Brum IMC film: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/02/422700.html
Despite the circumstances in which the occupation ended the occupiers still secured a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor and on Thursday 22nd January met with him to discuss their demands from the occupation. The meeting was quite unproductive and resulted in effectively no commitments at all from the university, leaving the occupiers to consider a next move.
The occupation was followed by a large and successful protest (see: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/01/419829.html), also on the 22nd January, organised by a coalition of student societies, but the event went un/misreported by university media, most notably the widely read ‘Redbrick’ studet newspaper. In an article entitled ‘Iron Curtain’ in the paper two weeks later, a Redbrick journalist spilled the beans on University and Guild of Students (the student union at Birmingham – who have a veto on content) censorship of reporting of the Gaza-related events. An exchange of letters published in the paper has also slowly enabled news of the week of action to get out to Birmingham students.
At a meeting of Guild council on Thursday 19th February the Palestinian society finally managed to submit the motions relating to the Gaza crisis which they were prevented from tabling at the January meeting by Guild officers. However, during the meeting a coalition of zionists and Guild officers conspired to amend the motion so that it was converted into one preventing all further debate and discussion of Palestine in the council in the future (until it expires or is overturned in a future meeting). They then carried the vote by a small majority, once again shutting down all debate on the Palestinian issue in the union.
Despite these perceived setbacks, the occupation and protests have inspired people and united many groups on campus behind a common cause and are provoking a long -awaited response to suppression of political activity by the university and student union on this and other matters. Supporters of human rights and the self-determination of the Palestinian people at the University of Birmingham will continue to organise despite the complete contempt shown towards them by their union and university authorities and the criminalisation of their activities by the police. The struggle continues!