Sent at 11:24pm, 16 March 09.
We are writing to you from inside a student occupation which began this evening in the Hicks building. We have peacefully taken control of two lecture theatres (5 and 6) on Floor E and are running them safely as democratic, student-run spaces.
We have done this in protest at the failure of university management to continue a process of negotiation over the university's response to Israel's recent attack on Gaza.
As student activists and members of the University of Sheffield community, we call on the university to:
- Issue a statement condemning the disproportionate actions of the Israeli state against the Palestinian people.
- Create a special programme of five Palestinian scholarships and waive all fees for current students from the occupied territories.
- Enter into an academic partnership with the University of Gaza.
- Donate old books, computers and other relevant equipment to the University of Gaza, and pay for the transport of these materials.
- Publicise the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal on Sheffield University notice boards, website and via email.
- Initiate a programme in partnership with students of divestment and ending links with the arms trade.
- Allow those studying medicine to carry out their electives in the occupied territories of Palestine.
- Commemorate the United Nations Palestine Solidarity Day on November 29th.
- Echo the Occupation's statement of support with Israeli students who have been imprisoned for refusing to serve in the IDF.
We have taken this action because we believe our university should be run democratically from below by students and staff, and not in the interests of corporate profiteering. Because of this belief, we express our solidarity with university workers and demand
10.That they face no cuts in jobs, wages or conditions.
We further demand
11. That participants in, or supporters of, the occupation face no repercussions.
We would like to begin open negotiations with representatives of university management as soon as possible. To this end, we invite you to visit us in our occupied space (Hicks LT6) tomorrow morning after 9am to commence discussions.
Email correspondence with the occupation can be conducted through this address.
The Sheffield Occupiers.