Thursday, 12 February 2009

Students for Justice in Palestine win Hampshire College to Divestment from Israeli occupation - first ever US college to have done so

From The Climax Hampshire College's only student-run news source, published biweekly during term
On Saturday February 7, 2009 the Board of Trustees approved the proposal to divest from companies affiliated with Israel’s military actions in Palestine. The motion was set forth by the student group Students for Justice in Palestine. Hampshire is the first college in the United States to cut its financial ties to Israel’s armed forces and activities in Gaza, making the divestment a significant event in the history of the school. more

From The Stitch

Hampshire College becomes first college in U.S. to divest from Israeli Occupation!

Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, has become the first of any college or university in the U.S. to divest from companies on the grounds of their involvement in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

This landmark move is a direct result of a two-year intensive campaign by the campus group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). The group pressured Hampshire College’s Board of Trustees to divest from six specific companies due to human rights concerns in occupied Palestine. Over 800 students, professors, and alumni have signed SJP’s “institutional statement” calling for the divestment. more

Please email to schedule a phone interview.>

Victory for Goldsmiths occupation

All demands met

Goldsmiths proposals for humanitarian scholarships

Goldsmiths will establish 4 scholarships, covering the cost of taught postgraduate tuition fees, to be awarded to students who come from all and any part of the world which is affected by oppression, persecution, political or military strife such that their human right to education is denied to them.

Goldsmiths will work with its students and other interested parties to establish a charitable trust to raise funds to support the costs of these students' study - accommodation, travel and living expenses. In the early years of the charity's operation, if it cannot raise sufficient funds to cover the costs, Goldsmiths will provide funds to enable the students to study at Goldsmiths.

Two of the four scholarships will, for the ten years from 2009-10 until 2018-19, be reserved for students from Palestine. Before the 2019-20 scholarships are advertised, there will be a review, which will include asking the student body (and making its assent a necessary condition) to determine whether and for how long the reservation of 2 scholarships for Palestinian students should continue.

Goldsmiths will work with Al-Quds Open University and Birzeit University, with which we already have strong academic links, in identifying suitable candidates. The selection panel to agree the criteria for the scholarships in the first instance, and to determine who receives the scholarships on an annual basis, shall comprise a student representative chosen by the students, an academic staff representative, and a Pro-Warden.

Consequences of the occupation

It is my belief that the occupation of Deptford Town Hall has been conducted peacefully and in good order. Unless, when the occupation is over, significant damage is found to have occurred, I am happy to confirm that no action will be taken against those students who took part in the occupation.

Hugh Jones
Registrar and Secretary

12 February 2009

4:50 pm

UEA occupation steps up pressure on management with rally tomorrow

From UEA occupation blog
Rally tomorrow
To keep up the pressure on the university and to show them that we won't be intimidated by threats there is a rally planned tomorrow (Friday 13th) at midday on the steps of arts one. Please try and make it if you can to show your support for the occupation. more

And over at Goldsmiths






Cambridge academics protest to University over treatment of peaceful Law Faculty student occupation

From Cambridge occupation blog
BREAKING NEWS: Academic Letter to the Vice-Chancellor

Cambridge academics express “profound disquiet” at University’s treatment of peaceful student protestors

A group of sixty academics from Cambridge University have spoken out in dismay at the university’s handling of a peaceful protest in which more than one hundred students occupied the Law Faculty in solidarity with people suffering in the humanitarian disaster in Gaza. more

Glasgow occupation ends after management concedes to many demands - Goldsmiths in talks today

From Glasgow occupation blog
The student occupation of the University of Glasgow has finished in triumphant success. Students left the Computer Science building at approximately 9pm on Wednesday evening, after a 55-hour occupation. Earlier in the day the University principal, Sir Muir Russell, met with delegates of the occupation to engage in discussions over their demands. The negotiations were concluded by a meeting in the occupied space between the students and members of the University management. The University eventually conceded to many of the demands, and made promises to address some of the issues raised. more

UEA occupation students barricaded in - reports

From Norwich Evening News
University of East Anglia students have barricaded themselves into a building at the university campus - in protest at the situation in Gaza.

About a dozen students occupied the second floor of the arts building at the campus last night and were today refusing to leave.

The students have issued six demands they want to see met before they leave, including that the UEA sends books and old computers to the University of Gaza, twins with that university and offers scholarships to Palestinian students.

John Dixon, a second year politics, philosophy and economics student who is among those taking part in the protest, said: “We hope it will end as quickly as possible and the UEA will accept our demands.

“So far they have agreed there will be no repercussions for us and we will get to sit down and talk to the vice-chancellor, but that's not a guarantee that our demands will be met.

“As far as I am concerned this could go on for weeks. We have sleeping bags, food and water. Our main aim is to raise awareness of what has happened in Gaza.” more

Viva Palestina - two days to go for 100-strong convoy

Make a donation through PayPal now
With over 100 vehicles and £1million in aid the Viva Palestina convoy has met with an overwhelming response. But we still need more money to buy extra reconstruction aid in Egypt to carry into Gaza. Could you help us to raise a further £50,000 before the convoy reaches Egypt?

A message from George Galloway MP

"The time for talking is over and the time for action is now. The Viva Palestina convoy has struck a chord with thousands who wish to express their solidarity with the people of Gaza. But we need more money to purchase the aid so desparately needed by a people living under seige."

"Please give generously. Donations to the Convoy can be made online via Paypal using a debit or credit card by clicking on the button below. Our friends at North Manchester Against Wars have kindly agreed to help process these payments and you can guaranteed that every penny we receive via this site will be used to the benefit of our brothers and sisters in Gaza.

UEA authorities try to stop free movement and free speech at Gaza occupation - protest

Protest and tell the Vice Chancellor Professor Bill MacMillan you support the occupation

+44 (0)1603 592206


From UEA occupation blog
The University is taking an odd attitude towards the protest, threat have been made against those distributing our leaflets which we strongly condemn as being a violation of our right of freedom of speech. They are also attempting to prevent students from entering the occupation, again violating rights of freedom of association and protest. There has however been talk of some progress in our demands.

Anyone who can, please come down to the occupation to voice your protest over this treatment which we deem to be massively hypocritical for an institution which claims to stand for critical thinking and freedom.

We've also been told that the Union is likely to pass a motion allowing food into the building which is good news.

There have also been visits by sympathetic academics and there are currently two police officers outside the doors.

No pics from the occupation available yet

Protesters target Carmel Agrexco's U.K headquarters as Israel indulges in some cynical Valentine's Day PR

Israel, in a cynical PR stunt, is allowing Gaza to export roses to European markets for Valentine's Day celebrations. But they still won't let in heavy lifting equipment so that recovery and reconstruction can begin, let alone food, clean water, oil and other bare necessities.But campaigners have been out this week in force targeting state-owned Carmel Agrexco. It exports millions of flowers to Europe every year and Valentine's Day accounts for a big part of that trade.

From Innovative Minds
11 February 2008

From around 3pm today Palestine solidarity demonstrators have been blockading Carmel Agrexco's U.K headquarters in Swallowfield Way, Hayes, Middlesex to highlight the company’s human rights record in occupied Palestine.

Protesters were met with violent assaults by Agrexco security guards who smashed a video camera.

Two protesters are currently under detained by police under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act

A group of demonstrators have locked to the gates (used arm tubes and super glue) to prevent lorries from high street companies such as Sainsbury's and Tesco's from entering the premises to load up on flowers and vegetables grown in occupied Palestine. Carmel is the largest importer of fruit, vegetables and flowers from the West Bank, Palestine. It is believed that they are in breach of the International Criminal Court Act 2001.

For more on the campaign against the import of Valentines' Day flowers from Israel and Israeli settlements in the occupied territories go to:
Boycott Israeli Goods campaign

University of East Anglia student occupation for Gaza of Arts Building - EGM tomorrow
From last night
Quick update for the night: Relations with security have taken a much more positive twist with previously hostile members leaving and new staff arriving and discussing things with the students. The University have been in contact with the occupants and some small scale negotiations have started.

Also, just to clarify on a previous point, the union has not yet voted on the occupation (this will happen tomorrow) but are currently obliged to support student protest. Whether they support us or not as a specific action will be decided tomorrow.

Today latest news
There will be a read in and discussion throughout the day and anyone who wants to come along is welcome. Also, the uni has made a very weak offer, in exchange for ending the occupation they will grant three of the students a one hour meeting with the vice chancellor. This has been unanimously rejected twice. The reason being that by giving up the occupation we lose all potential leverage and have no doubt that the vice chancellor would quickly dismiss all our demands. Thankyou for all the support so far, it is very much appreciated.

Demands will be posted at the UEA occupation blog shortly