Glasgow University Students Occupy Hetherington Research Club





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Published on Feb 2, 2011

Students at the University of Glasgow, Scotland began an occupation of the postgraduate club, the Hetherington Research Club building in University Gardens on Tuesday 1st February 2011. Known as the "Free Hetherington" the sit-in is to protest against cuts and against the university bosses' plans to sell off the building which they closed a year ago. The building was bequeathed to the students for their use, not to become a saleable asset for uni bosses. The students have therefore taken control of the building with the intention of it being used as a social, educational and non-commercial space where students can meet, study and campaign against cuts and fees.

Since the occupation began it has received much support from both staff and students and the public, both locally and from round the world. University lecturers have offered "teach-ins" and the Free Hetherington has hosted many guest speakers: political activists and musicians from round the world have dropped in to show their support for the occupation. Of course, there exist a few pro-cuts right-wingers who have attempted to cause trouble for the student activists sometimes with direct physical violence and sometimes with scheming and slander and attempts to divide but this has only served to make the occupation stronger. On the 22nd March the students were paid a surprise visit by the police and university security and evicted from the Hetherington but this caused outrage throughout the univerity and other students and staff who were not previously all that interested in the Hetherington joined with them and hundreds demonstrated then marched upon and occupied the university senate building! The university management was forced to offer them back the Hetherington building in exchange for leaving the Senate. And so back to the Free Hetherington! A couple of days later right-wing thugs from the GU rugby club attempted to force their way in to the Hetherington and physically assaulted some students. But although the police were called, they decided not to arrest the assailants "for lack of evidence" and were even seen laughing and joking with the thugs. But intimidation is not going to deter the students who will just become stronger and more determined. Right-wing thugs be warned: martyrs can spark a revolution. If you try to stop progress with force it will backfire on you.

Des dizaines d'étudiants ont pénétré dans un bâtiment fermé depuis un an de l'université de Glasgow où ils ont commencé une protestation contre les coupes et contre le projet des dirigeants de l'université qui veulent vendre ce bâtiment qui appartient aux étudiants. Ecosse, le 1er février 2011.

Un edificio dell'università di Glasgow, chiuso dagli dirigenti da un anno, si è fatto occupato dagli studenti scozzesi il 1° febbraio 2001 perchè i dirigenti dell' università hanno un progetto per la vendita di questo edificio il quale appartiene agli studenti. La protesta è anche contro i tagli in genere.

Los estudiantes de la universidad de Glasgow, Escocia han ocupado un edificio el 1ero de febrero 2011 para protestar contra los recortes en educación y contra el proyecto de los jefes de la universidad de vender este edificio.
Sunday 14th August 2011: a meeting of the Free Hetherington voted to end the occupation as the students have won many of their demands. The activists have set a record, as when they leave, the occupation will have lasted 7 months. The Hetherington building will be refurbished to be used for lectures and a postgraduate social space is to be created in the uni old building during the academic year 2011 to 2012. Among the terms accepted were no further course cuts. (Most of the courses originally proposed to be cut were also saved but not all of them, like the Crichton Campus Liberal Arts degree.) No cuts in student services, no compulsory redundancies in the areas reviewed by the consultation panels earlier this year. Also, no disciplinary action against those involved in the occupation and no information on occupiers volunteered to police. The vote was 58 to 9 to accept the proposals. The group stated its intention to keep on protesting to support the right of present and future students to equality and free education, so while the building will change, their future activity will not and the students will continue to campaign against cuts.


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