We have received this open letter:
To the occupiers,
We are sorry to see the way the university has reacted to your peaceful occupation; we are ashamed of our university’s actions. On a day when over 10 universities all across the country went into occupation it was only the University of Birmingham that decided it would crack down on peaceful protest. The attack on the occupation last night and the blockade that they have enforced on you is entirely disproportionate. Especially considering that your occupation, even according to the university, has not been disruptive.
We believe, like you, that people should be treated as human beings and the university should be run for the public good, not as a business. The cuts to pay and pensions of support staff already on poverty pay is morally abhorrent, especially while high paid university mangers take pay rises of as much as 11%. We stand with you in your opposition to the cuts to staff pensions, which are the main cause of the strike on November 30th; we also want to offer solidarity to staff unions. We like you, think it is important we support the strike on November 30th because if we want to retain the brightest and best academics in the UK as our teachers, then we must give our lecturers fair pensions. We would like to point to the university that the Guild of Students itself fully supports the strike on November 30th, this is clearly not the belief of a minority.
The university seeks to portray you as a minority opinion on campus. This is not true: we are elected representatives from all across campus and we support you wholeheartedly. We would be in occupation with you if it were not for the blockade the university has put on the occupation and for fear of the threat of disciplinary actions that university is using to smother dissent.
Stay strong if the university take action against you, we will be there to defend you.
Edward Bauer VP Education
Kelly Rodgers Women’s Officer Guild of Students
Leander Jones Community Action Officer Guild of Students
Ben Aylott Chair Postgraduate and Mature Students Associaton, University Senator
Susanne Kluber Chair International students Associaton, Guild Councillor
Daniel Harrison, Chair, Birmingham Labour Students, Guild Councillor
Mma Yeebo-Agoe – Ethnic Minorities Guild Councilor
Alice Swift Chair of People & Planet, Campaigning & Political Mini-Forum Guild Councillor and Ethical & Environmental Committee member.
Sean Farmelo – Philosophy, Theology and Religion Guild Councilor and Ethical and Environmental Committee member.
Clare Lister – DAMSA Chair, Guild Councilor
Bryn Gough Political Science Guild Councillor
Nazakit Mohammed- Civ Eng Guild Councillor
Carmern Castrillon – Culture, Arts and Languages Guild Councillor
Yusri Hamidi- Computer Eng Guild Councillor
Anwar Sattar- Post Grad Guild Councillor
Usamah Khalid- Open Place Guild Councillor
Zain Ali- Open Place Guild Councillor
Muneeb Akhtar- Chem Eng Guild Councillor
Sivan Lavie Oxfam Co-chair
Rosie Pinsent Chair of Art Soc
Sebastian Egerton-Read Secretary Student Broad Left
Laura hamilton, 2nd year geology student rep & lapsoc VP
Amanda Moorghen, 2nd Year Philsophy SH Student Rep