Friday, 27 February 2009

Byam Shaw occupation wins with charter for Art

In the wake of the wave of occupations for Gaza, Byam Shaw Art College occupiers win their demands. More soon at the Byam Shaw People's University blog
The Charter
1. Workshops

The University will make every effort to find staff to enable a return to 5 day access; the Digital Workshop will be opened 5 days a week from 10am till 5pm and cover will be found to enable access to the Printmaking workshop on Mondays in addition to its current opening. This is to be implemented by 20th April 2009.

2. 2 Elthorne Road

Studio opening times will be reviewed to provide appropriate equitable access.

In practice this means 9am - 8pm on Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs and 9am - 6pm Friday.

On occasions when ‘Byam Bar’ takes place on a Thursday in 2 Elthorne Road, and all BA Fine Art students attend, Elthorne Studios will close by 6pm. This is to be implemented by 20th April 2009.

3. Communication between CSM and Students at Byam Shaw

Better communication at College and local level will be provided. The Head of College will attend an all student meeting before the 20th March 2009 to discuss the ‘vision’ for the future and explain the overall budget and the budget setting process.

4. Revalidation of courses

Byam Shaw Alumni and Student Representatives will be involved in the revalidation consultation of the BA Fine Art course from this point onwards. At University-wide level, at the summer term meeting of the Arts London Academic Standards and Development Committee (ASDC) decisions will be taken with input from the Students’ Union and their Representatives on the best way to extend students’ opportunities to participate in the development of courses and their documents in a timely fashion – through informal discussion and formal structures for course development.

5. Changes in course provision from handbook materials

The University will introduce an earlier cycle of budget building and dissemination to Colleges and Courses, with the target that this year, budget transmission to CSM (and other Colleges) will take place 2-3 weeks earlier in spring/summer 2009 than in past years. This will enable any proposed changes in course resourcing to be considered well before implementation by the appropriate committees, with student representatives present and able to respond with their views and input to decisions. The Students’ Union will channel any complaints from Representatives who do not feel properly engaged in this process directly to senior staff at the University, who will commit to acting swiftly to rebalance the debates at course level.

6. The provision of cleaning and estates services at Byam Shaw

The University of the Arts London/Central Saint Martins will ensure students receive outstanding payment for cleaning services as soon as possible (based on students’ submission of information to the Principal of Byam Shaw), this is to be finalised by 20th March 2009.

The University will provide, by the 20th March 2009, any and all information available on the costs of Byam Shaw maintenance and cleaning before and after ring-fencing.

Student Representatives’ feedback and involvement will be prioritised, and influence the final decision in the estates in-house model evaluation process which is due by April 2009. The return to an in-house facilities model. will not be excluded from the possible future provision at Byam Shaw.

The opportunities for students to work within the University of the Arts London, including Byam Shaw students involvement with any cleaning contractor will be championed.

7. Shortfall in tutorial hours for existing Byam Shaw students

Based on a suggested stimulus ‘package’ to be assembled by the Byam Shaw Student Representatives in the following days, the University will provide support in terms of contact hours leading up to degree shows as a compromise/injection to cope with cuts in teaching budget and hours. This ‘package’ will be assembled and agreed between the school principal and the group, its financial elements confirmed before 20th March 2009, and will not have to be refunded at a later date.

8. Ensuring the strength of the Student Voice/Student Representatives

The Students’ Union in partnership with the University will pilot a project in the academic year 2009/2010 working on increasing participation and democratic management of its committees. The resources for this will be built into the University’s 2009/10 funding arrangement for the SU and a project which Arts London Deans are also mounting in this area, and any pre-agreed expenses incurred by the SU in progressing this project will be separately funded. The emphasis will be on moving towards the scenario of providing Student Representatives with the equivalent of a “vote, but not a veto”.

9. Senior Staff and high level finance for the University

The Students’ Union will analyse financial data publicly available on senior management pay – as published in the University’s Annual Accounts – and will consider its wider relevance. If there is difficulty in interpreting this data, the University’s Finance Department will be available to provide officers of the SU with appropriate support and guidance.

10. “Byam Shaw School of Art”

Throughout the revalidation process, maintaining the distinctiveness of Fine Art provision at Byam Shaw will be fully addressed. The name of the “Byam Shaw School of Art” and the association of the School name with relevant courses here, the site in Archway and its characteristic student population, a range of programmes in Fine Art, the leading role that practicing staff play, the workshops and other learning facilities offering students continued engagement, are key characteristics that all contribute to the identity of Byam Shaw School of Art, which will continue to be core provision of courses here. The results of the revalidation process will reinforce the future direction of fine art education within Byam Shaw School of Art.

11. Student Representation

In line with the Students’ Union Governance review, local Byam Shaw representative elections will be held as soon as possible, and the input of the representatives formally recognised by the Students’ Union structures.

The results of the revalidation processes should ensure the distinct provision of Fine Art at Byam Shaw, including the maintenance of the main Byam Shaw School of Art, the site at Archway and its Fine Art community.


Alister Warman, Principal of Byam Shaw School of Art

Will Bridge, Deputy Rector, On Behalf of the University of the Arts London

Jane Rapley, Head of College, CSM, On behalf of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design

Kit Friend, Campaigns & Communication, Officer On behalf of the Students’ Union of the University of the Arts London

Tarek Salhany & Laura Lenander, Elected Representatives of the Occupation, On behalf of the Students of Byam Shaw

Convoy driver speaks out over Tunisia arrests

It appears the Tunisian police were caught off guard by the local support the convoy received and being in the habit of making journalists and human rights workers 'disappear' thought they might they try the same trick with the convoy.

The powers higher up in Tunisia had the good sense to realise that they risked creating not only a massive diplomatic incident but of enraging their own population.

According to the Viva Palestina website the government was organising a support rally and further assistance to the convoy as it moves on to cross the Libyan border. But Greg Cullen, a convoy driver told Wales Online that the rally was cancelled and the convoy is being prevented from interacting with the population.

Visit Greg's blog

From Wales Online
A TRUCK driver taking aid to Gaza has been subjected to a frightening arrest ordeal as his convoy passed through Tunisia.

Greg Cullen, 54, of Cardiff, said he was stopped and ordered to remain in the cab of his vehicle for 10 hours after police became concerned about his team’s rapturous public reception.

The playwright and former creative director for the National Youth Theatre of Wales, who lives in Cathays, is helping to drive a seven-tonne truck to Gaza as part of an aid convoy of more than 100 vehicles, called Viva Palestina.

Speaking to the Echo from North Africa yesterday, he said: “We’ve been arrested in the last 24 hours but we’re moving again now. We’ve had incredibly supportive receptions wherever we’ve been, but in Tunisia the number of people on the streets supporting us was much greater.

The police seemed to think the convoy was tapping a nerve within people and it’s caused us a huge amount of problems.

“We are now under heavily armed police escort. We’re not allowed to stop or talk to anyone, they’re just driving us to the Libyan border...

“Tunisia is a country where lots of British people go on holiday but for us it’s been the most frightening place so far.”

Viva Palestina Tunisian arrests update

Confusion still surrounds the reported detention of seven convoy members in Tunisia. According to the Viva Palestina website all is now well. Two vehicles had become 'detached' from the convoy and 'the two women and the men who were also in the two vehicles are now in Libya'. Muslim News concurs, reporting on Thursday that the convoy volunteers are now safe and in Libya.

Muslim News also points out that the convoy organisers have not lodged a protest with the Tunisian authorities which fits with the statement on the Viva Palestina website: 'we hope that this incident has now been resolved...that the convoy would like to stay out of any local politics and just highlight the plight of the Palestinian people'.

On Thursday the British Foreign Office told Muslim News they did not know about the incident but later confirmed with Gaza Solidarity that seven British citizens were being detained and consular assistance was being provided.

The Tunisian Embassy today denied that there had been any arrests. The spokesman said some vehicles had got lost and everything was okay now. The Foreign Office was still trying to establish with the British Consulate in Tunisia exactly what had taken place in the incident.

Mahnaz Bahaji, 53, one of the detained sent a text message to Ahmed Versi, the editor of The Muslim News, at the time of the incident, triggering the subsequent alarm. It read: “We have been kidnapped by the police. We don’t know where we are going. Pray for us please.” Thankfully it now appears that they have now been released along with the men who were traveling with them.

UAL ends occupation after rector's statement

From UAL occupation blog
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 and Israel to be of fundamental importance".

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.

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

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.

Cardiff occupiers win - university divests from BAe

From the Cardiff uni occupation blog
Cardiff Students Against War is ENDING OUR OCCUPATION of the Large Shandon lecture theatre, Cardiff University Main Building! We're about to leave, march around campus to declare our victory, and make our continued presence known to the university community. Banners and megaphones, BOOKS not BOMBS!

Following the open letter to Vice Chancellor David Grant, the BOOKS not BOMBS demonstration outside the Student Union and the subsequent occupation of the Large Shandon, Cardiff University has divested all shares from BAe Systems and the aerospace arm of General Electric! They have instructed their external fund managers to avoid future investments in the arms trade, and have promised to raise the issue of an ethical investment policy at the next Council Meeting on May 18th. They are also willing to discuss the provision of surplus computers and resources to institutions in Gaza.

European initiative to recognise Hamas launched

From PIC
PARIS, (PIC)-- A group of French anti-racism activists have started a campaign to collect signatures demanding the European Union to immediately recognize Hamas Movement as a legitimate Movement, and to remove it from the EU list of terrorist organizations.

According to the activists, Hamas was duly and democratically elected by the Palestinian people in transparent and honest elections in 2006, and thus, they added, the international community must respect the democratic choice of the Palestinian people.

The campaign, the organizers explained, was targeting candidates of the next EU parliament who would contest the elections in June this year.

High-profile International and European personalities, including Franswa Hotarat, professor emeritus from the Catholic Lovan University, and the Irish Noble Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire among other famous figures across Europe have put their signature to the campaign that also bore hundreds of signatures from different European countries, including Germany, Belgium, Austria, Spain, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Romania, UK, Sweden, USA, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, South Africa, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, and Libya.

Article doesn't include link to camapaign but will post a soon as we get it.

here it is :