University is a factory: organise, occupy, strike

Our Agenda for tomorrow

08:00-13:00: “What do you want? Why are we here?” Drop In

13:00 Break

13:30 Activism & Non-Activism in the LGBT Community on Campus

14:30 Post-Marxism and The Human Condition

15:30 Break

16:00 Radical Education

17:00 University is a Factory

18:00 Break

18:30 Radical Democracy

19:30 Film Screening


Opening up the space: Our plans for tomorrow

Here at the occupation we’ve had a productive day of workshops, lectures and discussion.

We will be continuing our program of free education tomorrow, opening it up to the wider community as a liberated space with freedom of access. Anyone who is curious about what we are doing here we very much encourage to come down tomorrow.

Our plan for tomorrow is that we will continue to occupy the lecture and seminar building on the ground floor of No. 1 Abercromby Sq. However, as the strikes are over, we wish to allow all seminars and lectures elsewhere in the building, and all office and postgraduate spaces open to anyone who needs or wishes to use them. In this way we hope that University management will allow freedom of entry to the building, which has not been allowed up to this point. As a peaceful protest, we feel we do not need security refusing entry to those who wish to inquire about this movement and the space.

In order to give sufficient warning, we have contacted the Guild of Students and told them of our intention to continue occupying the space, so that lectures and seminars can be rearranged in other buildings around the campus, of which there are plenty. As we know from lectures and seminars that have been moved the past couple of days, it can be done on very short notice. Any failure to do so is not a failure on our part but a failure on part of the university.

Signing out with solitary.

Management and us: our latest interaction

Recently, the management came to one of our windows to tell us about how, according to them, our legal status has been influenced by alleged conduct on our part. The first time they came to us, last night, was to threaten us with disciplinary procedures. Now, this is the second of our encounters with university management. Having been courteous to all the staff that we encountered either at the window or at the door of our building (including agency security working through the strike…), we object to this characterization of the events by mannagement. We have invited students and staff to join us, an offer which has been accepted by several people. The occupation has received broad support of the unions, of several lecturers, of students and of the Guild of Students. This in itself should be enough to show the management that our occupation is legitimate and does not require threats of sanctions.

Our occupation is still peaceful. We are being very respectful of the premises. We are conducting an ongoing teach-in.  Accordingly, we do not believe that the situation warrants a change in how it has been dealt with until now.

On the contrary, we would ask that the University addresses our demands instead of threatening us, once again.

In solidarity and prepared to stay

Our Space

We are running an autonomous space. We believe in direct democracy, and function accordingly.This space belongs to everyone and everyone can contribute to it. We want to make this a space where collective action and education are experienced differently. This is the first step in reappropriating our Higher Education by sharing our knowledge with each other in an engaging and participatory way. The liberation of this space stimulates creativity and action and we believe that further grassroot student organising is the way forward to social change on campus.

Therefore, those who whish to contribute and attend the workshops are welcome to join the occupation.

day two of occupation

After an uncomfortable night’s sleep and a 7.30 start, the building has been tidied and a schedule of the events with some guest speakers for the day has been devised. 

We will be hosting a series of talks throughout the day with the provisional running order:

12:00 – Brainstorming about activism & social movements on campus and in Liverpool

13;00 – BREAK

13:30 – Radical/alternative education

14:30 – European trade union movement

15:30 – BREAK

16:00 – Women & the social movement

17:00 – Extreme energy & climate change

18.00 – BREAK

18.30 – Quebec student movement

19.30 – Film screening (Film TBA)

We’ve been showing our support to the university workers on strike and encouraging students and academic staff not to cross the picket line in solidarity, and we will continue to do so throughout the day.

We’ve continued to receive fantastic support from people and have consistently received plenty of food, drink and bedding through the window which we are incredibly grateful for. 

University is a Factory

Photo courtesy of David J Colbran

Safer Spaces Policy

The Policy in Brief

This policy applies to the occupation and related online spaces.

If you feel unsafe in the occupation due to somebody else’s behaviour, you should either go to one of the safer spaces volunteers or talk to anybody who you trust.  You can go to the designated safe area if you need to get out of the main occupation

You may initiate a process yourself, or with somebody you trust, or with the help of a safer spaces volunteer to deal with the behaviour.

We will do our best to keep confidentiality if requested, though it is hard to guarantee anonymity in such a small space.

If you have been subjected to violence, sexual assault or sexual harassment, the perpetrator will be removed from the occupation while the process is ongoing. The process will be survivor-led, you will be able to choose a mediator and you will not be expected to see or speak with your attacker if you do not wish to do so.

For complaints that do not involve violence, we encourage both/all parties to engage with the Conflict Resolution process, and will provide mediation if required.

Please ask to see our Conflict Resolution and Survivor-led Processes for more details.

We define the following as abusive behaviours which are not tolerated in this space: (details of each of the following were discussed within the occupation and are readily available to read here. Please ask if you would like to see them)

Physical abuse

1. Violence and threat of violence (unless in self defence)

2. Use of force and threat of force (unless minimal to protect users of the space and the space itself)

3. Rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment

Non-physical abuse

4. Verbal abuse (insults or aggression towards an individual)

5. Oppressive language (insults or generalisations about a marginalised/oppressed group of people)

6. Emotional and psychological abuse (bullying, isolating and ‘gaslighting’)

7. Harassment (behaviour made abusive by being repeated, persistent & unwelcome)

8. Written abuse (any of the above in written form)

Everybody is responsible for remaining in a state in which they do not violate this policy.