The Guardian Newspaper reported today (Monday 2nd Feb) on the violent eviction of the peaceful student protesters conducted by Nottingham University Authorities. The article can be read in full here. An extract:
One student involved, who asked not to be named for fear of disciplinary action, said: “The protest was very peaceful and we said there would be no disruption to lectures taking place. But officials decided to cancel all lectures without consulting anyone.”
University managers closed the building and switched off the power supply over the weekend, before forcibly evicting students on Sunday evening.
The student claimed that some protesters had been injured as they were forcibly removed.
All the occupiers agree that at this point it is important to highlight the reasons for this peaceful occupation in solidarity with the people of Gaza and recall the extent of the humanitiarian crisis there. Our intentions during the occupation were to highlight the suffering of the people in Gaza, and, since we are a University, in particular the destruction of educational opportunities there.
Please donate as much as you can either to either Disasters Emergency Commitee or Medical Aid For Palestinian. Throughout the occupation we have been collecting for these organisations and the total will be calculated shortly.
Hospitals report that over 1,350 Palestinians have been killed and over 5,550 are injured. Large numbers of civilians are reported among the dead, and the World Health Organisation estimates that at least 412 children and 95 women have been killed.
Medical Aid For Palestinians
For people living in Gaza, the fighting came on top of nineteen months of blockade which rendered many people unemployed and unable to meet the needs of their families. Now, tens of thousands of people face homelessness, their homes having been damaged or destroyed by the recent fighting.
Video from last night’s forcible eviction in now online.
Although so much of our protest has been documented on video, this short clip taken on a cameraphone is almost the only footage we have of the eviction due to Security’s confiscation of our video and photo equipment during their operation.
University management watch as security drag students out of lecture theatre
We the protesters feel that the University has used disproportionate force to break and suppress a legitimate protest. If you feel the same, we urge you to make your voice heard.
After the events of last night we have received a huge number of comments and emails of support for our actions, and an equal number expressing shock and outrage at the behaviour of the university authorities. For the many people that have asked how they can make their feelings known to university management, information is now here.
After the forceful eviction of the peaceful protesters. The situation is getting more and more sinister.
1) The Security officials are refusing to take statements from the students have been assaulted/injured during their removal.
2)The Media have been barred from campus in a clear attempt to stop the story getting out.
3) Students have been kept outside in the snow and prevented from retrieving their property (including their Jackets). Security have said they will eventually have them upon identification via student cards but since many haven’t got their cards on them they’ve been forced to stand in the cold in tshirts.
4) The police have refused to take statements from those students who have been injured/assaulted on removal. This is a clear breach of their duty of care. Local MPs have been informed of the fact.
5) Police have refused to facilitate the process of students identifying those security officers who have assaulted them.
6) Names and id’s taken of those present, in a clear attempt at intimidation.
Once again, the University of Nottingham distinguishes itself by acting in the most repressive and disgraceful manner against what was a very peaceful, very civil expression of dissent. This is yet another example of the University Authorities trying to enforce a homogeneous culture of apathy and consent across the student body. Students who engage with the realities of this world are seen as a threat to the University’s PR image of enforced servility parading as stability.
The protest has not disrupted any lectures. The room was available for lectures at all times and many lecturers and students verified the fact themselves. The University is to blame for any disruption as they are the ones who cancelled the lectures without consulting the students or the lecturers. As seen in previous episodes such as the AUT graylisting and the Freedom of Speech protests, it is obvious the views and opinions of staff and students mean nothing to the authorities of this institution.
We have just been informed that members of the Media trying to cover the disgraceful eviction have been denied access to the Campus. This is a blatant attempt by the University Authorities to keep their actions (including the assault of peacefully-protesting students) out of the limelight. You can contact the University switchboard to complain at 0115 951 51 51.
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.