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    I saw the mappin group. Highly amusing. :p:
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    I think it's over now. They weren't in Jessop West this morning anyway.
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    (Original post by james99)
    I think it's over now. They weren't in Jessop West this morning anyway.
    They all 'trotted off' to go to a Gaza event the other day, at which time Security just locked them out of the building. It was about the worst-organised occupation in student history.
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    If I get any more texts/emails/messages or flyers about the occupation I am going to be so irritated.
    Surely they have realised by now they have serious lack of following?
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    The support for the occupation, active and passive, is considerably larger than the opposition. Active support is obviously larger as we saw within the occupation, on the concourse and also on groups on facebook, so on.

    I really think people who have to move to another lecture theatre should really think before they start complaining about it. Imagine being a Palestinian student and turning up to University and finding it bombed out by Israel, instead of complaining about it with your classmate, your classmate is dead under the rubble. Consider the conditions within Palestine, and then consider the very minor inconvenience of moving to another lecture theatre. Further to that, several of the lecturers did actually want to lecture in the occupied space but were prevented by University management. In fact one lecture did happen in the occupied space without issue. Of course some disruption has been caused but that is the point, to make the University do something and force them into action.

    The argument that a University is apolitical is poor. Of course it's not, it's a living institution. The people within are represented by the university and its decisions and actions. For the University to invest in BAE and others weapons companies is political. It supports the arms industries and the wars that these companies are involved in. If you think the University should be completely oblivious of the society and conditions around, it would be stuck in the past and not moving anywhere.

    Read the demands, not a single one of these is unreasonable. What is unreasonable about asking for scholarships for Palestinian students suffering in awful conditions with nowhere to study. What is unreasonable about demanding that our tuition fees aren't spent developing technology to arm Israel to oppress Palestinians?

    Instead of just reacting negatively to any direct action, why don't you consider what's actualyl happening? Think a little wider than your own life.
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    (Original post by 01rorlin)
    The support for the occupation, active and passive, is considerably larger than the opposition. Active support is obviously larger as we saw within the occupation, on the concourse and also on groups on facebook, so on.

    I really think people who have to move to another lecture theatre should really think before they start complaining about it. Imagine being a Palestinian student and turning up to University and finding it bombed out by Israel, instead of complaining about it with your classmate, your classmate is dead under the rubble. Consider the conditions within Palestine, and then consider the very minor inconvenience of moving to another lecture theatre. Further to that, several of the lecturers did actually want to lecture in the occupied space but were prevented by University management. In fact one lecture did happen in the occupied space without issue. Of course some disruption has been caused but that is the point, to make the University do something and force them into action.

    The argument that a University is apolitical is poor. Of course it's not, it's a living institution. The people within are represented by the university and its decisions and actions. For the University to invest in BAE and others weapons companies is political. It supports the arms industries and the wars that these companies are involved in. If you think the University should be completely oblivious of the society and conditions around, it would be stuck in the past and not moving anywhere.

    Read the demands, not a single one of these is unreasonable. What is unreasonable about asking for scholarships for Palestinian students suffering in awful conditions with nowhere to study. What is unreasonable about demanding that our tuition fees aren't spent developing technology to arm Israel to oppress Palestinians?

    Instead of just reacting negatively to any direct action, why don't you consider what's actualyl happening? Think a little wider than your own life.
    No offence, but do you really think that we're blind enough to ignore what's happening in Palestine? What I abhor is the methods that the protesters followed, not their cause. I'd have more respect for them if they:

    1) Reacted closer to when the issue first arose
    2) Followed a legitimate approach that wasn't to the detriment of others
    3) Didn't presume that everybody would support their action.

    I personally found the approach of the protesters arrogant and misinformed, did they seriously think they'd win over the hearts and minds of the student body by disrupting their education? I'm sorry, but this protest was doomed from the start.
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    (Original post by 01rorlin)
    The support for the occupation, active and passive, is considerably larger than the opposition. Active support is obviously larger as we saw within the occupation, on the concourse and also on groups on facebook, so on.

    I really think people who have to move to another lecture theatre should really think before they start complaining about it. Imagine being a Palestinian student and turning up to University and finding it bombed out by Israel, instead of complaining about it with your classmate, your classmate is dead under the rubble. Consider the conditions within Palestine, and then consider the very minor inconvenience of moving to another lecture theatre. Further to that, several of the lecturers did actually want to lecture in the occupied space but were prevented by University management. In fact one lecture did happen in the occupied space without issue. Of course some disruption has been caused but that is the point, to make the University do something and force them into action.

    The argument that a University is apolitical is poor. Of course it's not, it's a living institution. The people within are represented by the university and its decisions and actions. For the University to invest in BAE and others weapons companies is political. It supports the arms industries and the wars that these companies are involved in. If you think the University should be completely oblivious of the society and conditions around, it would be stuck in the past and not moving anywhere.

    Read the demands, not a single one of these is unreasonable. What is unreasonable about asking for scholarships for Palestinian students suffering in awful conditions with nowhere to study. What is unreasonable about demanding that our tuition fees aren't spent developing technology to arm Israel to oppress Palestinians?

    Instead of just reacting negatively to any direct action, why don't you consider what's actualyl happening? Think a little wider than your own life.
    Sorry, but there is no way the support for the occupation was "considerably larger" than the opposition. If we're using Facebook as a guide, there were literally hundreds of people in the numerous groups that sprung up condemning the occupation. If we're using real life as a guide, well, I went to one of the "rallies" that they organised and there were about 30/40 people there at most, and it lasted about 10 minutes.

    The argument that the university is apolitical is not poor at all. It's an educational institution. It doesn't (and shouldn't) get involved in UK politics; why should it suddenly get involved in international politics? If you wanted to occupy a political institution you should have occupied the Students' Union.

    I'm not going to talk about arms companies here as it's a totally different debate. I will say, however, that the university's interests in these companies are purely financial.

    Personally I disagree with the situation in Palestine, and I don't think some of the "demands" were unreasonable (Commemorating the United Nations Palestine Solidarity Day, for example.) Other demands were simply ridiculous, however, such as demanding that the university release a statement condemning Israel (what possible effect would this have!? also not appropriate from an educational institution), paying thousands of pounds to send old computers and books to Palestine (not sure where the money would come from for this?) and the most ridiculous of all was the demand to waive tuition fees for Palestinian students and create scholarships. Yes, scholarships are a great idea but they should be based on academic merit not purely on where in the world someone comes from, no matter how bad the situation is there (interestingly there were no calls to create scholarships for people from war-torn African countries, for example.)

    The main reason I disagreed with the occupation, however, was because of the disruption it caused to students trying to learn. The occupiers were seemingly oblivious to what was going on, and their claims that it was the university that was disrupting education were simply ridiculous. So yeah, if they'd occupied the Students' Union, I would have been a lot more sympathetic to their cause, although I still would have disagreed with most of the demands.
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    Nothing i've seen in favour of the opposition actually addresses the questions put to them about their choice of method and why/how they thought it would be the most successful way available to them of supporting palestine.

    And claiming i shouldn't complain about a moved lecture because palistinian students face worse is just rediculous and insulting. NONE of the people complaining think it's fine that people are being killed in palestine i'm sure, we're complaining about the protesters at our university. It's completely different to going 'oh look this sit in is going to do great things to stop the killing in palestine, but it's far too annoying'
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    (Original post by subterfuge)
    Nothing i've seen in favour of the opposition actually addresses the questions put to them about their choice of method and why/how they thought it would be the most successful way available to them of supporting palestine.

    And claiming i shouldn't complain about a moved lecture because palistinian students face worse is just rediculous and insulting. NONE of the people complaining think it's fine that people are being killed in palestine i'm sure, we're complaining about the protesters at our university. It's completely different to going 'oh look this sit in is going to do great things to stop the killing in palestine, but it's far too annoying'
    The choice of tactic was important, it was the occupation that got progress on negotiations with the University. The University had previously refused to negotiate with the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, it was only because of the occupation that the University reneged on this. Following the negotiations the University agreed to release a statement saying they followed the same policy as the Students' Union, which quoted from their website is:
    The Union:-

    * Condemns acts of terrorism and aggression on all sides.
    * Supports UN Security Council Resolution 242.
    * Believes Israel should withdraw from the occupied territories, allow for the creation of a Palestinian state in its place and permit the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    The Union shall:-

    * Inform our members of the background to the situation in the Middle East.
    * Work to promote our position amongst our members by actively supporting relevant activity of groups such as the Sheffield Union Palestine Society.
    * Commemorate Palestine Solidarity Day.

    They also said they'd reconsider the funding for Palestinian students. It's not that the occupiers are ignoring students from other war-torn parts of the world but that Palestine is facing a real and immeadiate threat to education. The University claims it supports students from war-torn parts of the world (which it does) but in current circumstances the Israeli occupation needs to be recognized and used to allocate scholarships. The University agreed to this.

    I also find it hard that you'd call the University an apolitical institution. It's not, and it can't be. Do you think academics attempt to follow an apolitical line in their research? Of course not. That's not how it works; everything is affected and influences politics. You don't think University funding is a political isssue? Of course it is. You don't think the companies the University invests in don't follow their political agenda? Arms companies aren't seperate to politics, neither is any company. The University is involved in political issues whether you like it or not. Despite that, most of the demands were ethical rather than strictly political.

    It's sad that you see student activism and criticize it without even thinking about it. The facebook groups supporting the occupation were 100s larger than the opposition groups, almost at a thousand. While I admit that this is not a majority, I think most people are passive to the occupation. Active support was larger than active opposition.
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    (Original post by 01rorlin)
    * Condemns acts of terrorism and aggression on all sides.
    well that goes without saying, if the university did care they would hardly be going "yeah get into them, send a rocket or something"
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    (Original post by 01rorlin)
    The choice of tactic was important, it was the occupation that got progress on negotiations with the University. The University had previously refused to negotiate with the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, it was only because of the occupation that the University reneged on this. Following the negotiations the University agreed to release a statement saying they followed the same policy as the Students' Union, which quoted from their website is:
    The Union:-

    * Condemns acts of terrorism and aggression on all sides.
    * Supports UN Security Council Resolution 242.
    * Believes Israel should withdraw from the occupied territories, allow for the creation of a Palestinian state in its place and permit the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    The Union shall:-

    * Inform our members of the background to the situation in the Middle East.
    * Work to promote our position amongst our members by actively supporting relevant activity of groups such as the Sheffield Union Palestine Society.
    * Commemorate Palestine Solidarity Day.

    They also said they'd reconsider the funding for Palestinian students. It's not that the occupiers are ignoring students from other war-torn parts of the world but that Palestine is facing a real and immeadiate threat to education. The University claims it supports students from war-torn parts of the world (which it does) but in current circumstances the Israeli occupation needs to be recognized and used to allocate scholarships. The University agreed to this.

    I also find it hard that you'd call the University an apolitical institution. It's not, and it can't be. Do you think academics attempt to follow an apolitical line in their research? Of course not. That's not how it works; everything is affected and influences politics. You don't think University funding is a political isssue? Of course it is. You don't think the companies the University invests in don't follow their political agenda? Arms companies aren't seperate to politics, neither is any company. The University is involved in political issues whether you like it or not. Despite that, most of the demands were ethical rather than strictly political.

    It's sad that you see student activism and criticize it without even thinking about it. The facebook groups supporting the occupation were 100s larger than the opposition groups, almost at a thousand. While I admit that this is not a majority, I think most people are passive to the occupation. Active support was larger than active opposition.
    Yes, university funding is a political issue, and yes, the companies that the university invests in may have political agendas - but that does not mean the university is a political institution. It is indirectly involved in politics, but that shouldn't mean it should have to release politically motivated statements condemning or indeed supporting various regimes or actions throughout the world. You wouldn't expect the university to release a statement throwing its weight behind David Cameron or Barack Obama, would you? No, of course not, as the university should not directly involve itself in politics. This is no different.

    Also, you didn't actually respond to the complaint most often raised against the occupiers; the fact that you disrupted hundreds of students' education and cost the university hundreds of pounds in extra security. This is the thing that most people were annoyed about, not the actual demands themselves. I'm yet to hear anyone who supports this occupation give a satisfactory response to these issues (or indeed an apology).

    Interestingly, and whilst I appreciate this is purely anecdotal, you're the first person I've actually talked to (online or in real life) that supports the occupation. It's pretty obvious that there would be no active opposition - the idea of protests against protesters is pretty absurd, and most people were just pissed off they couldn't attend their lectures, they weren't ready to "actively protest" against the occupiers.

    Finally, I'm not criticising this student activism without thinking about it. I clearly stated my reasons for criticism in my previous post, indicating that I'd actually given it some thought.
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    Can I just make a point here - there were a really small number of people on that rally - 150 despite huge amounts of publicity.
    Now out of 25,000 students thats pretty poor support.

    The backing just wasnt there from the beggining. As much as people have an intrest in politics at Sheffield I think the whole 'occupation' idea was just taking it a little to far in so much that it looked like organised anarchy rather than anything constructive.

    Thus - the whole thing ended as a total flop and cost us as a University a stupid amount of money.
 
 
 
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