Scott Campbell: NYU Occupied! (Watch Them on USTREAM Live)

Scott Campbell sent us this email:

Friends,
I’m writing from New York University where I just started grad school. Very briefly, I’d like to let you all know that as of 9:30pm tonight we have occupied NYU. A website with more info is at www.takebacknyu.com. The list of demands is below. I don’t have internet time and my cell phone is dead, but please spread the word. Thanks!
scott

We, the students of NYU, declare an occupation of this space. This occupation is the culmination of a two-year campaign by the Take Back NYU! coalition, and of campaigns from years past, in whose footsteps we follow.

The occupiers demand to establish a student elected Socially Responsible Finance Committee in which
the first two orders of this committee will be:

a) An in depth investigation of all investments in war and genocide profiteers, as well as companies profiting from the occupation of Palestinian territories.

b) A reassessment of the recently lifted of the ban on Coca Cola products.

Annual scholarships to be provided for thirteen Palestinian students, starting with the 2009/2010 academic year. These scholarships will include funding for books, housing, meals and travel expenses.

The university to donate all excess supplies and materials in an effort to rebuild the University of Gaza.

Read their full demands on their website here.

See live streaming video from the occupation here

Scott has just sent this email too:

Demonstration in support of the NYU occupation:

Thursday, 12:15 PM
In front of Kimmel Student Center
60 Washington Square South, Manhattan, NYC

Since 10pm Wednesday night the third floor of the Kimmel Student Center at New York University has been occupied by more than 70 NYU and non-NYU students. Originally present for the first few hours of the occupation I had to leave for personal reasons, but it is still going strong and spirits are very high. It was recently announced the head of NYU university relations has cut his vacation short and is flying back home. They’re clearly worried.

This is in direct solidarity with the many occupations occurring recently across the globe, from Greece to Britain to the New School and the University of Rochester.

There are 13 demands relating to NYU investments in war profiteers and occupation, the cost of tuition, the lack of transparency and the lack of respect for NYU workers.

See the full list of demands here: http://takebacknyu.com/2009/02/19/nyu-occupied/. See live streaming video from the occupation here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/take-back-nyu.

Help out and spread the word by:

* Come support the occupation!
* Send a letter to the administration in solidarity
* Send an e-mail to your professors, peers, listservs, facebook groups you name it! Tell the world.
* Have your parent write a letter or e-mail to the university
* Print the following demands and distribute them far and wide!

Stay tuned.
To those who’re not checking my tags, I have recently added the “Activists are my family” tag, those would be the occupiers.

I Support Hampshire College SJP

I am going to send an email to the president’s office everyday =)

Via Pulse:

Ever since it announced to widespread applause its decision to divest from the Israeli occupation, Hampshire College administration is being hammered by the Israel lobby’s flak machine led by Zionist fanatic Alan Dershowitz (best known for his academic malpractices) who is threatening the institution with withdrawal of funding, unless, Inside Higher Ed reports, ‘Hampshire resolves any ambiguities and clearly states that it rejects student efforts to divest from the Jewish state. “What they have to do is make it impossible for the students to plausibly be able to declare victory,” said Dershowitz, whose son went to Hampshire.’ But Hampshire students are standing strong (here they are in their own words). They are calling on the institution’s administration to embrace the moment. They recognize that this is ‘bigger than Hampshire‘.(For full coverage check out the indispensalbe MondoWeiss)

Following is a call from  Hampshire students for support. This is a historical moment. Please take the time to apprise the administration of your views.

Dear Supporters,

Over the last 24 hours, there has been a huge response from students, parents, journalists, activists, public figures, political organizations, and individuals such as yourselves from across the country and the world congratulating us for our historic achievement this week.  We are impressed and heartened by your passion in supporting us in this exciting campaign.

There have been many developments since SJP went public with the divestment, so it might be hard to keep track of the flurry of updates that have been published all over the internet. Please visit our website for the most recent statements (http://www.hsjp.org/). Also, Phillip Weiss’s blog (http://www.philipweiss.org/) is a particularly good resource, as they’ve been following the events closely.

Your support so far has been so helpful, especially since we’ve been working non-stop since we broke the news. There’s so much more to be done, so we’ve come up with a few specific ways to demonstrate your solidarity with SJP and the movement.  Here they are:

1) E-mail the administration and the President to voice your concern over their refusal to own up to the divestment decision. Express your disappointment that President Hexter has done nothing to condemn Alan Dershowitz’s threatening phone calls to SJP’s spokespeople (see update on website). Forward your letters of congratulations that you sent to us to them too. Make sure they know that divestment is not just a college—it’s a movement!

A script is attached to the end of this e-mail (or the bottom of this message) as a guide if you would like to use it.

Contact:

Ralph Hexter (President): rhexter@hampshire.edu

President’s Office: +1 413-559-5521

2) Hampshire’s endowment is very small which means that most of the college’s year-to-year operating budget comes from tuition fees.For those who have donated, your contributions are greatly appreciated and important as the school is already in a troubled financial state. What we would like you to do for now is e-mail us every time you make a donation with the amount and your name so we can keep track of the funds and the support network.  If you haven’t donated already, here’s the link:

https://alumni.hampshire.edu/giving/waysToGive/giveOnline.aspx

3) Contribute to our video series, “Voices of Divestment.” We are trying to show the world that this isn’t about a small group of activists, but a wide range of people from all different walks of life. We would like you to make short 30-second to 1-minute clips and send them to us by uploading the video to YouTube and emailing us the link.

Keep them informal, but stay passionate! Improvise. We want to hear why you support divestment in your own words.

Check out existing videos here: http://www.hsjp.org/voices-of-divestment/

Or alternatively: http://voicesofdivestment.wordpress.com/

4) Build momentum! This isn’t just about us; we’ve been getting a lot of e-mails about help and advice for starting similar BDS campaigns at other schools, and this is one of the most important ways you can help. If the BDS movement spreads rapidly, it will become clear to the public and the media that this is not just a local administrative dispute, but that we have finally reached a critical threshold in the United States.

Many groups and individuals have contacted us asking about going on speaking tours and giving trainings for campus divestment movements. We are very excited about the prospects of helping to spread divestment to many campuses and are investigating the logistics of how to make this happen. For now if you are interested in hosting us for a speaking tour in some capacity, please email us at: HampshireSJP@gmail.com with the subject “SPEAKING”.

*****

The following is the script to guide you in e-mailing the president’s office:

Hello, my name is _____. I am calling/e-mailing to express my congratulations to Hampshire College for your historic decision to divest from the Israeli Occupation. This move should be an example to all institutions of higher learning across the world.

However, I am disappointed that the administration has been trying to distance itself from the decision and de-politicize the powerful statement that divestment sends. In your response to the Student’s public campaign, you have repeatedly insisted that the divestment decision had a “variety of reasons” for going through, and that it had no regional or political significance. However, the length & intensity of the campaign that the Students for Justice in Palestine have run makes it clear that it was their efforts that brought this divestment to the table. I sincerely hope that you will reconsider your position on divestment and express your support for the students’ efforts in an official statement soon.

Lastly, your failure to condemn the threats Alan Dershowitz has made towards SJP’s spokespeople is deplorable. Dershowitz has called for a boycott on the College and you have still maintained your “neutral” position, hurting the students, the college, and yourself. I urge you to protect your students and their right to speak out on this monumental occasion.

Thank you.

http://www.hsjp.org

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=55085942212

The Only Occupiers I Will Ever Support

This post will be continually updated.

1-Edinburgh University Occupation for Gaza


Statement from the occupying students:

On the morning of Wednesday 11th February Edinburgh University students occupied the George Square Lecture Theatre. We have acted against the university because of its financial and commercial links to the apartheid state of Israel, in addition to its unacceptable silence in response to the Gaza conflict, described by the UN President of the General Assemby, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, as “genocide”. We will sit-in until the heads of the university agree to the following demands…

Broadly, we demand that our university demonstrate what should be its inherent opposition, as an educational institution, to Israel’s illegal and shameful behaviours.

Read their demands here.

2-King’s College Occupation in Solidarity with Gaza:

“The college has agreed to a series of measures to directly address the current crisis in Gaza, including the provision of scholarships for those directly affected by the crisis, and the donation of educational resources to institutions in Palestine”, said Mido Khan on behalf of the student protesters. “In addition, the college has acknowledged the scale of discontent that the award to Peres has generated among the student population, particularly considering the award in the context of what has happened recently in Gaza.” The students agreed to cease their occupation after college management agreed to publish a statement outlining the position of the College on these issues and the humanitarian measures undertaken in the wake of the occupation.

“This signals the reintroduction of student activism as a powerful agent for political change, and shows us that if we make a stand then we can make a difference”, said Hesham Yafai.

3-LSE Occupation in Solidarity with Gaza!

A spokesperson for the group said:

“Nothing we could have said or done would have been enough given the scale of the suffering inflicted on the people of Gaza by the Israeli military but we have achieved a huge victory for Palestinian students and for student activism. That we pressured LSE Director Howard Davies into issuing a public statement is a massive success but given the LSE’s history it shouldn’t have taken an occupation to achieve this. We look forward to meeting the new Palestinian students that our successes on application fees and scholarships will bring to the LSE.

4-Sheffield Hallam Free Gaza Movement

Following the actions of Sheffield Hallam students and workers from around the city who voted to occupy the tenth floor of the Owen building to make practical demands of the university in solidarity with Palestinians and to condemn the actions of the Israeli state, the Sheffield Free Gaza Movement was formed to build initiatives and campaigns and continue to put pressure on the university management to fulfil the demands of the occupation.

5-Oxford Occupation in Solidarity with Gaza!

OXFORD UNIVERSITY STUDENTS OCCUPY BUILDING IN SOLIDARITY WITH GAZA

In the first week of term, over 80 Oxford University students occupied the historic Bodleian building to demand that the university release a statement condemning the attack on Gaza and cancel the lecture series at Balliol College inaugurated by Shimon Peres.

Students organised the sit-in after attending an emergency meeting in Oxford organised to discuss the war on Gaza and the precarious ceasefire. Members of the University entered the Clarendon building and sat down at 1200, British time, on Thursday 22nd January. Their demands were presented to University officials, and by 7pm the same day they acheived victory, putting an end to the occupation after reaching a successful agreement with the university.

6-Queen Mary Occupation

We as students of Queen Mary are occupying lecture room FB 1.13 in the College to protest against the recognised war crimes in Gaza committed by the Israeli Government, and to show our solidarity with the oppressed peoples in the region. We are pursuing this course of action to maintain the momentum of other student protests in Universities across the U.K.
As students of this institution, we unreservedly object on moral grounds to the University’s failure to boycott goods supplied by companies who fund military operations in Gaza.
Furthermore, we have strong reasons to believe the University is financially involved with arms dealers GKN and Cobham. We find this morally unacceptable and ask for complete transparency on the part of the University regarding any investments in the arms trade. It will be our policy to seek to expose this issue and open it up for debate within the College.
We sincerely regret any inconvenience caused to either staff or students at our College; however, we have been motivated to act on the basis of our moral convictions.

Read their demands here.

7-Goldsmiths Occupation for Palestinian Scholarships

Goldsmiths will establish 4 scholarships, covering the cost of taught postgraduate tuition fees, to be awarded to students who come from all and any part of the world which is affected by oppression, persecution, political or military strife such that their human right to education is denied to them.
Goldsmiths will work with its students and other interested parties to establish a charitable trust to raise funds to support the costs of these students’ study – accommodation, travel and living expenses. In the early years of the charity’s operation, if it cannot raise sufficient funds to cover the costs, Goldsmiths will provide funds to enable the students to study at Goldsmiths.
Two of the four scholarships will, for the ten years from 2009-10 until 2018-19, be reserved for students from Palestine. Before the 2019-20 scholarships are advertised, there will be a review, which will include asking the student body (and making its assent a necessary condition) to determine whether and for how long the reservation of 2 scholarships for Palestinian students should continue.
Goldsmiths will work with Al-Quds Open University and Birzeit University, with which we already have strong academic links, in identifying suitable candidates. The selection panel to agree the criteria for the scholarships in the first instance, and to determine who receives the scholarships on an annual basis, shall comprise a student representative chosen by the students, an academic staff representative, and a Pro-Warden.

8-SUSSEX OCCUPATION

Over 80 University of Sussex Students have occupied a major lecture theatre in solidarity with Palestine under siege.

Motivated by the escalating crisis in Gaza, University of Sussex students have issued a set of demands to the University management calling for immediate action. The occupation is a response to recent Israeli military assault on Gaza. We stand in solidarity with the School of Oriental and African Studies, the London School of Economics, King’s College London, Birmingham and Essex Universities. The occupied space will be used for education and dialogue until the following demands are met…

read them here.

9-SOAS students occupy university building

We, a coalition of SOAS students from many different backgrounds, have resolved to occupy the Brunei Gallery Suite. In line with Student Union motions, our aims are the following..

Read them here.

10-Leeds Uni Occupation

In response to our demands, the University made the following concessions:

On Monday, the Vice Chancellor issued a public statement in which he “expressed his dismay at the conflict and the loss of life in Gaza and Israel.” The University has declared that it is “agreeable in principle to facilitating schemes to provide surplus educational materials to Palestine…and that it will discuss with LUU (Leeds University Union) ways of extending opportunities for Palestinian students to study at Leeds.” The University has also stated that it will review its socially responsible investment policy and that it will accept a list of roughly a dozen companies which concern us most and they will inform us whether they do or do not invest in the aforementioned companies. We will actively pursue all of these concessions to ensure that they are followed through.

11-Occupation Nottingham

We demand:
1 STATEMENT – That the University issue an official statement to the press condemning the recent and continuing atrocities perpetrated by Israel in the Gaza Strip, acknowledging particularly the effect on educational institutions, such as the bombing of the Gaza Islamic University.We demand:
The University should officially denounce the attacks on civilians, the systematic obstruction of humanitarian aid and the targeting of academic institutions, hospitals, places of worship and international peace keeping facilities.  The University should encourage other universities to make such statements, as well as informing the UK and Israeli governments.

Read their full demands here.

12-FREE MAN MET: Students in Occupation for Gaza!

MMU Students are currently in occupation of the Geoffrey Manton building. We are occupying the building in solidarity with the people of Gaza and to stand up to imperialism in the Middle East. We have issued the following set of demands to the Vice-Chancellor because we believe in delivering concrete solidarity for the people of Palestine.

Read their demands here.