Thursday, 26 February 2009

Victory and Continuation

I'm sorry this has taken so long to send out! We are sending this to everyone who has expressed an interest in the campaign.
We are having our exhibition and charity day at the end of June (provisionally) need contributions, curators etc. We are having a planning meeting for this outside the LCC bar next Friday at 6. Do come along.

Thanks to everyone who came to the picnic!
See you Friday x

Dear all, you are receiving the following message because you signed the petition drafted by the UAL Palestine Solidarity Network or expressed support for the occupation. We feel that it is necessary to send out an email explaining our decision to end the occupation and the concessions granted.

The UAL Palestine Solidarity Network, which occupied Podium Lecture Theatre from Monday the 23rd at 5pm till Wednesday the 25th at 5 pm in solidarity with the Palestinian people. We would like to thank staff and students for their strong levels of support. The campaign has also received support from Noam Chomsky, and many other people from across the country.

On Wednesday we decided that as 4 of our 6 demands had been met we would settle. What we got is by no means perfect and we still have a lot of work to do but we saw the occupation as one step in our campaign. What was really wonderful about the occupation was raising the profile of our cause with other students and staff, and connecting people with similar ideas who are wanting to get involved in politics in university. An end to apathy for UAL!!

1. 'Condemnation of bombings of educational institutions in GAZA'.
The Rector will release the following statement through communication channels of the University.
"The University of Arts London deplores violence wherever it occurs and considers access to education, freedom of expression and the role of international law for the people of GAZA (we are hoping to get this changed to Palestine, as Gaza and Israel is not a comparison that makes sense) and Israel to be of fundamental importance".

We are happy with this statement.

2. 'Links to educational institutions in GAZA'
The University will consider a request from an educational institution in GAZA. This will be subject to the normal processes of scrutiny undertaken by the University with regards to all partnerships and collaboration.

We are in negotiations with 3 possible institutions currently. Once we successfully find an institution to twin with we work further on university management about ethical use of surplus materials.

3. 'Scholarships'
The University will explore establishing an 'international humanitarian' scholarship.

This is the most important of our demands to make sure the management concede with. We are hoping, through the student union, to get this as one scholarship a year on a rolling basis with the first one going to a student from Gaza

4. 'Events and Exhibition'
The University will support activities, including the use of appropriate space and promotion, for fundraising and exhibitions to aid humanitarian relief efforts in GAZA.

The exhibition will take place in the first week in June (provisionally) and coincide with a fundraisng for Gaza week, with gigs etc. The money will go to the DEC appeal.

We did not get divestment from Israeli companies but we have requested under the freedom of information act that they open their books so we can see what companies they do invest in.

We also did not get surplus materials but we will continue working on this.


The UAL Palestine Solidarity Network

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