Occupiers Release Statement
The Occupiers of Senate House have issued the following statement: “Over the past few week the Old Schools Combination Room has been buzzing with workshops, talks, film showings and a […]
The Occupiers of Senate House have issued the following statement:
“Over the past few week the Old Schools Combination Room has been buzzing with workshops, talks, film showings and a steady stream of visitors and participants. Today, it was properly pumping. Responding to the refusal of University management to engage in any sort of discussion with the occupation of the Old Schools, protesters staged a noise protest in the afternoon, blasting music towards the Vice Chancellor‘s, Leszek Borysiewicz, office out of the windows of the Senior Combination Room. Earlier in the day, we had submitted a final request for engagement to University management, setting the deadline of 2.30pm for a response, written, recorded or in person, to our demands.
We launched the noise protest- which involved amplifiers blasting music, an electric guitar, drums, pots, pans and chants over megaphones – in response to the University’s refusal to engage in discussion. Banners reading “Leszek, your time is up“ and “the Uni won‘t negotiate – we will escalate“ were draped out of the windows, and a group of students took a drums to the main entrance of the Old Schools to be heard there. The University has shown no will to engage in dialogue with the protesters, as they filed for a possession order and attempted to cut off our internet on the day we arrive, before they had a chance to even see our demands. If the University is more willing to implement a forcible and violent eviction than to speak to the students it claims to speak for, we must hold them to account for their choice.
The University has already set up a smoke-screen to obfuscate their stance on fees, and now they are trying to pull the same trick in regards to their refusal to engage in discussion with students. Furthermore, University management have been telling the press that we are in negotiations, which is not true- they have only acknowledged our presence by taking us to court and shutting down the internet. For as long as the University refuses to engage with us, we will be the “elephant in the Senior Combination Room”- everyone knows we are here, but the University won‘t talk to us.
The protesters took a collective decision to ensure that we do not intimidate any University staff, and to make a point in a loud but positive way. We affirmed our determination to continue building resistance to the devastating fees and cuts which threaten our education system and welfare. We will keep on fighting after the occupation is over, and that may very well include acts of non-violent civil disobedience.”
Don’t forget to follow The Tab’s live blog of the Occupation.