After 31 days, 2 Emergency General Meetings, support from academics, students and trade unions from across the globe, as part of over 30 occupations in the U.K, students scaling the gates and blockading the Board of Directors car park; with guest speakers, workshops and film nights; after resolute defiance to countless threats from the University administration, students and activists from the University of Manchester can declare they are entering into negotiations on their terms with the Vice-Chancellor!
The decision was made from the group that leaving today was going to leave them in a position of strength. The fact the Vice-Chancellor did not issue an ultimatum time demonstrates it was the students calling the shots.
In addition to this, the lecturers of the University, who have provided substantial support to the occupation, have indicated things are looking optimistic for negotiations which will commence on Monday. The Vice-Chancellor will meet with some members of the student union of the executive and representatives from the occupation. But the entire dynamic of the negotiations favours the students. With Alan Gilbert fully aware of how quickly the students can mobilise and are not afraid to take direct action.
The battle is by no means won but by ending on such a strong position, with the threat of the hundreds if not thousands of students who are able to mobilise quickly, Gilbert is in a vulnerable position.