Nottingham University students occupy Trent Building in protest of arms manufacturers

Students demanded the university ends partnerships with arms manufacturers

University of Nottingham students have occupied the ground floor of the Trent Building, blocking entrances to the vice-chancellor and treasurer’s offices.

The students are demanding that the university ends partnerships with arms manufacturers, specifically those that send weapons to Israel.

via Demilitarise UoN

This comes after a similar protest, which occurred last semester, where students occupied Coates Road Auditorium for 12 days and led to the group being forcibly evicted from the building by bailiffs.

Demilitarise UoN announced this morning a list of demands on social media when they entered the occupation. Demands included ending partnerships, transitioning to sustainable and ethical alternatives and divesting from companies and institutions supporting Israel.

In a post made to Instagram it announced: “The university has taken over £43 million from these companies. We demand that they drop these partnerships and stop taking blood money.”

Demilitarise Education valued the University of Nottingham’s defence industry partnerships at almost £43,500,000 using data gathered through Freedom of Information Requests.

The students hope that this time they will get a response from management.

A student from Demilitarise UoN commented on the occupation of Coates saying the university didn’t seem to “care” that they were disrupting student lectures saying: “[The university] preferred to spend vast amounts of money evicting us rather than engaging with our demands.

“We’re hoping now that we’re blocking entrance to their management offices we’ll get a response.”

Another student said they “won’t stay silent as our universities profit from war” continuing by saying: “The University of Nottingham has been shown time and time again to regard its reputation and finances as more important than protecting the human rights of its staff and students, and of all around the world.

“We will also care about the university’s blatant violation of ethical and more principles in pursuit of profits.”

This occupation is the latest in a wave of recent student occupations across the UK in support of Palestine, including at the universities of Leeds, Bristol and Edinburgh.

A spokesperson from the University of Nottingham told Nottinghamshire Live: “We can confirm that the occupation has now ended peacefully and the demonstrators left Trent Building early Sunday morning.

“The university upholds freedom of speech and we actively encourage our community to share ideas in a spirit of mutual respect and intellectual curiosity. Our priority is, and always will b, to ensure that opportunities to engage in debate or protest are safe, inclusive, dignified, respectful and responsible.”

Feature Image via Demilitarise UoN 

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