On Monday 23rd February at 5:00pm students and staff from across the University of the Arts London (UAL) attended a rally with speakers; Tony Benn, Chris Nineham (STWC), Mark Howell (Alumni) and Frank McGuiness (LSE student activist). This was met by an overwhelmingly positive response from the majority of those present. At the end of the meeting a vote was cast regarding both support for demands and further action. Approximately 90-95% of those in attendance were in support of the demands and a great deal expressed an active interest to participate in further action.
Subsequently, a number of members have decided to go into immediate occupation of one of the UAL's lecture theaters. The occupied space is based at the LCC campus. Our occupation stems from our sympathy towards the victims of the conflict and in particular fellow students within Gaza. The action to occupy has arisen from the written response from the rector of UAL, Nigel Carrington, that ignored and disregarded our demands. (Please find attached).
Throughout the occupation we will make our presence within the university felt, however we wish to stress our emphasis on the promotion of education and not disruption. We have organised a number of events including speakers, screenings and workshops open to all.
In response to the recent conflict in Gaza, University of the Arts London Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (UALPSC) has formulated six demands which have been issued to University staff and students. These demands aim to raise humanitarian aid, support and awareness. (Please find attached).
The occupation has begun.
We begun the first night by planning strategies for our campaign. Various tasks are undertaken including poster painting for the lecture theater and college, compiling of e-mail lists and making of fliers.
There is a positive spirit amongst the group. Whilst the university management was cagey (to say to least) by responding in writing to our demands, the security staff have been very friendly and accommodating.
It must be made clear that occupation does not tolerate any aggressive behavior towards the University. We are a peaceful protest and have been promised Amnesty for all those involved.
The Occupation is being held in the Podium Lecture Theater LCC, ELEPHANT & CASTLE. We are taking the stage and remaining here till our demands are met. Our program will include further talks, films, discussions. We are a collection of Art Students and hope that you will be inspired to come and use the space with us.
YOU WILL NOT BE PUNISHED FOR TAKING PART SO JOIN US AND SUPPORT OUR CAUSE!