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False Alarm Over Occupation Eviction Fears… For Now

Fears that the student occupation of the Great Hall in the Trent Building was being evicted at 4pm today turned out to be unfounded, despite a meeting between the University and the protesters occupying the Hall having ended without a compromise between the groups.

Protesters gathered outside the Great Hall for 4pm, the supposed eviction time, despite the announcement that were they to stay beyond 4pm then they would be in defiance of the University’s wishes.  With Security expected to arrive at any moment, the crowd took the opportunity to hand out flyers, complete a rendition of the now familiar ‘anti-cuts’ chants and make a statement in which they claimed that the Registrar had “run away” after reading out a pre-prepared statement, refusing to speak to the occupiers.

Shortly after the 4pm deadline security blocked off the internal door, meaning that protesters must now use the outer door in order to enter or leave the Great Hall.  Possibly due to the presence of local media outside the Hall, there was no immediate response from campus security, though a lone policeman was spotted near the main entrance to the Trent Building.  It is thought that the registrar is currently meeting with security in order to work out how best to deal with the continued occupation.

The protesters have now moved a pedal generator into the Hall, which is expected to provide them with electricity, as the heating and electricity in the Hall has been cut.  It is now not known whether the University is planning on forcibly evicting the protesters, or if so, when this is likely to happen.

Ben McCabe

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2 Comments on this post.
  • Mike
    3 December 2010 at 11:08
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    I don’t think it cowardice to read out a pre-prepared statement.

    In fact I think it appropriate; the registrar was representing a national (and international) institution and was faced with a group of protesters that were never going to be content with anything he could say. At least we can be sure that what he said had been approved by other senior staff, including no doubt the VC and pro-VCs.

    Why should he stick around and answer questions from people abusing university property when he has said everything he has to say on the matter?

    Shame on those that think acting with restraint, being professional and not overstepping their role is cowardice.

  • Stuart Neyton
    3 December 2010 at 18:34
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    What are you suggesting mike? Force? I’m guessing you’re easy with forcibly burdening future generations with all that debt. Or are you rich enough so think it’s okay to deny decent education to people from poorer backgrounds?

    Abusing university property? The space was used for all sorts of activities. Non-commercial groups who’d booked the space weren’t just welcomed, they were facilitated. Space was cleared for the dance group and they used our sound system. The uni inadequately protected the welfare of occupiers by turning off electricity and heating and hindered study by turning off the interned. Massive thanks to all who provided food, bedding, entertainment, internet access and of course solidarity.

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