I’m e-mailing live from the occupation!
Strathclyde University has been occupied, following a demonstration of about
eighty students. The demonstration went around campus before taking the
decision to occupy the finance office in one of the main parts of the University.
Security was initially very heavy handed and there were a few scuffles as this
proceeded but things have now calmed down. The students and security have come
to an amicable arrangement, whilst negotiations have begun with the Principal.
The demands of the occupation are:
-No repercussions for the occupiers.
-Fifty scholarships for Palestinian students.
-An end to the contract with Eden Springs water company. This water comes from
the Golan Heights, which is territory illegally occupied by the Israelis.
-An end to the involvement of BAE systems funding for the university. BAE are a
private company, and a weapons manufacturer at that, who have sold millions of
pounds worth of destructive machinery to the Israeli military. This has been
used to rain destruction on the people of Gaza.
So far the students have been in good spirits. There has been support from
local businesses, which have donated and provided discounts on food. The media
has also been contacted and the occupation is due to receive coverage on
Scottish television news as well as local radio.
It is quite clear from what I can see that this occupation is on a left wing
footing, with most of the participants actively identifying as socialists and
many as Marxists. The demands I think are somewhat less mild than most of the
other occupations. The BAE demand has also been linked in with the question of
the need for public funding for education.
Now there is a demonstration at Glasgow University, where I study, and which is
also subsidised by BAE. Although it’s started late the move towards occupations
in Scotland seem to have started in earnest!