Whilst a large general meeting was taking place, two men (complete with security, and a roaming police van outside) walked in and read the statement below. They then proceeded to cut off all power to the lecture theatre except for the lights.
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“I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Steven Dudderidge. I am the director of student operations and support, and with me this evening is Professor David Reilly, the Pro Vice Chancellor of the student experience and a member of the University management board. We’re here this evening as representatives of the university management to ask formally that this occupation be brought to an immediate end and everyone leaves the room.
If this occupation is brought to an end now, senior management of the university will convene a meeting with the full range of relevant campus societies to promote dialogue around the issue of the Middle East and the recent conflict in Gaza. No dialogue will take place whilst this room is occupied.
I would like to remind you that the university has always facilitated and supported the rights of students to protest peacefully on issue they feel strongly about. Students deserve to have their views heard providing that this does not impinge on academic freedom or the freedom of fellow students to further their own learning. This occupation is clearly in breach of those principles and has caused considerable disruption to the experience of students, staff and the wider harmony of the campus.
The conduct of anyone who does not leave this room will from this point onwards be subject to active consideration under university regulations and our codes of discipline. I have to state that disciplinary action will be taken where appropriate. As is routine, the university will be closing this building for the weekend. I specifically ask that anyone who is not a registered student of the university or a current member of university staff leaves the room and premises immediately in order for the university to comply with its health and safety obligations.
Thank you very much for listening.”