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Open Letter to Scrap the Injunction

Since December 2014, Warwick University has had an unprecedented High Court injunction in-place across the entirety of campus, banning all occupations and sit-ins indefinitely. Here, we print an open letter to Stuart Croft signed by nearly 50 academic staff members, 12 student societies and groups, Warwick UCU, the entire new and former SU Sabbatical team, and several part-time SU officers calling for the injunction to be immediately scrapped.

Image: verkeorg .
Image: verkeorg .

Note: You can find the Warwick Globalist’s full investigation into the events of Dec. 3, 2014, here. The article has the full details and context of the injunction. 

Dear Stuart Croft,

We, as staff, students, societies and alumni of the University of Warwick, call on you to immediately scrap the authoritarian High Court injunction against occupation and sit-in style protest taken out by the University in December 2014.

Across the world, sit-ins and occupations have been used as a legitimate tool of social movements. From young African Americans famously staging sit-ins at all-white lunch counters in North Carolina at the start of the civil rights movement, to Brazilian land occupations, to an occupation of SOAS in 2009 in response to the impending deportation of foreign cleaning staff, movements have occupied – and won – for decades. Just last year, Fossil Free Edinburgh staged a successful snap-occupation after the University refused to divest from fossil fuels, whilst the ‘Fees Must Fall’ movement utilised occupations to stop a tuition fee hike in South Africa.

Warwick students and staff also have a long and proud tradition of using this tactic. In February 1970, occupations over the University’s failure to grant an autonomous Students’ Union building led to the revelation of political spying on academics and activists, and a national scandal. Warwick reacted by injuncting the occupiers and banning all publication of evidence of political surveillance. Following more occupations in the early 70s – including one of the Arts Centre the week before it opened – students were granted complete control of the Union South building, which opened in 1974/5 and remains today. That same decade, threatened occupations were used as a bargaining chip in the successful struggle to get Warwick to divest from apartheid-linked shares and stop banking with Barclays. In 2009, a nine-day occupation of S0.21 raised awareness of Israel’s attack on Gaza.

These tactics are now illegal at Warwick, in an unprecedented crackdown on civil liberties. In term 1 an All Student Meeting motion at the Students’ Union calling for the injunction to be scrapped passed with over 70% of participants voting in favour. The injunction is both indefinite, and campus-wide, making it possibly the most extreme injunction ever used in a British university. Such instruments have been condemned by Amnesty International and Liberty in the past for violating fundamental liberties. It would be simple for you to remove it, and would demonstrate your willingness to start a new era of relations between Warwick’s management and its community.

Signed:

Societies/Other Groups:

Warwick For Free Education
Warwick UCU
Warwick Labour
Warwick Anti-Sexism Society
Fossil Free Warwick Univesity
Warwick People & Planet
Warwick Friends of Palestine Society
Warwick Pride
Warwick Amnesty
Warwick Hub
Warwick University Food Co-op
Warwick Allotment Society
Warwick University Green Party Society

SU Sabbs and Officers:

Luke Pilot, President and Former Welfare & Campaigns Officer, Warwick SU
Hope Worsdale, Education Officer, Warwick SU
Chloe Wynne, Former Women’s Officer and Welfare and Campaigns Officer, Warwick SU
Ted Crowson, Sports Officer, Warwick SU
Rebecca Gittins, Democracy and Development Officer, Warwick SU
Marissa Beatty, Societies Officer, Warwick SU
Emma Marie, Women’s Officer, Warwick SU
Isaac Leigh, Former President
Oliver Rice, Former Democracy & Development Officer
Charlie Hindhaugh, Former Education Officer and Deputy President, Warwick SU
Nat Panda, Former Postgraduate Sabbatical Officer, Warwick SU
George Creasy, Former Societies Officer, Warwick SU
Alex Roberts, Former Sports Officer, Warwick SU
Matt Greenham, Former Environment and Ethics Officer, Warwick SU

Staff and PhD:

Dr. Ajay Chandra, Mathematics
Lisa Tilley
Dr. Nicholas Lawrence, Dept of English & Comparative Literary Studies
Dr. Julia Welland, Department of Politics and International Studies
Dr. Tomaso Ferrando, School of Law
Dr. Myka Tucker-Abramson, Dept of English & Comparative Literary Studies
Laura Schwartz, History
Sarah Hodges, History
Dr Chris Maughan (IAS)
Dr. Justine Mercer, Warwick UCU Branch President
Duncan Adam, Warwick UCU Branch Vice-President
Christian Smith, Dept of English & Comparative Literary Studies
Prof. Daniel Katz, English & Comparative Literary Studies
Prof. Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee
Dr Hannah Jones, Sociology
Roberta Locatelli, Phd student, Philosophy
Professor Neil Lazarus, English and Comparative Literary Studies
Dr Mark Storey, English and Comparative Literary Studies
Prof Thomas Docherty
Prof. Paulo de Medeiros, English & Comparative Literary Studies
Prof. Miguel Beistegui
Dr Graeme Macdonald, English
Prof. Emma Mason
Prof. Gurminder K Bhambra
Dr Tom Flynn, School of La
Benita Parry, Emeritus Prof
Dr Ross Forman, English and Conparative Literary Studies
Dr. Rashmi Varma, English and Comparative Literary Studies
Dr. Michael Niblett, English and Comparative Literary Studies
Marijn Nieuwenhuis, Politics and International Studies
Abdul Paliwala, Emeritus Professor of Law
Dr. Leon Sealey-Huggins, Sociology
James Harrison, School of Law
Dr. Renske Doorenspleet, Department of Politics and International Studies
Dr. Ben Richardson
Dr. Charlotte Heath-kelly, Politics and International Studies
John Pickering
Dr Vicki Squire, PaIS
Kevin Hearty, School of Law
Dr Christopher Holmes
Dr Khursheed Wadia
Dr Lena Rethel
Nicola Pratt, Politics and International Studies
Philippe Blanchard, PAIS
Associate Professor Keith Hyams, PaIS
Professor Neil Lazarus, English and Comparative Literary Studies
Dr Chris Rossdale, PAIS

Further Coverage

 

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