The University of Manchester Occupation in solidarity with Gaza – (demands finalised)

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The University of Manchester Occupation in solidarity with Gaza
Over 150 University of Manchester students have occupied the main university administration building in a demand for a stronger and more proactive position from the university on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The students have proposed a set of demands on the university’s Vice Chancellor Alan Gilbert, including a boycott of Israeli goods on campus, support for a day of fundraising with proceeds to the DEC fund, and that the university end research into manufacturing arms.

Students at other universities have taken similar actions over the last three weeks and have been successful in their demands.

The conflict has killed over 1,300 Palestinians and injured thousands. Tens of thousands of civilians have been left homeless. Head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza, John Ging, is now joining international calls for an investigation into the war crimes of the recent action, wherein Israel stands accused of using banned weapons such as white phosphorus and cluster bombs, attacking medical facilities, including the killing of 12 ambulance men in marked vehicles, and killing large numbers of policemen who had no military role.

Over 500 students attended an emergency general meeting of the students union to discuss a motion on the issue of the crisis in Gaza, whereby the students marched on University administration headquarters, the John Owens Building, to draw up a list of demands.

The peaceful occupation is planned to continue for as long as it takes to achieve its demands, and promises to welcome high profile speakers during the week.

DEMANDS

1) University of Manchester should issue a formal statement condemning Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip, acknowledging particularly the effects on educational institutions such as the bombing of the Gaza Islamic University and expressing concern about war crimes allegations.

2) Support a day of fundraising across campus with the proceeds going to the DEC Gaza appeal.

3) University to publicise DEC advert in any way possible (including banner on the website) and put pressure on the BBC and sky to show the DEC advert.

4) All furniture & surplus supplies from buildings that are being renovated to be sent to Gaza on the Viva Palestina convoy.

5) Join the BDS movement through stopping sales of Israeli goods on university premises, the University should also stop buying any campus supplies from Israeli companies.

6) That the university divests from all companies directly involved in the manufacture of weaponry. We also demand that the university takes the issue of transparency in their investment seriously.

7) That the university publicly supports its students’ right to protest, such as occupations. That in line with this, the university will provide its facilities for a “Students for Palestine” conference, second week of April 09.

8 ) To send a public message of solidarity to the Islamic University in Gaza, whose campus has been virtually destroyed, and publish it on the university website and distribute it to the university wide e-mail addresses.

9) To give at lease five scholarships for Palestinian students as well as providing at least five scholarships for Israelis who refuse to serve in the IDF.

10) That the university make a module on the history of Palestine available as an optional module for any University of Manchester student.

11) That home fees apply to Palestinians students wanting to study at the University of Manchester.

12) No victimisation for those taking part in the Occupation, and free movement in and out of the occupied spaced.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1) For more information please contact manuni@actionpalestine.org
2) The group have set up a blog with frequent updates at: https://manunioccupation.wordpress.com/
3) Media outlets can contact katan at 07917206282 or 01612 75800

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9 Comments »

  1. Geoff Brown, secretary Manchester Trades Union Council said

    Congratulations! Solidarity with Palestine. Free Gaza. End the blockade.

  2. Well done Manchester!
    Yours in solidarity
    Sheff Hallam Free Gaza Movement and occupiers

  3. […] to the university. The following are quotes from the student group’s blog which can be found here. A facebook event can also be found here, so make sure you follow both and give them your support! […]

  4. Peace said

    excellent, really glad to see this happening.

  5. People & Planet said

    In solidarity! Congrats

  6. Z said

    Inspiring! You guys are amazing, your passion and devotion, to this worthy cause is awesome.

    Keep going! It’s a significant step, and though there are more to go, we’re going the right direction. You will change their world!

    In solidarity,
    Z

  7. Barbara Logan-Price said

    You are all crazy! How is any of this the university’s fault? You make it sound as if Manchester university has caused the whole problem. It is a problem in another continent, I dont see how it even affects the UK, and certainly not how it has anything to do with our university. Get on with your degree and let other countries solve their own problems. They are the causes of it themselves. Holding protests and giving out leaflets is not going to stop Middle Eastern governments from changing what they do. They just do what they want anyway.

  8. Jean said

    It IS the students’ business when hundreds of people are massacred, and it should be all of ours. As Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere.” International solidarity helped end apartheid in South Africa, and it is needed again now. I salute and support the Manchester students for taking a stand!

  9. […] be holding firm over their position, failing to negotiate even a single one of the students’ demands. It seems obvious that Professor Gilbert, a dedicated promoter of privatised education (with […]

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