Occupy Warwick, the tent camp outside the Arts Centre, has been with us for a week. In the warm, dry sunshine on the grass we have hosted lectures, discussions and debates from a wide variety of Warwick academics and students. Our camp has expanded, as has our strength – we now have an Information Point, a Marquee and the loud and powerful support of the Students’ Union.
Over the week we have discussed as broad a spectrum of ideas as can be found anywhere on our campus. We have hosted our lecturers, our supporters, and our ideological opponents, all in the name of freedom of debate and expression.
On the 30 November we stood with the Universities and Colleges Union in their strike for their pensions, part of a walk-out of two million nationwide. The UCU have endorsed the aims and principles of our movement. As our lecturers, mentors and friends, we support the objectives of their fight.
We have repeatedly demanded for the right to speak to our University, and so far they have failed to address us directly. The rejection of our right to dialogue with the administration is an affront to the principle of a public university.
They have requested that we move our tents and let our supporters disperse.
We are currently unable to conform to that suggestion. We have re-affirmed that this movement will end at a time of our choosing. We have decided on a time and date that we judge to be appropriate.
That date is Wednesday 7 December 2011. On that date the camp will have stood for two weeks in support of a principle and an idea. The camp will depart, but the campaign for that principle can only cease when it becomes a reality.
That date will be the close and climax of our movement, with our right to protest exercised to its fullest extent. We hope that by that time the University will see that the demands of our camp, and the support of our Union, confirm that students condemn the savaging of our education system. We hope the University will join us in rejecting the reactionary principle that it represents.
If so, the Occupy Warwick movement will hibernate – but it will not die.
Senior staff of the University of Warwick, you are cordially invited to speak to us at the camp. We have been waiting, and we will be waiting