ST ANDREWS, FIFE– The Occupation of Parliament Hall continues unabated and has been receiving a steady influx of support regardless of the no-entry policy implemented by the University.
Defiant students reaffirmed the legitimacy of their protest in the face of The Universities attempts to quell it from its birth. Students entered throughout the day in imaginative ways with 3rd year student Emma Lecavlier saying ”what kind of system are we in where students must protest to learn.” Students are demonstrating against education cuts and their Principal’s statements in favour of the Browne Report.
As students entered, discussions expanded and included debates in the afternoon where we saw the visits of the Rector, Kevin Dunion, and two UCU staff representatives who showed great solidarity and support for the protest, and sought to integrate more of the community into the St Andrews anticuts movement Sabbaticals from the Student’s Association also chose to come in person to show their support as occupiers continued to debate and request discussions with the University regarding their demands.
The Principal’s Office remained adamant throughout discussions in the afternoon, that they would negotiate on none of the points raised by the occupation. Clara Low, 2nd year student states, ”Morale is up despite the attempts of management to quell it.” Meanwhile, Paul Donnachie stated ”the unity within the occupation has been an encouraging example for the wider cuts.” This has been helped by the University’s assurance to students that they would face no victimisation at all as a result of protest actions.
Nonetheless, the Occupation has run into serious problems relating to the lack of access and the intransigence of the University to discuss the demands. In addition, the University has locally disconnected internet access and all heating whilst all the while supposedly supporting ‘freedom of speech.’ The Occupiers encouraged donations of food and warm sleeping goods, urging students and staff to join them in their protest during the following days following days.