Reply to Gilbert

Today our Vice Chancellor Alan Gilbert sent us a letter reiterating his and the university’s position on our occupation. We have discussed what he sent us and offer the following reply.

Dear Alan Gilbert,

We wish initially to thank you for opening dialogue with us concerning our demands and the occupation. We are pleased that you recognise our right to protest, and the importance of “the potency of truth” to the University of Manchester. We also appreciate your acknowledgement of our right to express our views and opinions, ”without fear or favour”. We would like to note that our protest has been in line with these principles, and has remained peaceful, allowing “students, staff and visitors to go about their business safely, unimpeded and free from harassment”.

We are, however, consistent in our own position regarding our demands. We would especially like to express our desire to ensure the University promises there will be no repercussions for any students involved in the protest, and that we are allowed free access to our occupied space.

We wish to reiterate that we do not intend to end our occupation until our demands are met by yourself and the University; this will ensure that “the University’s ability to conduct its normal business is not unduly disrupted over an extended period”.

We recognise your position but reaffirm our belief that there are a number of constructive ways to address your reservations. Numerous universities have responded as such to similar engagements, and there is no reason why this should not be the case at the University of Manchester.

We continue to extend our invitation for you to discuss the situation and directly address our demands. Our space is a diverse, inclusive, and tolerant one, and we would like to invite you to talk with us as you did last week.

Yours sincerely,
The Occupiers

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