On the morning of Wednesday 11th February Edinburgh University students occupied the George Square Lecture Theatre.
Here's their blog.
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.
Specifically, to ensure the university publicly manifests its position, we demand…
- BOYCOTT – That the university immediately suspend all contracts and relations with companies enabling the conflict and/or occupation, including Eden Springs. This demand is contingent on access to information to establish which other companies are implicated.
- DIVESTMENT – That the university divest from and cut all links – specifically on-campus recruitment – with BAE Systems, QinetiQ and all other “arms and defence” manufacturers whose products are proven to be in use by the Israeli military.
- SCHOLARSHIPS – That the university make full scholarships available to at least 5 students in Gaza, allowing them to attend Edinburgh University. This is a response to the destruction of their universities by the Israeli military, and to other barriers, physical and psychological, which restrict their right to education.
- AID – That the university collect and make available non-monetary donations to war-damaged Gazan schools and hospitals, including but not limited to text-books, chairs, computers.
- EDUCATION – That logistical and financial support are provided for a series of informative lectures and debates at Edinburgh, involving university staff and guest speakers, on the Palestine/Israel question during the academic year 2009/10.
- STUDENT SIT-IN – Lastly, we demand that no legal, financial or academic measures be taken against those participating in, or supporting, a peaceful sit-in to ensure our calls are answered.
There will be rallies and other activities throughout the sit-in, both inside and outside the building. We will endeavour to hold talks and debates, show documentaries and create solidarity artwork. We aim to create an open space, allowing for the constructive and creative spread of awareness on the Gaza conflict and continued oppression of Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories. Come and see for yourselves!
The occupying students of Edinburgh University