Friday, 10 December 2010

PRESS RELEASE - This is only the beginning

Newcastle Occupation of the Fine Art building is coming to an end on Sunday 11th December by 2pm. This is a direct response to the actions of University management today, who have threatened not only University disciplinary action, but also began legal action.

While many members of the Occupation would be happy to remain, if disciplinary action was sought by the University, our group would be severely hampered in taking further action in the future.

While we are disappointed that most of our demands have not been met or that Chris Brink, the Vice Chancellor, has repeatedly refused to meet with members of the occupation or to consider discussing our demands, the occupation has been an outstanding success. We have been pivotal in organising and facilitating marches, protests and direct action across the city. We have connected with people, not only students, but lecturers, unions and members of the public. People are now more aware of the risk of the proposed cuts to higher education and cuts to other public services.

We have been endeavouring to let normal timetabled lectures continue, however these were relocated despite our wishes. So that education could continue, we arranged alternative lectures by inviting lecturers from Newcastle and Northumbria Universities to give talks and workshops. We regret the disruption caused by the University in response to our occupation. This has been a large factor in our decision to end the occupation and allow Fine Art students to finish the year uninterrupted.

The vote on Thursday and the end of the Occupation is not the end of the struggle to defend education. Our fight will continue.

We had no voice and we have found one and we will not be silenced.


  1. By how much is the Higher Education budget being cut?

  2. 80%, HungryMagpie, with no state funding for arts, humanities or social sciences.

    It's sad to see it finished, but maybe this is the best sustainable solution. The fight continues. Victory!

  3. Well done. Occupations aren't as easy as they sound! And the point of them is that they come to an end. Hopefully during the time you were in occupation you managed to build up the requisite support network for planning more action against this staggeringly anti-intellectual and philistined government.

  4. Are you going to keep this (most excellent) blog going?

    Lots of opportunities over the coming long cold winter to continue being constructively annoying with an occasional dash of humour.

    Lots of other bills and spending reviews coming up in the next few months to continue digging at your political opponents and building alliances with with your natural allies.

  5. Brave, brave battle.
    I can do nothing but salute you all - well done.
    And keep this blog up!

  6. Great job, i was there at the start and i'll be damned if i'm not there on Sunday!

  7. Zack: Its sad to end without the demands met, but it has been incredible in terms of building up the movement- i'll defo be there on sunday, keep up this amazing blog and all the good work

  8. I think your demands were far too wide-reaching and had no chance of being met. Something more humble and tightly focussed on the core issue, with less back-covering next time might meet with more success.

  9. Well done for getting as far as you did. Absolutely brilliant job. Thank you.