Occupy Warwick

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Month: November, 2011

Graeme Macdonald – links from talk

by warwickoccupypress

These are links mentioned by Graeme Macdonald in his recent talk at Occupy Warwick:

We students have built an alternative (The Guardian)

We Glasgow students were inspired by the spirit of Red Clydeside (The Guardian)

Funding choice for our universities would be regressive, scaremongering and elitist (Herald Scotland)

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Emergency General Assembly

by mattmcneany

An Emergency General Assembly will be held at 5pm this afternoon (Wednesday) to discuss security’s understanding that we move by midnight tonight.

Please if you have any views and consider yourself in any way involved in the movement please come down and express your views.

William Blake

by warwickoccupypress

I’ll be reading a couple of passages from Blake’s religio-political prophecies, Jerusalem: Emanation of the Giant Albion and Milton: A Poem, later today. Blake illustrated his poems on engraved sheets of inked copper plate: the images below illuminate the content I’ll be reading today. The first shows Blake’s ideal of what society could become – the ‘divine body’ in which we’re all united; the second his representation of how society is now – ‘Albion’ – in which we currently live in alienation; and the third, the poet prophet figure who can redeem us by moving us into the divine body, here represented as ‘John Milton’ (and in Jerusalem called ‘Los’). Hope to see some of you later.

Cheers – Emma

Message of solidarity from UCU

by Ruth

The Warwick branch of the University and College Union (UCU) emailed the following message to members this afternoon.

Occupy Warwick

Warwick University is the latest university to see occupations to draw attention to the wreckage that is ongoing to our publicly funded education system.  Occupy Warwick have set up outside the Arts Centre. Warwick UCU President, Vin Hammersley, has met the occupiers and sent them solidaristic greetings on behalf of UCU committee. They have demanded for the VC Chancellor

1. To publicly condemn the White Paper and call for it to be withdrawn, and condemn the increasing marketisation of education.

2. To guarantee no course closures.

3. To guarantee no job cuts and no adverse changes to academic and non-academic staff terms and conditions.

4. To provide bursaries for all international, home and EU students who need them – not fee waivers.

5. To guarantee no cuts to library, student support or learning resources.

6. To guarantee no cuts to access schemes or foundation courses

7. To guarantee that the university will remain public, and a not-for-profit body.

8. To guarantee that no student or member of staff suffer repercussions for their participation in this peaceful movement, and to condemn the University of Birmingham administration for violating its students’right to express their views.

These are all goals which UCU shares. Please call in to the camp, speak to the students and bring them supplies, with the exception of Wednesday (tomorrow) when you should not enter the main campus.  However, they will be joining us on the picket line on Wednesday so you can speak to them there.  see here for more details: https://occupywarwick.wordpress.com/events/

Clarification of our position on the Alternative White Paper

by Ruth

We decided to officially back the Alternative White Paper and call upon the Vice-Chancellor to do the same at this afternoon’s General Assembly. We have edited our list of objectives to reflect this.

Day 6 Update

by Ruth

A Successful Weekend

We maintained a good-natured presence at the occupation over the weekend – fortunately the cold snap didn’t dampen our spirits!

Today’s events also went well, with talks by Thomas Docherty and Oliver Davis drawing considerable crowds that spilled out of our shiny new marquee. It was great to see so many of you there, and we hope to see more of you tomorrow!

Forthcoming Events

Speaking of tomorrow, Tuesday is practically jam-packed with exciting talks, workshops and debates: for the full line-up, please take a look at our newly updated events page.

Supporting the Strike

On Wednesday we will be assembling at the occupation from 7:45am for an 8am march to the Gatehouse to join university staff at the Unison/UCU picket line. Please do join us!

There is also a Facebook event page for the march.

by warwickoccupypress

Guiding Principles

by warwickoccupypress

We have pitched our camp outside the Arts Centre as part of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.

We stand in solidarity with the many similar student occupations that are occurring nationwide, and will support the waves of public sector strikes on the 30th.

We are thankful for the Occupy movements everywhere, in that they are keeping an essential argument alive – our desire is to question accepted wisdom; our objective is to celebrate the alternative.

We are, above all, a place for education. Our information tent is a point for discussion, for learning and for teaching. We hold talks with academics, lecturers and friends, with topics ranging from higher education funding to the tenets of capitalism.

We maintain an open forum for discussions of ideas and free debate. Our most concluded free debate is for free education; we hold an unequivocal and unassailable belief that education should be accessible to all, publicly-owned, democratically run, and funded by the taxation of those that can afford to be taxed.

We condemn the on-going marketization of education. At a time where every other OECD nation but Romania is investing in higher education, the Coalition is making deep and savage cuts into funding, transforming students into customers and blocking access from the poor. We have asked the Vice-Chancellor to sign a pledge to guarantee the following basic tenets of a functioning education system. We call on Nigel Thrift…

1. To publicly condemn the White Paper and call for it to be withdrawn, to condemn the increasing marketisation of education, and to back the Alternative White Paper.

2. To guarantee no course closures.

3. To guarantee no job cuts and no adverse changes to academic and non-academic staff terms and conditions.

4. To provide bursaries for all international, home and EU students who need them – not fee waivers.


5. To guarantee no cuts to library, student support or learning resources.


6. To guarantee no cuts to access schemes or foundation courses
7. To guarantee that the university will remain public, and a not-for-profit body.

8. To guarantee that no student or member of staff suffer repercussions for their participation in this peaceful movement, and to condemn the University of Birmingham administration for violating its students’ right to express their views.

We have demanded this of the Vice-Chancellor, and consider it his duty and responsibility to hear the views of his students. We have invited him to come to speak at the camp and justify his recent actions, and demand an answer as to when and why his university stopped focusing on the students.

Occupy Warwick is an expression of our ideal of university education, a truly public experience where anyone can learn, anyone can contribute and everyone does both. We do not discriminate based on wealth, background, belief or opinion – no one can control where they come from, and too few can influence where they end up.

Many of our group argue that the problems of our society are a result of the inherent contradictions of our economic system. We are not happy with the state of the world into which we have grown – in which a crisis caused by the few is used to punish the many; in which austerity measures that we can see failing every day still attract the blind faith of the powerful; and in which we are quickly spiralling into an environmental catastrophe created by a culture of greed, consumption and waste.

At Occupy Warwick, we value people over profit, humanity over currency and consider ethics and equality more natural and more necessary than competition and want.

We have no leader. Everything is governed and managed by consensus and contribution, with neither hierarchy nor stratification. We work together, and the camp is run by the contributions of everyone and the skills and efforts of a community.

We will be here until we feel that our views have been expressed. Join us, Warwick. We do not have to accept the way things are.

Nick Lawrence talking about Occupy Wall Street

by warwickoccupypress

First Update

by mattmcneany

 As of 11am on Saturday the 26th November we have not been asked to move nor has the university administration engaged with us on any level. (Save through security.) Many students have expressed their support of our aims, some have not. We welcome them too as long as they are willing to abide by our rules of non-violence, tolerance and respect for everyone within the camp.

We have been reliably informed that the weather forecast does not look good, regardless we will remain stalwart in our desire to see the university administration first acknowledge us and then engage with us.

As a collective we have agreed upon a document which represents the aims of the group and how we feel at this point in time. That is available here. Consider this our inital press release.