to release a statement of condemnation of the Israeli state’s attacks on Gaza

2) SHU to provide scholarships for Gazan students and waive all current applications and tuition fees for Palestinian students.

3) SHU to twin with the University of Gaza, sending old books, computers and other equipment to the University of Gaza.

4) The ban on flyering and posters on campus to be lifted immediately allowing students to organise and allow free speech, in line with the University's current no-platform policy against fascists.

5) To have posters advertising the details for the Disasters Emergency Committee Gaza Appeal on all notice boards around the university.

6) No victimisation of students or staff supporting the occupation in any form.

We ask people to support our peaceful protest. We welcome messages of solidarity and encourage anyone who wishes to join the occupation to do so.