Nottingham Occupation Forcefully Removed

Roughly half an hour ago, Steven Dudderidge, director of student operations and support, and Professor David Riley, pro-Vice Chancellor in charge of student experience, entered B62 and re-iterated their early statement, adding that if we did not leave with two minutes then security would enter and remove us. No prior warning was given that this ejection would occur.

After this time had elapsed, since the University had decided not to even enter into negotiations with our occupation, the occupiers decided to sit down along the back of the lecture hall between the seats. Nine or so security guards entered the room and proceeded to remove the protesters forcefully from the floor and out of the building, grabbing protesters and manhandling them. Photographic equipment and recording devices were confiscated. Protesters believe that a number of injuries may have occurred during this process.

No one is now permitted to regain access to the building. In addition, the University authorities are currently refusing to return any items that remain in the room.

15 responses to “Nottingham Occupation Forcefully Removed

  1. The callousness and heavy-handedness with which the University authorities have responded to both the crisis in Gaza and your occupation is disgusting.

    I visited your occupation yesterday and was inspired by the organisation, the unity, and the sincerity of those taking part. Maintain this momentum and you can achieve great things for those suffering in Palestine.

    Informal solidarity from a member of Cambridge Gaza Solidarity.

  2. Don’t let the b*stards grind you down.

  3. Dismayed to hear of this development, urgent discussion will take place tonight down here. Solidarity from Cambridge.

  4. They are going to have to reopen on Monday… Opportunities to keep it going. Please don’t let this be the end…

  5. What a bunch of Kn*bheads!!

    I cannot believe that the University of Nottingham would stoop so low. The University will lose it’s credibility as a respectible and successful University. They don’t care about educating students, if they did they would celebrate the fact that they have intelligent students who want to learn but also make a difference to those who are less fortuneate (understatement).

    They should be ashamed of themselves. I hate the university of Nottingham……

  6. To be honest, what did you expect to happen. I’m probably going to be hated for saying this, but you were disrupting people’s education. People pay tuition fees to go here and you were taking away valuable facilities. I know that you say that you didn’t mean to disrupt anyone’s education but with 100 people in there, how did you expect lectures to carry on as normal? There would not be enough space for a start…

    The University was probably never going to meet your demands. They have Israeli students attending too, and so it seems necessary to stay neutral with so many conflicting interests.

    I respect that you feel as passionately about something like this to take action, but I don’t think that you went about it the right way.

  7. this is alarming news. peaceful protest, as we’ve seen from some of the other occupations, seems to get university authorities particularly riled.

  8. Dear Anon,

    Those who occupied the room offered to vacate it for lectures, and it was the university who rejected this. lecturers and students alike have come down to verify this themselves.

    With regard to neutrality, the university has long compromised this by their initial publication of the podcast on the portal which is widely viewed as highly biased and partisan, justifying the behaviour of Israel despite its contravention of international law.

    I hope this clarifies

  9. Eamon Collins

    As somebody who studied human rights at Nottingham university I am disgusted at what has happened. I have attempted to register a complaint with the university but have been told that I should talk with TIM UTTON who is not in yet. I have asked that he call me back today to explain the reasons why private security guards and allowed to even touch a private citizen. Tim Utton’s number is 0115 8468092.

    I would suggest registering a complaint with Nottingham Police and for anyone injured or assaulted to contact a solicitor.

    I do not see why other occupations are not possible at the university. Will teh police be called each time?

  10. I was so angry to hear about what happened to you guys. I was part of the Cambridge occupation, at one point we thought we might be forcibly removed and we started practising non-violent resistance techniques, but thankfully it never happened.
    I hope you are busy checking out the legality of the Uni’s actions. It’s sad to see your own Uni revealed to be so brutally intransigent (I feel the similarly about Cambridge).
    I am sure you will keep the campaign going beyone the occupation. Your university might not help, but there is a growing movement of students from all over the country who want to help Gaza.

    Yours in solidarity

  11. Occupant of B62

    Dear Friends,

    Since the occupation has now been forcibly ended, I would now like to take some time to express my thoughts about the experience. I joined the occupation on Friday afternoon, and honestly was a little sceptical about its demands and aims. I sat listening to people discussing issues, both about the process of the occupation and negotiations with the University, always relating this to their highest concern; the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

    As my confidence in the situation grew, I became more able to express my initial concerns both in general meetings and smaller groups. I learnt that the protest was an ongoing dynamic process, and therefore my contributions were appreciated and I could help shape the form of the occupation. The atmosphere was friendly, productive, mutually supportive and fun. It gave everybody in the room the chance to express their feelings about the University’s role and responsibility in Israel’s onslaught on Gaza. I came to this space with a limited knowledge of the situation but motivated by the humanitarian crisis, and I found that this space provided an open forum for debate and discussion which greatly improved my understanding. This greater understanding has only served to increase my passion to help the people of Gaza.

    There was a diverse range of political opinions in the room, and we used consensus decision making to act collectively to further our aims and support. However, this did not prohibit individuals from holding their own opinions about the conflict. The group was motivated by solidarity and revulsion of the conditions of the people of Gaza, and in the hope that the University would act in such a way that would alleviate the suffering of these people.

    Since our demands have not been met, the most positive thing I have gained from this experience is the opportunity to engage with others in a lively and impassioned way about the issues that are shaping our world. In fact, on coming to University, this situation is exactly what I expected from a seminar. And more than just discussing these issues, I felt as though I was part of something which could positively affect people in the world. The space itself was one in which everybody was willing to help each other out, whether it was by providing food, music, support or sharing resources. It is a shame that the University could not recognise the positive learning environment we had created, and stopped the occupation of B62. I think we now know where the University stand on education and academic freedom.

    Thank you to everyone who helped to create this space and experience, and I have no doubt that these expressions of solidarity and hope will continue unabated.

  12. Lizzy Pritchard

    Interesting that you claim that “no prior warning was given that this ejection would occur” as you just stated that the University authorities “re-iterated their early statement”; hence you had a clear warning to leave the premises which you illegally occupied in the first place.

    I would like to add that your views do not represent the entirity of the student body at Nottingham and although I support freedom of speech I do not think you should enforce your own views onto your peers.

    Thank you

    Our Comment: Thank you for your comment Lizzy. This occupation was never advised by the University Management as to the legality of the occupation. If you read the intial statement from Steven Dudderidge, which was reiterated prior to the ejection, the precise threat was that the actions of those remaining in the room would be “subject to active consideration” under internal University regulations. The legality of this protest with regard to the laws of the land was never mentioned or established by the University Management. “no prior warning was given that this ejection would occur” refers to the fact that the possibility of forceful ejection was not mentioned in the first statement on Friday (or at any other time).

  13. I hope someone one day kicks out the Vice Chancellor from his house into a freezing cold street, I hope he gets a taste of what he did!! He also seems to be a bit of a Nazi for what he did on Sunday night, and we should never forget that.

  14. As you moderate comments prior to publication(and provide responses where you disagree), I assume you are happy with the comment above from existentX, in which the word ‘Nazi’ is used to describe the VC. You may disagree with the university’s actions, but to describe anything that they did as in any way akin to the Nazis is deeply offensive. You are quite happy to edit other responses. Why have you not edited that one? Or does it show your true colours?

    Response: We do not believe that the VC is a Nazi and have never described him as one. We endeavor to respond to comments that are criticisms of us or our actions. Some of the actions taken by the university management were very authoritarian and police-state-like, such as the short notice and night-time nature of the eviction, closing curtains in B62 to prevent protesters from seeing what was happening to their possessions, denying media access to the campus during the eviction, refusing reasonable dialogue and insisting on production of ID cards.

  15. Thank you for your response to my comment, but it doesn’t stack up.

    To take the first part of your response: to claim that you only *respond* to criticisms of you or your actions may be fair enough. But you also moderate comments, and would presumably simply delete those that you considered offensive. Were someone to post racist language, you would not allow it through. Yet you have moderated, and then allowed (and twice — since it appears on two threads), a comment in which the VC is compared to a Nazi. This is a deeply offensive comparison, both to the VC (who can handle himself, I assume) and to the real victims of the Nazis, by belittling their suffering in this way.

    Perhaps you should be less concerned about our comment moderation policy and more concerned about the fact the University of Nottingham is the only university in the wave of occupations to use force against its own students, and is among the only to not negotiate with an occupation at all – the vast majority of universities have been involved in open and productive dialogue with occupations, this includes Oxford, Sussex, LSE and many others.

    You make the same mistake in the second part of your response. To describe what happened to you as ‘very authoritarian and police-state-like’ shows that you have no grasp at all of what life is like in authoritarian police states. Again, to make such a comparison is to belittle examples of real suffering.

    What belittles examples of real suffering is not someone making a hyperbolic comparison, but bothering to endlessly debate this one comment rather than concentrating on the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

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