Thursday, 19 March 2009

Negotiations Proposals

The Students Union sabbatical officers met with the Vice Chancellor this morning and a suggestion was agreed upon to enter into negotiations with all those involved (eg. the Palestinian Solidarity society, Islamic Circle, the occupiers, etc.).

The Occupiers voted on the following response:

Professor Burnett –

We welcome your suggestion of negotiations and are fully committed to open negotiations between the University management and all parties involved. We believe that the best way to facilitate these negotiations would be to hold them in Lecture Theatre 7 in the Hicks Building (which has not been directly occupied) and allow any and all students who support the demands raised (including members of Sheffield Students Against Israel’s Attack on Gaza, all members of the occupation and any members of other supporting organisations) to participate in negotiations.

We feel this model is in the best interests of democracy and openness.

We look forward to your response –

The Occupation


  1. what the hell? The university said it was getting an injunction and now it is caving in??

  2. March 2009 at 12:58

    The university isn't caving in at all, surely a much more sensible approach is to enter into peaceful negotiations with the occupiers, afterall the occupation has been exclusive peaceful.

    Why use force against people who's only intention is to help out the people of Palestine who have suffered immeasurably.

    God luck with the negotiations guys =)

  3. "and any members of other supporting organisations" - which others? You mean non-students?

  4. Well done to everyone involved - hopefully this means a sensible and honest debate will begin on campus about the illegal occupation of Palestine and the recent massacre of 1400 people in Gaza, 400 of whom were children and many incinerated by white phospherous. All with support of the UK government and with the aid of British supplied arms. Given that other avenues are not readily available (like university courses and open debate in the UK media), it seems right to force the discussion into the open. Yes, a couple of lectures were cancelled and yes it might have caused some minor inconveniences, but given the scale of the human rights catastrophe in the occupied territories, the victims of Israel's last assault on Gaza at least deserve some of our attention, even if it involves some minor disruption to those all important lectures. Had those 1400 people killed been Westerners, I doubt opposition (among students and university management) to forcing this debate into the open would have been so unashamedly vocal. And given that most of us are completely ignorant about the occupation of Palestine, it's a positive development that these issues are brought into the public arena. Please keep up your work.

  5. what about the illegal occupation of the lecture theatre

  6. I thought that half of the 1400 dead Palestinians were Hamas members???

  7. "what about the illegal occupation of the lecture theatre"

    why dont you go an occupy another lecture theatre? apparently the university now listens to who shouts loudest.

  8. Could you tell me why Hamas bombed Israelis 2 days after the end of Israel offensive???

    Does anyone in Palestine controls organization such as Hamas???

    There is democratically elected government of Palestine but as far as I know it has no influence on Hamas...

  9. Hamas IS the democratically elected government u dumbass

  10. Over a third of the dead were children. Overwhelmingly the vicitms were civilians - not my opinion, but the observations of Israeli, US and British Human Rights organisations. I think you're stretching it more than a little to compare the occupation of a lecture theatre to the illegal occupation of and ehtnic cleansing of Palestine for the last sixty years. Again, not my opinion about it being illegal but that of the World Court, interpreting international law. About the ethnic cleansing, even the most mainstream and prominent Israeli historians agree on that (Benny Morris, Shlomo Ben Ami, Avi Shlaim). So, to reiterate, given that 1400 people were massacred, that Israel (not Hamas) broke the ceasefire on Novermber 4 after six months without conflict, it doesn't seem too much of a problem to occupy a lecture theatre in order to create a debate about the issue which has unfortunately been sidelined for too long.

  11. so you are saying that Israel killed 1400 civilians and Hamas is pacifistic organization that seeks the peace... or maybe there is no Hamas at all.

    All I am saying that if someone is bombing you citizens from some foreign territories and democratically elected government of that territory allows this kind of actions to continue you can defend your own people.

    We all know that members of Hamas are Muslim extremists they don't seek peace.

    With Muslim extremists it is either their way or a highway !!!

  12. Richard Allison19 March 2009 at 13:52

    Bad form The University of Sheffield...

    This only sends out the message that any crack-pot with an over-inflated ego can occupy a lecture theatre and make demands.

    Any body up for long weekends? I propose an occupation to demand an end to lectures on a Friday.

    Hmm... Sandwiches are a bit expensive, i suggest that we occpy a room and demand free food paid for by the VC.


  13. Excellent news, hopefully this will provide the impetus to send Sheffield on the shining path to enlightenment. I whole heartedly support your efforts, yours Abimael Guzmán

  14. "This only sends out the message that any crack-pot with an over-inflated ego can occupy a lecture theatre and make demands."


    They should have just locked the lecture theatre doors, cut the power (to stop them using e.g. this blog for communication with the outside world) and told them to let security know when they were ready to go home.

    Isnt the hicks the physics department? Probably they could even have got them to knock up something to block out mobile signals.

  15. Ah, democratic negotiations at last

    So long as they're as democratic as the vote of the Students Union executive, I'm sure everyone will be happy...


  16. "We believe that the best way to facilitate these negotiations would be to hold them in Lecture Theatre 7 in the Hicks Building (which has not been directly occupied) and allow any and all students who support the demands raised"

    What about the ones who don't support it?

    Are they not invited?

    If not, how can you honestly say that "this model is in the best interests of democracy and openness"

    Students are being repressed!

  17. I am quite disappointed by this.

  18. No, I wasn't saying they're a pacifist organisation, but Hamas is the democratically elected government of Palestine. They have returned rocket fire as Gaza was attacked by Israel. I imagine any government of any country would do the same were it attacked - except that Hamas has in comparison to Israel (the world's 4th largest military power) a tiny arsenal and can barely defend the territories from continuous attack. Do you seriously think that all vicitms of the attack were Muslim extremists? Were the children incinerated also Muslim extremists and therefore deserving of such a fate?

    Remember that Israel broke the ceasefire on November 4, not the other way round, as was suggested in the media. Indeed, the government in the occupied territories had stuck to the ceasefire from its outset 6 months previously until attacked once more by Israel. 1400 Palestinians killed to 14 Israelis in the last assault. That's 100 Palestinians for every Israeli. 6 of those 14 were killed by Israeli 'friendly fire'. In the five years prior to this, no Israelis were killed by rockets. All I'm saying is, if you want a clear picture of what's happening, you have to look beyond the BBC. If you do so - maybe look at the Human Rights reports by the Israeli Betselem or AI or Human Rights Watch, it's truly horrifying. Or you can read some of the history. It's quite illuminating.

    Alternatively, you can choose to ignore the facts, choose to ignore the well-documented history and make banal and racist comments about Muslims. That's your choice.

  19. That's a perfect example of the violence inherent in the system

  20. Hamas' military wing is a joke. Does anyone believe firing rockets randomly into a neighbouring territory is a sound military tactic?

    If they were serious they'd be targeting specific military installations within Israel, but instead they just aim for the nearest house with one of their rockets. I find it hard to take them seriously as long as they continue this.

  21. "Alternatively, you can choose to ignore the facts, choose to ignore the well-documented history and make banal and racist comments about Muslims. That's your choice."

    Banal and racist??? Maybe it is banal but it is not racist. It is just a truth.

    Muslim extremists live in a world where human life is less worth than religion or an ill-defined family honour...

  22. Yes, a great number of extremists (and not just Muslims) "live in a world where human life" is worthless. What I see is that if Israel continues its onslaught of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, more people will suffer and die. Whether those people are Israelis or Palestinians or anyone else, it's a situation that is untenable and is being exacerbated by the actions of the Israeli state. So do you think Palestinian lives are worthless? I asked you if you thought it was OK to kill 1400 people, 400 of whom were children. Frankly, I don't care whether they were Muslims or not, they're people. And I don't think they should be killed, regardless of racial or religious background.

    You dismiss that and seem to think it unimportant. I wonder if you'd feel the same had the victims been British? I wouldn't. Thus, if you distinguish between worthy and unworthy victims on the grounds of nationality, religion or race then that makes you a racist because it's claim that says this groups of people is more important than another. And I'm afraid it makes you sound like an extremist too.

    But frankly I'm not interested in engaging in this kind of nonsense. If you're actually interested in the topic, do some research, learn something, think about it and THEN form an opinion. It could be that you're right and I have it all wrong. Maybe Israel can do no wrong. Maybe its only vicitms are the extremists of which you talk. Maybe it's not actually occupying Palestine and maybe it's not contravening International Law to the objection of almost every state in the world except the US and Israel. Maybe its human rights record is exemplary and Betselem, AI and Human Rights Watch have it all wrong. Maybe the UN gets it wrong when it votes every year on the question on Palestine. Maybe that's all untrue. Fine, but go and do some groundwork first and then you might be able to form a rational and informed opinion.

    Until then, there ends my contribution and frankly, my interest in 'debating' you.

  23. "If you're actually interested in the topic, do some research, learn something, think about it and THEN form an opinion."

    Or instead of forming an opinion, form half of one and occupy a random building.

    It's all the rage with the kids these days.

  24. hicks is physics and maths, i presume they've chosen the maths end because it overlooks the concourse.

  25. I like laughing at the angry people...who cant explain why they are angry. I dont even see why half the people here are so angry that a group of people other than themselves are doing something somewhere which also does not effect them...

  26. ^should be affect not effect

  27. and what of those who disagree with your protest? are we allowed in too? no probably not... or if we were we'd simply be shouted down.

    it's inconceivable that the university have caved to a group of attention seekers such as yourselves.

    and your reiteration that you're willing to allow lectures to take place whilst you sit at the back munching on crisps? well, as a normal student I'd find it quite intimidating to be honest. I've shared conversation with some of the 'occupiers' before, and even on a social level have found it to be a slightly less than pleasurable experience. I think the attacks on your personal hygiene in this blog are petulant- it's your 'the world is out to get me' attitude, and desire to tear society to shreds that worries me.

    Your aims and objective I support wholeheartedly, it's your means that I disagree with. If one of you wants to hold some form of fundraising event for the people of gaza, I'll be there with bells on. Until then, I think this is a disgrace.

  28. This mask of 'maturity' worn by the occupation's detractors is rather obscene. The occupation is a collective and participative form of democratic participation; the only kind which can truly claim to be democratic. ANYONE is allowed to join - but, yes, if you tried to disrupt one of the tactical meetings then you would probably be asked to leave or keep shtum.

    It's novel, lively, and inclusive (unlike the options given to us by supposedly 'legitimate' methods) and what's more, it's effective. Nothing has put the issue of Palestine so vivdly in the focus of the wider student body at this univeristy. The fact that the university have agreed to negotiations over these demands which they have refused to engage with through YEARS of 'mature' campaigns is testament to this fact.

  29. It's funny that those who oppose the Occupiers' right to protest on the basis that they disrupt the learning experience of others have nowhere near as vitriolic a stance against a university which has consistently shown itself to be far more proficient in that category. For some reason it's *immature* when students make a political statement which bends the rules of accepted political discourse yet it's perfectly fine for our university to axe courses, cut wages or increase rents and prices at whim without any moans about 'mature political discourse'. Stop worshipping authority and grow some self-respect. REAL politics is all about this occupation, people coming together to get stuff done - and until a broader political culture of this vein is developed there will be no hope of real democratic control over society.

  30. Well said. It's astonishing that those who are so opposed to students speaking up focus on the trivial matter of occupying one lecture theatre. They seem to be more upset that the occupiers are breaking university rules than about the vast crimes that have been committed by Israel in Palestine with full support from Britain and British arms manufacturers. I couldn't care less if these students break the rules - surely the issue in hand is the massive injustice against Palestine. Yet most of those who have posted messages here seem more concerned with disrespect for authority. Remember the Civil Rights movements, the Women's movements, anti-Apartheid movements...where would the world be now if they had all cowed to authority and obeyed the sacrosanct rules imposed from above?

  31. It wouldn't be putting up with this shit for a start

  32. What are you saying you pathetic twat? That the world would be a better place with apartheid, gender inequality and no heterodox political culture?

    Well done on revealing the true logical conclusion of your ilk's political machinations.

  33. There's no need for abusive language, particularly as it demonstrates an intellectual inability to engage with the issues. Stay calm. I'm not part of the occupation, I don't speak for them, but I do agree with what they're doing.

    In fact I was saying the exact opposite of what you interpreted. If you actually read what I wrote it would be pretty clear. What I was saying was that the anti-Apartheid, women's movements, Civil Rights movements and others all broke the rules at some point. Some of them occupied buildings, others used different techniques, like occupying the seat of a bus only meant for white people. That caused quite a stir at the time and was one of the sparks of the civil rights movement at the time. It involved breaking the rules. Women campaigning for the right to vote tied themselves to railings and refused to move and were denounced for it at the time. The ANC, led by Mandela was denounced as a terrorist organisation for breaking the rules and the law. And in the US, civil rights activists occupied diners and cafes to protest the racist political system. All were denounced as lunatics. My point was that all of those movements led to significant and civilising improvements and the world is a better place as a result. My question was, wouldn't the world be worse off now if those people hadn't campaigned for change, even if it meant breaking the rules?

    Hopefully that'll be clearer for you now.

  34. You appalling fucking cunts