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Posted on 29 January 2009 at 0:00 GMT

Warwick University occupation report

by members of Warwick University Socialist Students

Since Wednesday 21st of January at 1pm, students at the University of Warwick have occupied a lecture theatre in solidarity with the innocent victims of the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. We have invited speakers, watched films and had debates. On our first night of occupation, a Palestinian woman from Coventry who has lost at least 15 members of her family in the bombings spoke to us about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

We are appalled by the scale of destruction and the loss of life in Palestine and the blatant complicity of our University in the arms trade. It is an example of the continuing unethical relationship between British Universities and big business. We have made several demands to the university. These are:

The University of Warwick should suspend all relations with companies which supply the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This includes BAE Systems, MBDA, QinetiQ and Rolls Royce.

That the University donate old computer equipment and textbooks to universities in Palestine, specifically those that were partially destroyed in Gaza during the current Israeli military operation.

That the University fund and provide logistical support for a series of talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

That there be no legal, financial, or academic measures taken against anyone involved in or supporting the sit-in. This extends to the Student's Union. Students involved should be guaranteed free movement in and out of the space.

Socialist Party Councillor Rob Windsor, of St Michaels Ward in Coventry, visited us on Friday night. Rob stated that he would oppose the University's statement in the Coventry Telegraph that there were only 14 people in here on Thursday. He vocalised his support for our campaign, and made clear his resources were at our disposal. He also emphasised the need to stay united after this occupation, and after this campaign.

The broad base of our campaign is committed to supporting working-class struggles in both Israel and Palestine; movements that unite people across national borders and religious divisions

Students realise the need to engage with workers employed in the arms trade as they cannot be held responsible for the greed and immorality of their bosses.

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