As the UvA occupation enters its seventh day, students are being taken to court.
The University is attempting to end the occupation with a civil injunction, and threatening them with a 100,000 euros fine (per day, per person) if they overstay.
Reliable inside estimates suggest that there are over 100 occupiers, which means that the university is seeking more than 10 million euros per day of fines if the occupation continues into an eighth day.
Students occupied in order to express wholly legitimate concerns and to try and force the university to take its students seriously. It seems that their response is to try and bankrupt those students who make a stand.
The court case is at 15.30 this afternoon.
This experience is not dissimilar to what we know at Warwick.
Our 2014 occupation in response to police violence was ended when management threatened two students with unlimited legal costs and bought an injunction indefinitely banning “all occupation-style protest”. It is now forever in contravention of a possession order to hold an occupation at Warwick – despite the fact that occupations are peaceful ways of expressing dissent with a very, very long history at the university. In negotiations, managers called the injunction “a good investment”.
Injunctions are their way of crushing dissent. They are undemocratic repressions of student protest, and we cannot accept them.
In the UK Birmingham, Sussex, UCL and Sheffield (to name a few) alongside Warwick have all opposed large student movements with popular support by spending tens of thousands of pounds on injunctions.
Solidarity with the occupiers, whatever their decision. We wish them the best of luck.
More information can be found (in a mixture of Dutch and English) on the occupiers’ website and social media: