The occupation at the UvA is being maintained into its eighth day, in the face of an injunction.
The university took the occupiers to court yesterday seeking an injunction with a 100,000 euro fine per person, per day if they refused to leave.
The injunction was granted, and came into force at 23.15 last night. But the university was not granted the full fine, which was reduced to only 1000 euros per day, irrespective of the number of occupiers.
The occupiers promptly responded by selling a ladder to the Amsterdam Central Workers’ Council for precisely 1000 euros. The Student Union (ASVA) have also agreed to pay for the occupiers’ legal costs.
Police response has been minimal, with nothing beyond the expected small-scale intimidation and harassment,
A programme of events talk and workshops is continuing today, and the occupation remains strong. Over 100 students are inside. “The feeling is joyous and combative,” said an insider, “we are going to stay until we get our demands.”
Hundreds of academics at the university have signed an open letter supporting the occupation, as have the entire staff of the affiliated Amsterdam University College.
The occupation has been at the top of the national news agenda, and solidarity actions including banner drops and sit-ins have been taken place across the Netherlands at universities like Nijmegen, Rotterdam and Utrecht.
The occupiers were also keen to requesting solidarity action from the UK student movement. Anything from photo petitions, open letters signed by academics, SU motions of solidarity, banner drops and solidarity occupations would be a great help to them.
Warwick For Free Education wants to, once again, express our unequivocal support for the occupation.
The struggle at UvA is against a neoliberal agenda which seeks to have education directed by the profit motive. Massive cuts to humanities funding and ongoing attempts to turn education into a commodity need to be resisted at every turn. Only when Vice Chancellors and governments from Warwick to Amsterdam understand that they have totally lost the support of their student body will they start to think again.
International solidarity recognises that our Universities are increasingly starting to view themselves as global market players, rather than regional public institutions. We need to respond in kind, and pressure them on an international scale, co-operating across nations and continents.
For example, The University of Warwick is planning to open a campus for 6000 students in California in a move which Sir ‘No Confidence’ Nigel Thrift calls part of a “successful strategy to develop as a globally networked university.” If that campus takes on the American funding model – as seems inevitable – then our fight for Free Education will have to span the Atlantic.
Solidarity with the occupiers!
No Borders, No Nations, Free Education!