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(en) Freedom 6401 jan. 03 - Students escalate campaign

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 21 Jan 2003 09:00:05 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

On Tuesday 17th December, nine Glasgow University
students - four anarchists, two socialists and three
student journalists - walked into the Adam Smith
Lecture Theatre of the Adam Smith building and
refused to leave. Their numbers waxed and waned
through the day, peaking at a total of ten activists,
until around 4pm a passing security guard noticed
that something funny was going on and access to the
lecture theatre was blocked. Unfortunately at this
point there were only three anarchists present, and
though their comrades attempted to return this was
made impossible by an ultimatum that any opening of
the doors to leave or enter would end the occupation.
The aims of this, the opening volley of a new
campaign at Glasgow University, were simple - the
sacking of the university vice-chancellor, Graeme
Davies, who is responsible for investments by
Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd (these
include £64.3 million in deathmongers BAe Systems,
£79 million in narcotic sellers British American
Tobacco and over £1.4 billion in polluting,
war-promoting oil companies), disinvestment from
these companies and army recruitment must leave
The occupied lecture theatre was quickly renamed
the Mikhail Bakunin. The irony of renaming famous
capitalist Adam Smith's memorial lecture theatre
after a militant Russian anarchist should be obvious.
The theatre was redecorated with slogans on the
blackboard, and red and black flags on the walls. The
doors were held shut by bike locks.
The administration made repeated attempts to end
the occupation by offering to deliver statements of
demands to the relevant authorities. While these
were delivered, the students refused to leave. One of
the remaining occupiers left at 1am, and the other two
decided to leave when police involvement was
threatened at 10.30am the following morning.
The occupation has been generally regarded as a
success by those involved. While the professed aims
have not yet been achieved, this is seen as the first
step in an increased student militancy in Glasgow
University, the start of an escalation from an earlier
campaign of high profile graffiti. The last three
students involved are currently facing disciplinary
action from the university senate, but solidarity
actions are being planned at Glasgow and other
universities, and the success of the largely anarchist
sit-in may yet motivate the leftist elements on
campus also to engage in direct action.
Alistair Davidson

Those wishing to become involved in the solidarity
actions during January should contact Glasgow
Anarchists and Independent Anti-capitalists at
This article will be published in the forthcoming
GAIA newsletter.                © Alistair Davidson 2003

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