Edinburgh University Anti-Cuts Coalition

Report – Edinburgh Occupation 23rd-24th

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Following the Edinburgh University Students’ Association organised ‘RUKidding’ March against fees a group of students attempted to occupy several university management buildings across campus. Unfortunately the university and the police were tipped off prior to the action, activists encountered police guarding several of the intended sites and were met with limited success. Several activists managed to gain entry into the university’s Playfair Library (a library students don’t usually get access to and mostly reserved for corporate events) but when more tried to join them it lead to a stand-off between university security, two secretaries, fifteen activists, one of the university’s vice-principles and a very bemused delegation from Edinburgh’s Indian Consulate. The stand-off ended when the activists received word that the main group was planning to hold a meeting to determine new targets and so choose to end the attempted occupation of Playfair amicably and rejoin the main group.

Following a brief meeting activists decided to re-occupy George Square Lecture Theatre (occupied over the weekend of fresher’s week earlier this year against 9k RUK fees), with the caveat that we would move out in time for lectures to commence at 9 am the next day. The purpose of this occupation was to evaluate our options and decide a plan of action. After a (very) long meeting it was decided that we would go back into occupation in Appleton Tower, after joining the union picket of Council Chambers against the privatisation of £1 billion of public services.

On all fronts we were relatively successful, the council voted to not outsource our city’s environmental services and we are now in Appleton Tower preparing to use it as an organising space in preparation for the N30 Strikes. Tomorrow, a very sleep deprived group of activists will begin the task of planning and outreach, but right now most seem quite happy raging at Question Time being played on a lecture theatre’s screen and eating some of the delicious rice and curry donated in solidarity.

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