Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Demands re-draft, and the next step - WE ARE LEAVING THE OCCUPATION

It's been a very exciting couple of hours! After talks within our group which were looking like a decision to leave the occupation after 28 hours with a vague promise of a meeting with the registrar, we re-drafted our demands and are now preparing to enter negotiations with senior members of University Management. The demands were re-drafted to make them clearer and more concise, with more detailed directions. Our final demands now read as follows:

*Newcastle University to issue the same public statement as Oxford University expressing “concern for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza” and stating, “it is regrettable that many civilian casualties occurred in educational institutions.”

*Adopt the same ethical policy towards the arms trade as towards its tobacco industry policy, with a timetable of implementation. This includes indirect investments.

*Newcastle University supports the Newcastle University Gaza Solidarity Campaign’s coming projects of a) collecting computers, software, books etc for the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) and b) the visit of a student delegation from Newcastle University to IUG to establish their needs, c) the ensuing student projects to follow up on those needs, d) developing an ethical investment and trade policy with respect to Israel, e) publicising the Disaster and Emergency Committee’s appeal for aid.

*Newcastle University supports new and ongoing academic collaborations with IUG, including distance education tools to link University of Newcastle Students and IUG students.

*Review of rules and regulations that will allow political activism in a variety of channels. This includes leafleting, flyers, posters, and meetings.

John Hogen, the Registrar, has signed the following statement and we are to meet tomorrow to begin negotiations on our terms:

We will leave the occupation this evening on the condition that:
John Hogan will meet with Newcastle University Gaza Solidarity Campaign at 12pm on March 12th, on equal terms for meaningful negotiations on our revised demands to begin. The Vice Chancellor and/or Paul Younger will be present as well as Dr. Trottier.

Julia Trottier is a member of academic staff with a great knowledge of the middle east, who has been recently a lot of help to the occupiers. She came to talk to us in the occupied space and to express her support. Paul Younger is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement.

We are excited about the talks tomorrow. The occupation itself has ended at this point because we have been promised that the necessary steps will be taken immediately for our demands to be realised. We have no guarentee, of course, that our demands will be met, but are confident that the appropriate people will be present at these talks to continue our campaign effectively. This was our democratically chosen condition for the occupation.

We will not rule out further direct action if the University management go back on their word.

We are aware that tomorrow's meeting is in many ways more important than what has gone on so far. We will know more tomorrow about where we really stand and whether negotiations look like they will be successful.

It's been great! We are tired and now we are going to the pub to plan for tomorrows important meeting - the next step. THANK YOU FOR YOUR MESSAGES OF SUPPORT.


  1. what a bunch of self important cunts you really are

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  3. I'm sorry sir, I do not see how these students are in any way self important. And I do not see the need for you to describe them in your obviously 'intuitive' comments, as 'cunts'. Immediately you have shown a blatant ignorance and pettiness in doing so and I would suggest that in future, should you want to appear in the least bit interesting to talk to, that you instead attempt to engage in the debate just as these admirable students have had the courage to stand up and do.

    Taking points 2, 3 and 4 - all of which express a distinctly selfless will (and indeed want) to aid fellow human beings (intelligently, in the manner in which they say they are best aided) - shows an overwhelming lack of self importance.

    I find it so thankful that the youth of today, normally so apathetic and more interested in the number of facebook friends or picture comments they have, are actually thinking in humanitarian and political terms and acting on them for a change.

    May I suggest to yourself that if their actions offend you so much you should engage in some reading/research on the subject, find something constructive to say and then articulate your views in at least a socially polite manner.

    Good work guys, keep it up!

  4. It's great to see people taking a stand for once, but asking a university to be politically biased is inappropriate and misguided. The university is not a tool to be used to act on students' political ideology.

  5. I see potential in your argument in relation to the first copy of demands the students said they had. In relation to this new set however, I believe the only one that is contentious in regards to asking a university to make a political statement (I do not see how this can be called definite political bias however) is the first one. But, if you actually read it carefully I see the proposed statement not as being a political one, but of humanitarian, ethical and educational basis. Being an educational charity, the university is hence allowed and indeed expected to have a stance on these issues.

  6. This may be near the end of your struggle, but it does not signal the end of the struggle for a free Palestine. Across the world people are standing up in solidarity with the Palestinian people, as witness by the numerous occupations that have taken place. Your actions will never be in vein, one day Palestine will be free. VIVA VIVA!