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Bristol Occupy for Palestine blocks entry to university's executive management offices

The students occupying the Victoria Rooms have moved their occupation to the Main Building at 5 Tyndall Avenue, which contains the executive management offices.

Milan PereraDeputy Editor

The students previously occupying the Victoria Rooms have moved their occupation to 5 Tyndall Avenue today, cutting off access to university management in ‘protest of university complicity in the genocide in Gaza.’

According to the boycotters, the decision to change location was motivated by the need to increase pressure on university management and the group's desire to minimise impact on students.

The students left the Victoria Rooms at 11am today and occupied the Main Building at 12:30pm.

Outside 5 Tyndall Avenue - Milan Perera

The occupation was made up of nine students. The occupation was peaceful with the nine students quietly entering the building and taking up residence in the offices in question.

The spokesperson for ‘Bristol Occupy for Palestine’ said they intend to remain in the building until the university meets their demands.

Boycott is cutting off access to management offices - Milan Perera

The group has received confirmation that Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, has received their open letter. It has currently received over 500 signatures.

The spokesperson further added: ‘The students made the decision due to the lack of response from University management to the occupation of Victoria Rooms.

‘Given the urgency of the situation in Gaza it is essential that the University takes a stand rapidly, the University has shown, repeatedly, that it is unmoved by disruption to students and academic staff, Occupy for Palestine thus decided to take the disruption directly to those responsible: University management.’

The previous demands of the group concerning the occupation still stand.

Regarding the occupation, a university spokesperson said: 'We respect our students’ freedom of speech and right to protest. Our Vice-Chancellor and members of the senior team are always happy to talk with students about their concerns. 

‘We received the open letter and petition yesterday and have acknowledged receipt of this today along with an offer to discuss this in person once the occupation has ended. We continue to engage with the students taking part to ensure their safety and those of others using the building.

‘We recognise the distress and impact on all staff and students at the University of the ongoing violence and conflict in the Middle East. It is more important than ever that we sustain our shared values of mutual respect, support, and compassion for each other, whatever our individual views on the conflict.’

‘The primary reason the group made the decision to move was to increase pressure on management and make it impossible to ignore the occupation’ - Bristol Occupy for Palestine

Featured image: BOfP

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