Our Response to the VC’s E-mail

Vice Chancellor Nigel Thrift has already publicly lied about our protests. It comes as no surprise that he has continued with a smear campaign.

It is becoming hard to catalogue the extent and the blatant degree of these lies – amazingly, this latest statement even contradicts his first one on the specifics of security interaction with protestors on Wednesday night. Based on all evidence available and eye-witness accounts, we don’t think any assault happened. Even so, this alleged ‘assault’ was responded to by 8 police cars, one van, tasers, CS gas, police dogs and explicit violence towards 20 people. This is not responsible policing, regardless of context.

On Thursday a door was broken, yes. After the violence directed against actual living people on Wednesday, the breaking of one inanimate door seems insignificant. We were assaulted, gassed, threatened with tasers, and intimidated just for protesting, and university staff actively participated in and facilitated this violence. The videos speak for themselves. West Midlands police are investigating their own conduct and the students involved are exploring all possible legal avenues. University management don’t want you talking about the violence directed against students, they want you talking about a door.

The 1000 students who gathered on Thursday know that police and security violence is unacceptable. That demonstration was an unprecedented response to an unprecedented situation. The events of Wednesday have resulted in serious physical, emotional and psychological effects for those involved. If management genuinely cared about the student community they would be listening to and engaging with their demands rather than misrepresenting the facts and obsessing over a door.

A community is not just a campus populated by isolated individuals working and studying in the same place. A community is something more than a bit of jargon that university managers can trot out when they want to sound nice and friendly.

In our occupied space we have built a community, in which we have been recovering from the events of Wednesday, in which students from many backgrounds have come together to oppose violence against peaceful protestors. A community is a free education system where students aren’t indebted because they want to learn. A community is exactly the thing you, Nigel, with your soft words and management speak, are trying to supress. You earn your £332,000 a year from destroying a community: don’t try to turn that word back on us. We are legitimate and you know it.

We will be holding a memorial service for the damaged Senate House door in the occupation tonight. Meanwhile, the students assaulted, intimidated, and traumatised by security and police will carry on taking action until the university agree to our demands – things like a code of conduct for university security guards, and an apology for Nigel’s lies. Those demands can be found here: https://warwick4freeducation.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/warwick-university-occupation-demands-04122014/.

Let us end where we began – Thrift, stop lying and apologise.

Love and Solidarity,

The Occupiers xxx

P.S Feel free to come join us, we have open access! Just message the Facebook page and we will give you details.

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5 thoughts on “Our Response to the VC’s E-mail

  1. Please just stop embarrassing our university more than you have already with your pointless behaviour. I used to be proud to go to Warwick University until all this protesting started.

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  2. Hi, I’m a student currently in my third year at warwick university. I reckon I’ll probably get a lot of stick for this but I believe this whole article is throwing around some pretty wild accusations. Like Nigel Thrift has to go by what he is told by the relevant authorities which is that a member of staff has been assaulted. And with all due respect when you say “based on all evidence and eye witness accounts” I don’t feel you’re well equipped enough to attain all of the evidence. Something must have happened otherwise it is unlikely the police would be called. I mean it’s all a bit overblown don’t you think? And I must say I’m more disappointed a student carried out an assault/ damaged a door or whatever as opposed to peacefully protesting like you guys always go on about doing. Just bloody dissappointing really. Furthermore, you accuse Thrift and the university trying to place focus on the assault, however I believe you’re doing the same thing with the police incident. A student/group of students broke one of your core values of being peaceful with the assault/damaged door. And the most surprising thing is that people are actually getting involved in following you. An independent body will investigate the police and the assault will also be investigated so I’m not really sure what you want. Thrift can hardly condemn the police because no investigation has been completed. It’s just really surprising that people are even considering going out and protesting against the police with you guys not delivering any evidence for anything. Everything I’ve heard is just a complete rant. What would be most jarring for you guys is if the assault did actually take place so I bet you’re pretty worried about that! Just bloody dissappointing all round. And fair enough I can imagine I’ll get some abuse for this but everything I said is justified and you know it, plus I’m a fellow warwick student so I have no “agenda”. Also like if you guys want to talk to me personally about it I’m happy to have a chat over the phone with the relevant people and if you don’t then fair enough, but in that case you clearly don’t value every students opinion equally. Hope to speak to you soon, Os

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  3. Keep up the good work. Speaking as a Warwick alumnus and academic, it’s sad to see the management so fundamentally misunderstanding how to properly run a university in the interests of staff and students. Sanctioning the CS-gassing of peaceful student protests is utterly appalling and almost unprecedented on a UK campus. Reports of redundancies for staff who are not bringing in a certain amount of external funding, based on an entirely illogical metric, are also very disappointing. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/comment/letters/no-logic-in-job-cuts-metric/2017335.article What is embarrassing is the futile public relations damage limitation exercises Thrift appears to now be undertaking when apologies, real accountability, and a reversal in the redundancy policy are the only sensible courses of action. What is really rather embarrassing is that the University hopes that alumni will donate money to their old university despite the obvious and well-documented extent of their mishandling of both issues.

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